The final voyage of the S.S. Sieve. a.k.a. welded aluminum boats, are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Jimmy Don, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Jimmy Don

    Jimmy Don Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    Arkansas
    My wife and I went fishing in our old aluminum flatbottom yesterday. It doesn't so much float anymore as it is in a state of controlled sink (thank god for the bilge pump). We decided it is time for a new boat. I am sick of patching rivets and holes in the old thing.

    I am wanting to get away from a riveted boats, but as we all know they are quite a bit higher (I've found about $1000-$1400 difference in the two with all other things equal).

    Are the welded boats worth the difference?
     
  2. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    For me it is. but it depends on what boat your looking at also.
    Pete
     

  3. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

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    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    Yes...Yes...I mean Yes. really you answer your own question already. Remember saying this ( I'm tried of fixing rivets and holes ) Go welded you won't be sorry. A rivet will never cause you a problem if you don't have any.
     
  4. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    Rivets suck welded rules.
     
  5. AllenM

    AllenM Guest

    How to you "weld" aluminum? You have to use a brazing rod with an arc welder, don't you?
     
  6. paleocaver

    paleocaver New Member

    Messages:
    391
    State:
    USA
    To counter this attitude against rivets, we've fished out of rivetted baots for 25 years and I know of only one rivet that leaked. That was an old Cherokee V-bottom that was at least 20 years old. My current rig is an alumacraft 1448riveted. It's 10 years old and has averaged a trip a week. Still as dry as a cotton sack. I'm looking to buy a larger boat and have not thought twice about an alumacraft riveted jon.

    Just my opinion guys.
     
  7. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,521
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    have a neighbor that bought a 205 lund riveted he is still fighting the dealer leaks like a sieve aint no way he will buy rivited again I know i wont buy rivited had my fill of them over the years. if you buying a new boat buy welded its worth the extra couple of bucks
     
  8. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    My first boat, a 1973 Wards aluminum 14 ft semi V, was riveted. Had it almost 20 years.. no leaks! It was the only riveted boat I've owned.
     
  9. RRaider

    RRaider Guest

    AllenM, I used to weld aluminum for a company on government contracts. You use aluminum rods and a tig welder. Done correctly the weld is stronger than the material welded. No possible way rivets can come close.
     
  10. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    Go welded boat..look it over good i've seen new welded boats that looked like someone on third shift with no sleep and maybe drunk, must of welded it.:crazy:
     
  11. Steve

    Steve New Member

    Messages:
    274
    State:
    Indiana
    From 1990 to 98 I had a 18 foot Starcraft built in 1965. Never had a rivet leak in it.
    Steve
     
  12. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    I have a 1969 14ft simiV welded hull that's bone dry.I have hunted out of it and I have layed down in the bottom if the hull for a nap in very cold weather and stayed dry.
     
  13. Jimmy Don

    Jimmy Don Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    Arkansas
    Thanks for your input, I had already pretty much made up my mind to Bite the bullet and get one before I posted the question. I just wanted to hear a few more opinions on the matter.
     
  14. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    Jimmy Don,
    I have no doubt that my next aluminum boat will be all welded. I have a rivited 16' Alunacraft and I think the boat is about a 1969. It leaks a little but not to bad. I'm sure I could tighten a few rivets and get her bone dry again but it don't leak enough to bother me at this point. I have friends that own all welded boats and not matter what they put them through, they stay bone dry. They just seem to be stronger to me.
     
  15. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I have never owned an aluminum boat. All of mine have been fiber glass. I have owned one of those two man plastic boat that I used on Ponds. They are great for small bodies of water.
     
  16. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Now I wouldn't get in to big a hurry, after all your boat has some advantages that a bone dry welded boat wont have.First of all yours has to be way cooler in the summertime.Those dry,all welded metal boats get scorching hot where as yours all you have to do is slip off your shoes and soak your feet.You have a very large built in "Live Well" with positive flow and aeration.You don't even have to use a pump and risk running a battery down.Drop a bait ,no sweat its back in the live well.Want to keep your catch alive until you get home no sweat ;just unhook and drop it.Your boat stays way cleaner also.Did you ever see the mess night crawlers make on those scorching hot,bone dry welded boats,yours is virtually self cleaning.Finally you dont even have to cover your boat when it rains ,as all the water leaks back out.:big_smile: :lol: :smile2: So dont be in a hurry to buy one of those bone dry all welded boats without thinking things through.:big_smile:
     
  17. solomon

    solomon New Member

    Messages:
    735
    State:
    MS
    I think it depends on how the boats built. A riveted boat that strong enough to withstand twist from the motor and from movement in boat should be fine. Welded boats are usually made from a heavier guage metal and have plenty of braces.
     
  18. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    I have had both and I think that the welded boats are stronger.
     
  19. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    The above statement is correct.If done correctly any crack will usually be alongside the weld,as the heat affects the temper of the material.As for rivets,Some one needs to tell the aircraft manufactures,airlines,military,and the billions of people who have flown and managed to survive in spite of rivets.THINK! Each has it's advantages and disadvantages.Have you ever NOTICED the BARE HULL WEIGHT of each.WHY does one NEED to be heavier? It is not to conserve fuel or have the same speed with lower horsepower.Why does the old bent and dented heavy duty white water canoe that I own have rivets?Because it was made by GRUMMAN,and with their experience in aluminum,this was the STRONGEST method of construction they knew to stand up the pounding of rocks,while fully loaded in fast moving white water rivers.Aircraft or boats,people would DIE if their method of construction failed.My 23 year old,most seaworthy,commercially fished and abused on rock and shell boat is riveted. Welded boat manufactures condemn rivets.Many old rivet manufactures got on the bandwagon to sell boats.Each has it's advantages and disadvantages.The quality of the material and workmanship is the most important consideration of all.I own both.I have been satisfied with both.I have been dissatisfied with both.This is life.Nothing is perfect or has ALL the advantages.And yep,in the past I have welded and passed all of the welding and certification test for all methods and metals.I have worked with many types of aluminum and alloys from the navy to chemical plants.Now you know why I think the way I do about the joining of aluminum.peewee-williams