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Okay, so the grand adventure begins trying to get this boat fish-ready. I don't know if you guys remember, but I was the one looking for a trailer for a $50 fishing boat (still looking for that trailer, if anyone knows of someone wanting to get rid of a small trailer that will fit a 14' aluminum modified Vee fishing boat). Anyway, I cleaned up the boat, and did a careful inspection, and found a few problems: one small abrasion hole (less than 2 mm, I would say) on the bottom. A small crack in the keel (didn't even know these small boats HAD keels), a small crack of the aluminum along the top of the transom (somebody a little rough putting on an outboard?) and two of the structural ribs are cracked on the inside of the boat on the deck. These cracks seem minor and don't seem to impact the structural integrity of the boat. I did a quick search on the web as to how to repair aluminum, and I keep getting hits for these metal alloy rods that don't require a welding torch ( Dura Fix Aluminum Welding Aluminum Brazing Aluminum Soldering & Repair Rod ). anyone have any experience with this stuff? Is it worth the $50 or so to give it a try, or am I asking for trouble?
I haven't actually put the boat in the water yet, as I don't have the registration for the boat (turns out the legal owner of the boat is deceased, so I have to seek to register it as an abandoned vessel ). I suspect when I do, I am going to find some leaks in the seams. Do any of you know how you fix leaks in the seams? I would think it not such a good idea to weld up a seam on a riveted boat. Am I wrong?

Any help or guidance you guys can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Eric V
 

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Oh I've been there!

Don't waste your money on those rods. Aluminum is a hard metal to weld. It takes lots of practice. In the right hands, those rods might work but the right hands would want to use a MIG ot TIG welder anyhow.

I think the biggest problem you have is the ribs and yes they are critical for structural integrity. They will continue to work loose any remaining rivets in the hull. My advice is to take the boat to a reputable fabricator. (call a few first to see if they first can weld aluminum, second if they are interested in the job) I've done this a couple times with several boats that I have fixed up and sold. The most it ever cost me was a case of beer and I had to force the guy to take it. It wasn't a friend of mine that dd the work, just a place that I called to see if they could make the repairs. They should be be willing to help you out and if you take the time to have the areas that need welding, all cleaned, easy access, no gas can, and the areas wire brushed, you may be surprized at how cheap it really is to repair. If you can't get the boat welded properly, no offense, but I would think seriously about taking it to the scrap yard (from your description) you could probably get $200 for the aluminum right now and find something more workable.
 
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