Poked a hole in my boat

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by justwannano, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    I found a hole in my old Polarcraft jon boat this weekend.
    Not a very good feeling sitting out in the middle of the Mississippi with water coming up around your feet.
    Don't know how it happened just there is a small gouge that is open under the water line on a rib in the front of the boat.
    my question
    I'm sure the very best way to fix it is to have it welded. She is a good sturdy boat.
    Any reason not to have her welded?
    A new boat is out of the question at this time.
    Any other tried and true fixes?

    Have a good 1
    just
     
  2. bedbug jr

    bedbug jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    State:
    Missouri
    Just be sure to find someone who's good with aluninum to do the job, because if it is overheated you'll have more problems than you now have. If done right you shouldn't have any more problems with that particular area. Stay safe and carry a big bucket:smile2::wink:
     

  3. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    Should be a pretty strait forward repair for a welding shop or anyone handy with a TIG.
     
  4. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    I'd say get it welded.... have the guy doing it ...."warm up" on some other area of the boat before he gets into the bottom area.... Seen lots of welding of my old boats, and it hurts when you see the alum "dropping out" or getting bigger as he "checks out" the weld area.... It all has to do with the alloying elements of the alum, and of corse the amps being used
     
  5. Duckpoor

    Duckpoor New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    Illinois
    I don't recomend it as a permanate repair by any means .. however I have had great success with the Epoxy type repairs.. JB weld . Liquid Alum . H20 tight..
    Even in cold weather, mostly during waterfowl season we would end up with a leaker from something we did't see in the dark.
    A Good cleaning and enough abrasion to make teeth for the Repair to bite has kept us going till the craft could be emptied of gear and turned over to facilitate a good weld Job.. Not some hard to get to .. upside down .. gob job out in the cold.

    Has worked for me might conside it to get ya by till the time is right and you can get it in front of a welder.

    good luck and get after them.
     
  6. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    ga
    I can provide a couple of suggestions that will work. However, for repairs to be successful, it will require proper surface preparation.

    First remove any and all paint at and around (+ 6" perimeter) the gash or hole on both sides of hull. Sand well with 80 grit paper both sides. Next, etch the metal with an acid etchant. I have been using a "metal etching" product available at home depot where solvents are located. a water wash is supposed to stop acid etching process. Remove any grease, oils etc with tsp or denatured alcohol.

    Prep work done. Please note aluminum oxidation has now been removed. Patching must now begin. If wait, etch again before patching.

    If the hull is gashed, drill a small hole at EACH END of gash to help prevent further tearing. Mix a small batch of epoxy taking care to mix correctly (inappropriate ratios will significantly reduce strength). If you have some "milled fiberglass fibers" add some (Fbrgls fibers used as a thickener/reinforcement for epoxy).

    Spread some epoxy arround the gash site (inside or outside) and then place a piece of fiberglass cloth larger than gash area and place it in the light epoxy bed. Add more epoxy and carefully saturate the cloth and smooth the cloth with a squeegee. Let epoxy go beyond border of glass cloth.

    Here is what you should end up with. a patch over the gash but not dripping through the gash. You will want to "fill" the gash yourself and then add another patch on the outside so you "pancake arround the gash with cloth.

    To get a smooth finish with the cloth patch it may take several applications of epoxy ro "fill" the glass cloth weave (or add a filler to epoxy to thicken it). the patch can be sanded with 80 grit_ and feather edges.

    The patch will show up as a buldge on a hull, but the farther from the gash it is feathered out, the less noticable. I have used 6 oz to 20 oz cloth for patching depending on what I am going to d to the boat. The lighter the cloth the less bulk at the patchsite. Adding fiberglass fibers to the epoxy certainly helps reinforcement, smoothing and structural integrity with lighter cloths.

    Here are some links to some fiberglass and epoxy guys whose products I use. the epoxy guy has fillers and pourable 2 part foams also:

    http://thayercraft.com/

    http://www.jgreer.com/ (has an ebay site also)

    Check out West Systems or something epoxies. They have videos on just such a topic using a "flexible" epoxy.

    No worries Mon! Prep well, mix well and don't rush the repair. I have purchase 3 boats that were riveted hulls, 2 of which had SIGNIFICANT salt water damage/corrosion and I fiberglassed the hulls w/o any current problems. POLYESTERS WILL NOT ADHERE TO ALUMINUM!
     
  7. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Thank you everyone for your input. I really appreciate it.
    I decided to have the hole welded.
    Took it to a welding shop I have known for 40 years.
    Cost me $15.00 cash.
    They said it was the easiest fix they have ever done.lol

    Thanks again
    the best 2ya
    just
     
  8. 1sporticus

    1sporticus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    State:
    Iowa
    Glad you got it fixed Bob, now come back and show us how it's done. I haven't had much luck lately. Course it might help if I could get out more. LOL Later Andy
     
  9. Duckpoor

    Duckpoor New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    Illinois
    Good Deal . the piece of mind is worth the Cost alone.. and at 15.00 .. Holy Cow ..a guy can spend that at the Pizza Hut on a stomach growl.

    :wink:

    Good Luck and Get after them.
    ron
     
  10. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Hey Bob good to hear ya are back up and runnin I might need that shops services (LOL) I got a nastey crack started on the front of my lill ship ...its high and good ole water weld is dion the job....(LOL) ya know us crazy's "GO OR BLOW run it like ya stole it (LOL)
     
  11. Colsrob

    Colsrob Active Member

    Messages:
    862
    State:
    Ohio, Columbus
    It might be a good idea to go to the auto store and pick up some JB weld putty. You can put it on under water if need be. Keep it on your boat somewhere that you won't forget.:) It would make a terrific emergency fix.