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uffdapete

aluminum boat repair

Question

Anybody have good suggestions for repairing a 25 yr. old 16' Lund that leaks around the rivets? Welding I'm told is not an option on aged alum. Any recommendations about re-riveting and who can do that reasonably? There must be some space age repair stuff out there somewhere that would work too.
Thanks for suggestions!

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Buck them back up. Have someone with a heavy steel object hold it tight on the head of rivet. On the inside of the boat hit the rivet with a ballpeen (SP) hammer or air hammer till it's drawn up and tight. If the hole is wore bigger and wont seal center punch the rivet a drill it out. Replace with a bigger rivet. Most fastener shops will have aluminum rivet's.

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Somebody in one of the forums mentioned they used the rhino lining (the one in a can) to seal up their boat they had for sale. Don't know if it would last forever, but if more than a few rivets leak, could be quicker than fixing every rivet.

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The best repair would be to drill out and replace the leaking rivet(s). Solid rivets must be installed from "both sides" of the metal being riveted. But in you're boat, you might not be able to easily do this unless the leaking rivet is exposed on the inside. Seats, boat floor, etc. might make it difficult or impractical. For those situations, you can buy closed end pop rivet. (The one's found in building centers are open end rivets, and would leak) While not as strong as a solid rivet, you could compensate by gettting one size larger, and if were only a few, that would help on the leaking. Rivets are available at commercial fastener stores. Riveting instructions can be found on the web site of rivet manufacturers. Good luck.

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Having your boat professionally re-riveted will cost you about $500. A buddy of mine had his 16 fter done a couple years ago. If it is an older boat you might be dealing with stress cracks as well so they will have to weld those. His boat was a 61' Lund and they had no trouble welding it.
I was the one who did the inside of the boat with Herculiner. It really worked well. If you need more info or have questions feel free to email me.
Good Luck

------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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Here's the results of the aluminum boat repair project.

I tried silicone when I first got the boat 3 years ago, cause I've had success using a good grade of silicone on several different applications. Didn't stop the leaks on the boat very well though - maybe I wasn't thorough enough - there's a lot of rivets in a 16' Lund! Also it was a pain to clean up before the final solution described below.

I was advised by a professional welder who learned his trade in the Navy and worked in shipyards not to try welding 25 year old aluminum. He said it might work but it's risky due to some type of chemical (oxidation?) process that tends to weaken old aluminum if it's heated. I'm not a chemist or a welder, so I just took his word for it.

The boat isn't worth $500 to me, so reriveting wasn't an option.

Next option was Herculiner. Thanks for the replies and ideas on this one. After talking to Gull Guide in person, I decided this was the way to go. I bought one gallon
followed the preparation and application directions to a T. According to the instructions however it should have required 2 gallons. I decided to start with one and see how that worked. I coated all the seams thoroughly the first time and then did the entire floor 2 more times with one gallon and still have close to a quart left.
It doesn't leak a drop.

Wal Mart has a similar product by Dupli-Color for $20 less, but I'd probably spend the extra $20 cause I know how well Herculiner worked.

Again thanks for the ideas.

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Ok i have heard about the herculiner deal. But now here is my question. We have a older starcraft aluminum boat. The only problem is there is a floor that runs the whole distance of the boat. Can u put the herculiner on the bottom of the boat? Or would you recommend taking up the floor and then applying the herculiner?

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here's what ya do on the bottom side, filp the boat over clean the bottom with rubbing alchohol and brush on two coats of KOOL-SEAL, it is sold at any Mearnds store for fixing metal roofs. I've have to redue my duck boat about every five years, but I bust a lot of ice with it.
good luck
PS it come in a few colors and a good paint shop can match it to your boat or whatever.

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take a kid hunting

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Born 2 Fish -

Herculiner leaves a rough finish, so if you were to use it, I would take up the floor. What I used was also black so I put in a floor so it wouldn't be so hot in the summer and for the flat walking area.

Sounds like Phil's idea is a good alternative for doing the outside.

[This message has been edited by uffdapete (edited 08-03-2002).]

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