Who's Eating My Boat.

Andy Topham

Every year we have fresh arrivals to the Caribbean, many on the ARC and other cruising events.
They normally arrived very excited drink a lot of rum punch and live the Caribbean dream, which is of course fantastic.

Those who leave there boats through hurricane season have lot to prepare for, with increased insurance storage and location parameters.

One thing that is often overlooked is those little critters that eat your boat while you are away TERMITES !!. Don't think this is just a wooden boat problem these things will find wood anywhere on your GRP boat, bulkheads, floors, deckcore, basically anything plant based.

The first signs are wood dust and tracks. The wood may look fine outside but hollow and eaten from the inside when you tap. If painted sometimes all you have left is paint, and you can push your finger through.

Look out for wings lying around, they swarm often after rain fall. Once they drop there wings they go hunting for your wood work. I have seen some very bad cases with of loss of structural integrity, and boats being sold for shackles.

If you leave your boat this is something that needs to me monitored regularly by whoever is looking after your boat in your absence.
There is chemical spray and bait which worth the cost for these preventative measures but its something that many new arrivals do not consider. So be aware of the issue, read around the subject and look at the species of termite in your area as they do differ.

Certainly in this case prevention is better than cure, as the effects can be daunting to repair and some not viable.

Don't get your boat eaten, regular checks is a must !!