Most boats are not paneled in solid wood, they are marine
ply with veneer on the outsides. Wood damage will typically have damaged these layers first so just sanding
and finishing is not going to be a very satisfactory fix.
We had damage on one bulkhead near a leaky port and I have been working on it the last few weeks. Because the damage is in the vicinity of, although not at or adjacent to the chain plates, and are on the same sheet, we wanted a strong fix.
is what will stabilize the wood that is still there. I cleared away the fragments and splinters of mushy wood and left what was holding it's shape still, even if it was a bit spongy.
Then I templated with heavy brown paper all the pieces I needed to cut out. I was really careful and planned where the cuts would be and how the shelves would be supported by the new pieces so that it all went together neatly and logically.
We got 1/2" marine
ply with mahogany that matched our original wood pretty well. I cut it out with table saw and jig saw to make the needed cuts. I fit it into its places, had to do a bit of shaving in a few spots, but it all fit really well.
Then sand and varnish
. We used no stain, as our wood seemed to not be stained originally. We will be installing into place when the last coat of varnish
goes on. Using counter sunk screws and wood plugs to secure it in place and plan to do some more penetrating epoxy
once they are in place to fill a small void.
Mostly I would just say go slowly and make SURE those templates are correct!
Good luck ; -)