Boats hold a fascination for most people. What child doesn’t dream of being a pirate, sailor or explorer? After a lifetime of service, old boats should never end up on the scrapheap. Here are some ways you can repurpose your old boat
Boat upcycling is not restricted to any shape or make of vessel, although a wooden boat might be easier to fashion into something new.
What better way to immortalise your beloved trailer boat than to set it up in your garden for growing vegetables? Place it in a sunny spot, drill some holes in the hull, and then add pebbles or crushed paving for drainage before topping with layers of compost, soil and mulch. Once the soil mix settles, fill the space with vegetables or flowers. If it has a mast, grow climbing plants.
Boats of any shape, size and material are perfect for turning into a cubby house or playground for children. If you don’t have kids or any available space at home, give your old boat to the local preschool or offer to install it in the local park. An open boat could be mounted on its hull or used as a cubby roof, while a cabin boat is a world of its own.
Any open boat makes a perfect sandpit. Dig a hole in the ground to fit, and fill around it with sand and dirt so the hull is fully supported and won’t move. Then dump a load of sand in and let the kids play – if it has seating, all the better, while a mast makes a great umbrella support.
Stand the boat on its end and add seating for a reading nook that can be used inside your home or out. Alternatively, cut out part of one side, fill the upright boat with mattresses and cushions, and use it as a garden seat.
Enjoy the irony of repurposing an old aluminium fishing boat into a fish pond for the garden. It should already be waterproof, but if not, patch any holes then set it in place. Add a few pond plants and a pump for aeration, then when the fish are settled cover it with chicken wire to prevent birds and cats from catching them for dinner.
Turn it on its end and add shelves to create a space for displaying nautical treasures, books or other memorabilia.
There are so many ways your beloved boat can evolve once it’s finished its nautical life. We’ve just nudged the tip of the iceberg – now it’s up to you.
How do you know when it’s time to get rid of your old boat? Here are five signs you’re ready for an upgrade.