Home Forums Fishing General Fishing Forum Hairline cracks in aluminum boat

Viewing 14 posts - 16 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    Quote by: TeamAsgrow

    I would look into epoxy fixes, save what you would pay a welder for your next boat, and fish it.

    Depending on what kind of quote I get from the welder I may just go this route. Either just smear it with epoxy or get my own torch and try to braze it shut. As I mentioned, the boat floats with a small bit of water getting in. It hasn’t been anything that can’t be fixed by running the bilge pump every few hours, but it isn’t a comforting thought to go out on the water knowing there are some cracks underneath.

    Avatarwapsigoose
    Participant
    Post count: 382

    Just to touch on your ” are there any good alum. boats ? ” Yes, I run an 18 ft. Polar craft C. G. bow with the 3 in. Ice ribs . My dad and I duck hunted this boat at lake Odessa 40 years ago running a 140 evinrude for power. Buck brush, logs, rocks you name it this boat has seen it all, still no leaks and I still fish out of it. We rebuilt the transom to handle the 140 and later extended the deck to more a bass boat style. It is one tough boat.

    Avatarstevenoak
    Participant
    Post count: 1172

    Ironically Tracker quality has improved substantially. While quality boats of the past like Starcraft ,Crestliner, Lund, and a lot of others have been purchased by huge conglomerates that use the well respected name. Cut the quality and keep the high prices. I bought a Starcraft the year they were sold out {early 90’s}. Managed to find a prior year model.The seams had two rows of rivets a half inch apart. The first year Brunswick built them they had one row farther apart. Alumacraft has been bought out. But by a company that at the time didn’t make other brands. They have seemed to be holding a good quality standard. I have a 2010 Navigator that is very well built. I have built and rebuilt metal things for over 45 years so I am kind of a tough sell when buying such things. My buddy fishes a lot. His new Lund had lots of loose and falling out screw and the seats fell apart the first year. Sad for a $30 k+ boat.

    oldstylelightoldstylelight
    Participant
    Post count: 1943

    Don’t put too much time and money into this old hull. There will be other cracks develop soon after “fixing it the right way” and then there you are pouring precious time and money into an endless pit.

    My advice and what I did with a similar boat (1860 seaark) was maybe twice a year or less, I would grab my 3 oz tube of “3M Marine Adhesive Sealant” and get a big glob on my finger. Wipe it over the crack and you are good until the next time you notice your bilge kick on a little too much while it is not even raining. This project takes about $13.99 for many applications and each application takes about 15 seconds.

    (I say to use this product because it flexes more than something like aluminox. Use this brand and nothing else. I learned this from my marina mechanic. Good stuff. The seal doesnt last long with aluminox after the boat flexes and then you have a big glob of aluminox covering the crack you keep trying to seal up)

    This crack is not big enough for any safety issue, so let it go.

    Avatarducpose
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    you will have a hard time finding someone to weld aluminum from below, it is dangerous as well are the brazing sticks from below. you will need to be able to turn the boat over to weld from the top and if you don’t cut out the foam you will have a fire. aluminum will drip. try some of the super epoxies ( jb weld and others) a lot have a higher tensile strength than the older aluminum boats and they are able to sand. Scotch bright or sand the area, degrease and use the epoxy you will be surprised how strong it is and if there is still a problem you can sand it off.. think of how well boundo flexes and works on car parts

    bowfisherbowfisher
    Participant
    Post count: 2213

    For what it is worth.

    If you are going to go the epoxy route, prior to applying the epoxy. Take a small drill bit and drill a hole at the end of each crack. This will halt the crack from growing. The apply your epoxy adequately. If the holes are not drilled the crack will continue to grow under the epoxy.

    Good luck!

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    Quote by: oldstylelight

    Don’t put too much time and money into this old hull. There will be other cracks develop soon after “fixing it the right way” and then there you are pouring precious time and money into an endless pit.

    My advice and what I did with a similar boat (1860 seaark) was maybe twice a year or less, I would grab my 3 oz tube of “3M Marine Adhesive Sealant” and get a big glob on my finger. Wipe it over the crack and you are good until the next time you notice your bilge kick on a little too much while it is not even raining. This project takes about $13.99 for many applications and each application takes about 15 seconds.

    (I say to use this product because it flexes more than something like aluminox. Use this brand and nothing else. I learned this from my marina mechanic. Good stuff. The seal doesnt last long with aluminox after the boat flexes and then you have a big glob of aluminox covering the crack you keep trying to seal up)

    This crack is not big enough for any safety issue, so let it go.

    Thanks for offering your input. I recall you mentioning you have done quite a bit of work on boats so I was hoping people like you would chime in. I think you and others have me convinced that I should just fill it with a sealant like you suggested and keep smearing it into the crack when needed. I don’t like the idea of some glob of epoxy on there building up and then cracking because it doesn’t flex then I will end up having to sand off or remove the epoxy and put on a new glob. I’m also somewhat worried that if I have it welded the weld will be stronger than the aluminum and more cracks will just show up around the weld. Then I will have spent a bunch of money on a more expensive repair that ends up requiring more repairs.

    Do you do any type of surface prep before putting on the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant such as sanding, scotch write, wire brush, acetone, etc.? If the sealant doesn’t work well enough I suppose I can always go back to looking at a brazing or welding fix.

    oldstylelightoldstylelight
    Participant
    Post count: 1943

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    Quote by: oldstylelight

    Don’t put too much time and money into this old hull. There will be other cracks develop soon after “fixing it the right way” and then there you are pouring precious time and money into an endless pit.

    My advice and what I did with a similar boat (1860 seaark) was maybe twice a year or less, I would grab my 3 oz tube of “3M Marine Adhesive Sealant” and get a big glob on my finger. Wipe it over the crack and you are good until the next time you notice your bilge kick on a little too much while it is not even raining. This project takes about $13.99 for many applications and each application takes about 15 seconds.

    (I say to use this product because it flexes more than something like aluminox. Use this brand and nothing else. I learned this from my marina mechanic. Good stuff. The seal doesnt last long with aluminox after the boat flexes and then you have a big glob of aluminox covering the crack you keep trying to seal up)

    This crack is not big enough for any safety issue, so let it go.

    Thanks for offering your input. I recall you mentioning you have done quite a bit of work on boats so I was hoping people like you would chime in. I think you and others have me convinced that I should just fill it with a sealant like you suggested and keep smearing it into the crack when needed. I don’t like the idea of some glob of epoxy on there building up and then cracking because it doesn’t flex then I will end up having to sand off or remove the epoxy and put on a new glob. I’m also somewhat worried that if I have it welded the weld will be stronger than the aluminum and more cracks will just show up around the weld. Then I will have spent a bunch of money on a more expensive repair that ends up requiring more repairs.

    Do you do any type of surface prep before putting on the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant such as sanding, scotch write, wire brush, acetone, etc.? If the sealant doesn’t work well enough I suppose I can always go back to looking at a brazing or welding fix.

    Ha Ha, I am far from the expert on boat repair, (my boat is in the shop now doing small projects I can’t or don’t have time for!). I have had experience with this, though.

    I would take bowfishers advice on drilling out a very small hole at the end of the cracks. Makes total sense. Kinda like when you rip the side of a bag of potatoe chips, you have to rip it back up to the top so the bag won’t rip apart! 🙂

    And all I ever did to clean the area was to wipe it down with some rubbing alcohol and it worked GOOD ENOUGH, but I tend to do such tasks fast, but GOOD ENOUGH!

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    I’ve read about drilling out the crack tips and it sounds like a good idea, but I am not sure if I want to put more holes in the boat that need to be filled! Like I mentioned, these are basically hairline cracks and drilling will make a hole bigger than the cracks. I will probably just mark off the location of the cracks with a permanent marker for the time being and keep an eye on it. If it looks like it is progressing somehow then I might think about doing something extra to keep it from becoming a bigger problem.

    Avatardelmuts
    Participant
    Post count: 525

    Trap; make certain you mark the end of the cracks,( scratch-all or something) so you will know if they are growing.

    Avatarmoonfish
    Participant
    Post count: 1038

    3m 5200 always sticks. You probably want to sand first. It is insane stuff. If you glue on a thin patch, the area won’t flex anymore, and it won’t crack more. It won’t come off. It is a “permanent” adhesive. It is made for boats, not kitchen and bath.

    Avatarmulespurs
    Participant
    Post count: 15

    I don’t think that you can braze aluminum. I think you better do some test spots before you start on the bottom of your boat. You could end up with a lot larger holes than you have now.

    I do not think that brass that you braze with is compatable with aluminum. Any brazing rod that I have worked with needs to be red hot to flow. I bet your aluminum will melt away before it is red hot. Massive mess potential I think.

    Your boat, you do whatever makes your day, be happy.

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    Quote by: mulespurs

    I don’t think that you can braze aluminum. I think you better do some test spots before you start on the bottom of your boat. You could end up with a lot larger holes than you have now.

    I do not think that brass that you braze with is compatable with aluminum. Any brazing rod that I have worked with needs to be red hot to flow. I bet your aluminum will melt away before it is red hot. Massive mess potential I think.

    Your boat, you do whatever makes your day, be happy.

    Yeah, all kinds of potential problems from heating aluminum if you don’t know what you are doing. I bought some 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 and decided I am just going to sand and/or wire brush the spots, wipe clean, and then smear some of that 3M 5200 adhesive into the crack. That ought to be better than nothing and from the reviews I’ve read that is a really good adhesive.

    Avatarmoonfish
    Participant
    Post count: 1038

    You could smush a little piece of aluminum on top of it and it would be…………… a patch. But you are probably going to just do the outside? Don’t get it on your clothes, don’t mess with the 5200 too much, it self levels quite a bit.

Viewing 14 posts - 16 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.