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Someone gave me an older Aluminum boat , leaks a little around the rivits, and has a couple of small cracks on front floor. What is best way to fix it, or can it be fixed, for the most part , for free, its probably worth spending a little money on, did not know if it had to be welded, or if better, cheaper , easier way. or if I should pitch it. I want to rig it for floundering.

Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Take it to someone who is good at heliarc welding. I had a 14' Lowe jon boat welded and it lasted for years, but someone has to be good so as not to over heat the metal around the weld. Otherwise it will weaken the metal around the patch.
 

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Sometimes you can hammer and dolly the rivets to tighten them up. It takes 2 people to do it. As to the cracks, well as said above they will need to be welded heliarc or Tig welding is the same thing.
 

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I agree with X-Shark, try and use a hammer & dolly on the rivets. And then have the crack welded. There is so much trash that gets around those rivets over the years, it is extremely hard to weld.
 

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FastCast Custom Rods
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As previously stated that thin and dirty aluminum is a bear to weld, but there is a couple of things that could help make it easier. Clean, clean, clean the weld area then preheat it with a torch. Cross your fingers.

Obie
 

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There is another possibility--that is to tighten up all of the rivets first. Then you can JB weld the cracks--after cleaning them up well with a wire brush. If there is any gap, you may want to either rivet on or JB weld on patches. This is more of an amature approach, but works well. I have done this--and then painted the entire bottom of the boat with a good epoxy paint which had solids in it, and this epoxy/solids worked its way into any remaining cracks and crevices. That boat is still going strong 8 years later.
 

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I have repaired quit a few. We always drill the rivit out with a 3/8 drill bit and then roset weld the hole on top and bottom. About $3. a rivit unless its a total rework then we would give you a contract price.
 

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They sell this stuff at Academy, it comes in a tube about 10" long and looks like gray molding clay that we used to play with in art class. It's a two part epoxy that can be installed in wet locations (or dry) and sets up quickly, wet or dry. Get some of that stuff break offan inch or two knead it together for a minute and spread it out. It can be used in a pinch and then sanded down, molded and painted.It's great stuff and lasts forever. It'll cost you less than $8 and work perfectly.
 
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