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Old 05-29-2007, 05:58 PM   #1
moose tracks
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Default Sealing a leaky aluminum boat

I have a 12-foot Aluminum Jon boat, which I use for fishing. Last season it started leaking. It seems to be coming from the seams or rivets. I think I need to seal the rivets with something or paint the boat. Can anyone recommend a good fix or good product? My wet feet will thank you.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:52 PM   #2
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Default

I've had the same problem in the past and unfortunately I've found the best solution to be re-riveting. Interested to see if anyone's come up with something easier.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Default Sink it! Again and Again

I too have a 14' Sears Aluminum boat and when it developed leaks I turned it into the "no more than 12' off the shore boat". My kids, and some day grandchildren have learned to handle a swamped boat with this vessel. It leaks like a sieve, and after about a 1/2 hour afloat it starts to sink rapidly. The kids have had fun sinking, then resurrecting the "blueberry". It's all "rivet" leaking but I spent close to cost of the boat to re-rivet in the late 80's and I know that it will be more than double the money to do it again. Make it your "sinkable boat", the kids will love it and they'll learn from the experience.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #4
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I have the same problem. I identify the leaky areas, turn the boat over (and let it dry out) and then seal it with . . . hmmm . . . can't remember what it's called but it is some kind of marine-grade caulking. They sell it at most marinas; I think I bought mine at the Glendale Marina. It is clear in color and you smear it on. It hardens within 24 hours but does not become stiff; so far it hasn't cracked. It has been a cheap solution for something I don't want to sink any more time or money into.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:47 PM   #5
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VIP Auto in Laconia sells pickup truck bed liner coating. It is basically very thick black paint that cleans up with lacquer thinner and makes a thick non-skid protective black surface. It should probably only be used on the dry inside of an aluminum boat hull. I have no idea if it works on the outside that gets wet, but have used it with good results on some loose rivets on the dry inside of a 33 year old 18' aluminum hull. It goes on with a brush or a roller, just like paint and it is expensive.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:49 PM   #6
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Try 5200 for bad leaks and spray on bedliner material for an overall sealing job. I have seen it work quite well before.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:20 AM   #7
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Lightbulb Capt Tolley's

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure Hairline Crack Sealer. (I bought it just because of the name).

At $8, it's a quick, easy, cheap and clean fix, and can be used on any dried surface or any applicaton, inside or out, fiberglass or aluminum, boat or RV.

It's available from West Marine catalog sales—among others—in 8-oz. or 2-oz. applicators. One source suggested using the 2-oz applicator, as it's got a smaller nozzle, and refill it with the 8-oz. ($13).



I've used this product on fiberglass cracks, though it will seal the smallest of leaks in most anything. According to the manufacturer, it is a copolymer, so it is thinner than water, and "wicks" into the smallest of cracks using capillary action. You can apply other sealers over it.

Last edited by ApS; 01-22-2013 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Fix photo...
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Default sealant

I have used a latex sealant on the aluminum cap of my truck and it worked well, I even used it on a sliced area. Clear silicone. If I was going to replace rivits, I would put this around the hole first.

I would think that if you dried the outside bottom of the boat, you could put that substance on that they put on truck bed liners. Its strong and durable, I think that would be worth a shot.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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Default Marine Tex

Looks like you've got some good options.
I've used Marine Tex on an older Starcraft that I owned.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:43 PM   #10
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Default been there done that!

Had the same trouble with a '66 Starcraft Jetstar. Problem being that boat had a floor. Anyway dad removed the floor and we put the boat in the water to see which rivits leaked. Once the leaks were spotted they were marked. With the boat on the trailer and one person under the boat and one inside the rivits were reset. Used a "BIG HAMMER AND DOLLY".

Or you can get a TIG welder and do away with the rivits.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure

Thanks everyone for taking the time to give me some ideas on how to seal my aluminum boat. I decided to go with the suggestion given to me by Acres per Second. He suggested I use Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure Hairline Crack Sealer. I checked out West Marine and they wanted $14.99 for 2 oz of the creeping crack cure. Online Marine wanted $12.99 for 8 oz. Guess who got my business. I will let everyone know how I made out after I seal the boat. Thanks Again,
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:09 PM   #12
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Wink What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtxrider
With the boat on the trailer and one person under the boat and one inside the rivits were reset. Used a "BIG HAMMER AND DOLLY".
Good thinking, but I'd include HEARING PROTECTION!
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:18 PM   #13
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Cool Maybe Read about It Here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Try 5200 for bad leaks and spray on bedliner material for an overall sealing job. I have seen it work quite well before.
I heard that the State of New Hampshire has only this month used the spray-on bedliner repair on its aluminum boats!

(On the inside—which is what you probably meant.)
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:25 PM   #14
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Default Cabela's aluminum boat patch

Check out Cabela's for their aluminum boat patch. Its a plastic-like 3M product that melts onto the bottom of the boat. Flip the boat over, sand down the area around the leaky rivet and apply the patch by heating up the area with a blow torch. The patch will melt right onto the metal and cover the leaky rivet. I have an old Alumicraft that had several leaky rivets and cracks. The patch worked great. The web link is very long so I recommend that you go to cabelas.com and search for "boat patch". Costs $6.99 plus shipping.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:38 PM   #15
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Another easy fix is to use leak-fixer washers.These things are aluminum washers with a rubber surface on one side that get bolted with something like a 8-24 stainless machine screw and stop nut to seal up a hole in the hull.

Go check with Jeb Bradley at Bradley Hardware in Wolfeboro, and he'll fix you right up.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:43 AM   #16
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Wink A Reminder...

Quote:
Originally Posted by moose tracks View Post
Thanks everyone for taking the time to give me some ideas on how to seal my aluminum boat. I decided to go with the suggestion given to me by ApS. He suggested I use Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure Hairline Crack Sealer. I checked out West Marine and they wanted $14.99 for 2 oz of the creeping crack cure. Online Marine wanted $12.99 for 8 oz. Guess who got my business. I will let everyone know how I made out after I seal the boat. Thanks Again,
When bored, I go to this forum's Who's on Line link: http://winnipesaukee.com/forums/online.php and see what really old links are being reviewed: member moose tracks is still posting this week, so I thought I'd toss out this reminder:

How'd Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure Hairline Crack Sealer work in this aluminum boat application?

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:12 AM   #17
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How about that guy on TV that replaces the bottom of a Row Boat with a screen door? I've seen that stuff at Wally Mart at the check out. Seriously there's that stuff and the name escapes me right now but you mix it in two parts and it dries hard as metal. You can sand and I believe even drill through it when cured. I stopped an oil leak on a riding mower with it going on about 5 years now. It stands up to the heat of the engine also. If you smeared the Rivets inside and out bet it would stop the water. The name will come to me one of these days, Home Depot sells it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #18
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Default Jb weld

I would try useing JB Weld. it is a 2 part expoy and dries really hard and grey in color. I have used this stuff to fix a wide range odf items
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witchboat View Post
I would try useing JB Weld. it is a 2 part expoy and dries really hard and grey in color. I have used this stuff to fix a wide range odf items
Bingo - that's what I was thinking of.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpg View Post
How about that guy on TV that replaces the bottom of a Row Boat with a screen door? I've seen that stuff at Wally Mart at the check out. Seriously there's that stuff and the name escapes me right now but you mix it in two parts and it dries hard as metal. You can sand and I believe even drill through it when cured. I stopped an oil leak on a riding mower with it going on about 5 years now. It stands up to the heat of the engine also. If you smeared the Rivets inside and out bet it would stop the water. The name will come to me one of these days, Home Depot sells it.
What they don't tell you about the screen door rowboat is that each of those big-ass cans barely contains any actual product. It would probably cost more to coat the bottom of the boat than it would to just buy a new boat. (typical coverage area is about 4sq ft.).

Google "flex seal reviews", skipping past the ones that are obviously sock-puppets you see that the general reviews for it are not that great.
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