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  #1  
Old 04-20-2021, 10:29 AM
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Husker525 Husker525 is offline
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Default Leaky boat advice

The bottom line is that I screwed up and need some advice, so I will turn to my WC friends to help.

Here is the scenario:

I have a 76 year old, long time friend and mentor, who had a stroke a few years ago. He owns a 16' side console boat. He had issues with the motor, and spent about $5k rebuilding a 50 hp 2 stroke Johnson motor that was really old. He can no longer handle loading, unloading or running that boat. His wife goes with him, but cannot do it either. He wanted to sell the boat, which he said was a 1985 model, including the trailer for $2000.

I have a friend of mine dying to buy a boat, but on a very limited budget. We looked at several in our area, all were extremely overpriced and needed tons of work.

I put my 2 friends together, and a sale was made. I found out from the buyer that his first trip out in the boat, he had to run the bilge pump and bail water constantly, something I was not aware of prior. My 76 year old friend does not recall the boat ever leaking or having to be repaired. The boat turned out to be a 1976 model year as well, which is not a big deal.

I looked and found that someone had attempted to MIG weld several seams near the transom. It does not look like they did a good job. There are cracks around every bird poop weld that was made.

I do not have access to a TIG welder, and local dealers want 2-3K to repair the leaks, and are 4-6 months out.

My idea was to grind everything smooth ,clean all the areas with Muratic acid and use 2 part epoxy to fill the cracked areas. Then follow it up on the inside and outside with something like Flex Seal. It does not appear that any of the leaks are anything that may effect structural integrity. I have 4 different areas about 4-6" in length to fix.

Anyone have some cheap DIY ideas not involving using a welder?

Thanks for any of the help. The faster I can help fix this thing, the faster I can keep a divorce from happening between friend #2 and his wife.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2021, 11:02 AM
westwolfone westwolfone is offline
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I think you should find someone to TIG weld it.

Find a stock car racing forum and ask on there, many racers are good at stuff like that.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:18 AM
Huntindave Huntindave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husker525 View Post
My idea was to grind everything smooth ,clean all the areas with Muratic acid and use 2 part epoxy to fill the cracked areas.
I would recommend this product; https://www.jbweld.com/product/marineweld-twin-tube
Please read and follow all the directions.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:44 AM
Yellowfin123 Yellowfin123 is offline
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theres all kinds of welding joe blow shops out there, i knocked off my skeg fin on my last motor in a parking lot one time in canada, took it to a local muffler shop and he sanded, reweld, sanded again and done... 60 bucks... if you get it ready grinded smooth ready to go

surly you can find a local good ol boy shop that will run some welds...

if i would have went to a boat dealer i'd still be talkin about it..
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:51 AM
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ltrain ltrain is offline
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As suggested, please get it welded. Cracks that big in that area are no joke, don't want to put a band aid on it.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:05 PM
staylor staylor is offline
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Question-is this a riveted or a welded aluminum hull? If it's riveted see if you can get a body shop to simply buck the rivets after putting a sealant in the cracked area. If welded, then you should get it re-welded....but.....

....In a "bucks down" period I had a leaky aluminum boats with riveted hull- and I couldn't afford a body shop or marina to buck the rivets. So....I used JB weld as in Huntindave's post and had great results. Some years later I had an MFG Glass boat with a deck that had separated from the hull from the transom forward around 5 feet. I didn't want to use JB weld because its colored gray and I didn't want to repaint over the gelcoat. So I used an industrial grade clear 2 part epoxy and also had a good result. I saw the boat a few years back and took a quick look at the hull to deck seam and it was still solid- even though the repair was 30 years old at that point.
Doug
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:18 PM
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Husker525 Husker525 is offline
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This boat is a riveted hull. I think I will suggest he cleans it up, and get it welded. I overlooked a muffler shop or race shop.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:14 PM
C&K C&K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husker525 View Post
I looked and found that someone had attempted to MIG weld several seams near the transom. It does not look like they did a good job. There are cracks around every bird poop weld that was made.
Did they weld seams or cracks? While welding is ok on plate construction hulls, it is not a good idea on formed sheet 5086 alloy riveted hulls. Superstructure components in the boat that uses weldments is usually 6061. Either alloy can be either MIG or TIG welded. Pulse MIG is the preferred, that is what is used at the factory for welded hulls or superstructures. However, not after it has been work hardened. It will just crack alongside the welds.

Riveted boats are built with a sealer in the seams. The reason they start to leak is because the sealer gave out. So re-seal it, don't weld on it unless it is superstructure parts. And even then welding stress cracks is rarely successful after the metal has work hardened. Repair cracks in bulkheads or superstructure with plate or angle and bucked rivet patch.

Re-sealing is done from the inside with Marine-Tex epoxy. Like the older two-piece alumacraft hulls, the two pieces of the hull are joined at the keel. Those will normally start to leak after 30 years. I've completely stripped the boat down to the bare hull, fill the keel with Marine-Tex and that will fix it. You can buy the stuff in quart cans.

The problem you have now is that somebody welded on a formed sheet hull without knowing what they were doing. Those cracks alongside the welds are not going to stop. It could've been re-sealed and not a problem. And you can patch it with Marine-Tex. But those cracks are going to "work" and keep traveling. So stop drill the cracks to relieve stress, then seal it with Marine-Tex for a "patch job".

The best option if you want to fix it right is to drill the rivets and replace the sheets with new where it's been welded. If the sheets have compound bends done in a die you have problem unless you have a full metal shop because you're probably not going to get replacement sheets to fit tight. In that case, even after bucking rivets, they're going to "work" and start to leak again.

I'd have to see the hull before I'd make a decision on how to fix it, and I've done a few of 'em, mostly older Alumacraft's.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:19 PM
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^^^^^ all great advice. I didnít know it was originally a riveted hull when i made my comment to get it welded.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2021, 12:07 AM
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Welded hulls are a different alloy than riveted hulls. Welded hulls are 5083 since it is non-heat treatable, is a softer alloy than 5086 and has the best tensile strength in the weld zone. Welded plate hull boats such as used by the US Coast Guard and US Navy are 5083-H321 alloy.
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