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Aluminum boat

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by dlpz, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

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    I just bought an Aluminum boat at a very reasonable price off a friend. It does have a seepage problem around some rivets/seams.

    Does anybody have any experience sealing seams and painting aluminum boats?

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  2. JayD

    JayD Member

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  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Auto parts stores have a resin that works well. Its similar to bondo but easier to work with. I have repaired many aluminum fuel tanks on big trucks with this stuff and have had no reoccuring leaks. Fairly inexpensive also. Can't think of the name of the product.

    Some resins I have been told don't work on aluminum so make sure the package says it will.
  4. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I found this www.alvinproducts.com which sells what they call call lab-metal. It seems like JB Weld in a can. I might give that a try on the inside seams and then roll bedliner over them. Try the Cabela's stick on any gross rivet leaking.
  5. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    Those are typically just quick fixes. Aluminum boats flex more than you may think and after time the puttys and jb weld type of stuff loses its ability to flex and you have the same rivots leaking. Having them tig welded is by far the best solution. You can try to hammer the rivot a little tighter by putting something solid under the rivot and hitting it from the other side.

    Painting is another story. Is the boat bare aluminum or has it been painted? If so, is the current paint still adhering well or peeling off?
  6. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

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    The boat has been painted once. It is a battleship grey, kind of powder coat. The paint has rubbed off in a couple spots where you would expect it. It needs a serious power wash. Was thinking after that partially filing it with some water and see what other kind of seepage and leaks i find.
  7. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    My neighbor has a Aluminum boat. When his starts leaking around the rivets he has the rivets replaced. Probably
    better than using putty.
  8. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    You're on the right track with filling it with water to find your leaks. Get those taken care of first.

    If the paint is still adhered well than this is what worked for me. Powerwash the he!! out of it then follow up with a good hand scrubbing. I used simple green with the hand wash to get rid of any oil or grease. I then scuffed the surface with a rough scotchbrite pad and primed. The paint I used came from Menards, they sell a rustoleum (sp?) marine paint in 4 or 5 different colors. Its sold by the quart. If you dont have a paint gun then pick up a cheap one at harbor freight ($20) and you'll be suprised how nice the finished product looks. Good luck!
  9. dlpz

    dlpz New Member

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    Did you prime it at all first?

    I blasted the heck out of it with a hose with a good nozzle on it, and got some paint chips coming off.

    I got it cleaned up pretty well though. Going to borrow a friends power washer to really blast it. His father in law has a welding shop but am concerned with burning through the aluminum trying to seal the riveted seams. Going to bring it over this week to see what he has to say.

    I think I should replace the wooden motor mount (transom) while I'm doing all this crap. alot of debate between gluing together two pieces of marine plywood or pressure treated. Saw a couple posts elsewhere of gluing together some pieces of oak. Anybody have any experiences in doing either?
  10. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    yes, i did prime it after washing and a quick hit with the scotchbrite pads.

    Paint chips coming off will complicate the process. If you've uncovered any bare aluminum you need to use an etching primer, at least over those areas.

    I too had to replace the transom. DO NOT use treated wood. Chemicals used to treat the wood have a nasty reaction with aluminum, dont do it. I used 2 sheets of 3/4" birch plywood coated in water sealer. I called Lowe Boats (my boats manufacturer) and they recommended this procedure. Glue 'em and screw 'em.

    Check out the bass boating section of this website, plenty of guys have done this long before you or I got started. http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    There is a 3M product known as 5200. Drill out the rivets, replace with s.s. bolt,nut and washer, with a good gob of 5200. Works well.
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