Pontoon Leak

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by patrickgd, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    I'm considering buying a 20 ft. Pontoon. boat. My main concern is that one of the alluminum toons has a leak(s). The seller says he fishes on a river all day and then just lets the water out of the plug when he pulls the boat out. If I buy the boat I will be keeping it in a slip on the water so would need to get the leak fixed. Anybody got any experience on how "invasive" this would be to get done?
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    If it is drained and dry that you could have it welded. Is it an aluminum toon? I have never had one repaired but aluminum can be worked with. There is a lot of pontoon owners on here and someone will have a good answer.
     

  3. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    Rock Hill,S.C.
    It should not be a bad repair at all,I have a pontoon and have had 2 leaks in mine,one was of my doing and the other was a stress fracture.The best option would be to pull it out of the water and do a pressure test on it if the leak is not seen,if its just a small puncture you can fix that pretty easily by welding the hole up or by welding a patch over the hole,I also had a stress crack at the back of my right side pontoon,it had actually cracked behind the support for the floor and was very hard to see,it was only taking on water under power with it loaded down.It wasnt a very hard fix on either with a good experienced welder doing the job.
     
  4. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    Shouldnt be hard to pressure test and weld.
     
  5. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    Messages:
    1,387
    State:
    whiteville
    peice of cake if you get it just let me know .i will come help you find it and fix it. why would you leave it in a slip.if it aint got no trailor it aint worth to much i would rather have a trailor alot cheaper to keep at home :eek:oooh::big_smile:
     
  6. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    I don't have a vehicle that can pull it but do have folks to help me get it out when I need to (which hopefully won't be much). It does have a trailer that I would keep for when I need it.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Take it for what it's worth. I wouldn't slip aluminum anything at a marina.
    Backyard slip, yea ok.
     
  8. Backlashed

    Backlashed New Member

    Messages:
    3,270
    State:
    Derby, Kansas
    Most leaks occur where the deck mount brackets weld to the log. You can pull the plug and make up a fitting with a inner tube valve stem to put in its place, then add NO MORE than 15 PSI of air, any more than that, and you take the chance of bursting a seam. Get a squirt bottle of soapy water, and spray all of the joints, and look for bubbles. Once you've located all the leaks, have them welded,...don't be tempted to try and fix them with caulk or epoxy or something because you'll only contaminate the area for welding later when the patch fails.

    Slipping a pontoon is not a problem if you take care of it on a regular basis, pull it out and pressure wash it a couple of times a year. A product called Sharkhide helps protect the aluminum, and makes it easier to clean.
     
  9. riverbud55

    riverbud55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,953
    State:
    AZ Topock-/CA Riverside
    Name:
    Dale Miller
    Boy wouldn't go past about 1.5 to 3lbs of air and it IS ALL you need, you WILL have a mess if put 15 in it if ya make that far, heck my even know about it in the next county cuz it may sound like a bomb just went off. on my ol tracker toon each toon has 2 chambers and each has a factory installed valve stem. As the owner of a welding/sheet metal shop thats been around for 45 years here how we would go about doing it, fill it with the air and get some soapy water (try to keep the suds down) in a bucket and just poor the water on the top of the toon and let it run down the side keepin in eye out for any bubbles that are bubbling, after ya spot a leak mark the hole with a center punch and circle it with a sharpie , if its a crack you need to drill an 1/8" hole at each end of the crack this will stop the crack, then ya need to clean the area that needs to be welded with a stainless steel wire brush, if ya remove you marks make sure you remark as you clean the areas to be welded, get all the prep work done before you take to the shop to be welded it will save you a lot of $$$$, one other thing your going to need to gett it up off of the trailer and check out the bottom really good that were most of the problems are going to be. here one tip I found out from a dealer try to get the toon air tight and keep 2 or 3 lb of air in it , kinda acts like a tire and will help keep the dents out from the pressure always trying to push it out:wink: hope it helps

    Oh ya expect to pay about 75 bucks +or- an hour for the welding
     
  10. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Kept my Kayot Pontoon in the water at my dock, year around for 10 straight years until I installed a boat lift. I would take it to swallow water once a year to wash off the slime using a nylon windshield debugging pad.
    Never a problem.
     
  11. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    I had one once that had a little hole in it and didnt want to mess with welding it so i put a rubber washer on a self tapping screw and screwed it into the hole , it worked .
    if it in a brace connection the you should weld it.
     
  12. crackers

    crackers New Member

    Messages:
    296
    State:
    Arkansas
    You may already know this and where your going to get it fixed at should too,but do not put more than
    3 or 4 psi in it when looking for you leak or any time for that matter you will split the tube wide open. Just letting you know...
     
  13. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I think mark is talking about the electrolysis problem from most docks not being grounded/wired properly. It will eat the aluminum alive. Local volunteer fire dept bought a VERY expensive ($100K+) all aluminum fire boat, that is kept in a slip and they cant even keep paint on it because of the electrolysis....i.e. the aluminum is turning to powder and the paint has nothing solid left to hold on to. You dont have this problem with fiberglass boats, because they aren't metal.
     
  14. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    that is easily fixed with a couple zink anodes mounted to the aluminum,cheap and easy to use the contaminates will attack the zink and leave the aluminum alone,just replace the sacrificial annodes every year or two as needed. Yeah 1.5 to 2 lbs pressure is way enough to find leaks, we popped out a 1 million gallon stainless steel tank that was suction crushed because someone decided to empty it out without opening a vent,it took 1/2 lb of air pressure to really straighten it up except for the bad creases in a couple spots.
     
  15. linedrager

    linedrager Member

    Messages:
    174
    State:
    ky
    put a large hole in my toon in the ohio a couple years back, made me sick, pulled the metal back out level and had a guy tig weld it, cost me a hole $75.00, no problems since, could also be mig welded but a tig seams to do a nicer weld with less distortion.