Scratch That: Why You Should Have a Boatyard Company Look At Those Odd Marks
As you use your boat more and more, you'll find more and more minor damage to the fiberglass portions. It's not unusual to find little chips or scratches where you accidentally hit a wall with something when turning around in a cramped area, for example. However, letting that damage go on for too long without any maintenance or inspection is not wise. As with other damage, what you see could always get worse. Plus, that damage could be an indication that there are more severe problems lurking for your boat. When you see new damage, it's always a good idea to have a boatyard service check it out before assuming it's nothing big.
Fixing Now Prevents Larger Problems
At the very least, fixing damage now -- even mild damage like a small crack from the impact of something you dropped -- prevents that damage from getting worse. It doesn't matter if the damage is surface-only and thus cosmetic; it looks terrible if you have spreading cracks all over the fiberglass in your boat. Getting a fast patch helps tremendously.
Integrity Is at Stake
An inspection from a company like South Park Marina will also reveal if the damage is due to something more serious that could affect the boat's structural integrity. That surface damage can go a lot deeper than you realize, which means the core material of the boat could be affected. This can lead to rot or mold, and your boat would need major repairs if the damage were to spread. Fixing this already requires a lot of work for a small area; don't wait for the amount of work needed to increase.
In addition to protecting the core material, an inspection will also show if there is cause for concern about the health of the boat long-term. For example, you could find that the cracking you see is due to defective materials. This would mean that the entire boat could have been constructed with similarly defective materials, and you'd need to have the whole thing inspected. It is always possible that the boat is generally fine and it's that one area that is the only trouble spot. But you can't assume that. If you find an area composed of bad material, you have to inspect the entire boat.
Boatyard services may be available at your chosen marina, or you may have to arrange for an independent company to look at your boat in another location. Either way, get the damage checked out now, especially before the next boating season begins.