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Old 04-23-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
Cardinal
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Default Aluminum Boat Patchwork Help/Advice

Grabbed a wide 14 foot jon boat with a title for cheap on Craigslist...I knew going in that it had a leak, but figured I could give a patch a shot. May have been a little optimistic...

The whole hull is sound minus a spot about 6-10" from the transom, where the gas tank would sit, and was really the only place it leaked.

I took the grinder to the gobs of silicone, flex seal and JB weld to see what I was dealing with, rather than just add to that mess. This is about where I got before the grinder grabbed the edge of the crack and pulled it open some more. I basically left it at that over the weekend, and Easter and T-ball have kept us busy since.

I've got clean aluminum on the bottom of the boat. Obviously some JB weld still on the inside hull on this picture, you can see a lot of that gunk in the channel.

Any advice GS? Keep grinding this off and then braze the aluminum? Rivet a patch in? Fiberglass? just go back with JB weld?
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
TeamAmerica
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Is this spot flat? It almost looks 90 degrees but may be an illusion. I would get 2 pieces of 1/16th aluminum plate and make a sandwich patch. Fill the hole with marine jb weld sanded down as smooth as you can. Put a piece of rubber inner tube or marine 5200 between the patch and boat on both sides of the hole. Stainless bolts with nylon washers and locking nuts with nuts on the inside of the boat. DIY for sure.

Or pay someone to weld a patch on. Might be $150 but sometimes hard to find someone to do those small jobs.

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Old 04-23-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
texan16
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Why do they always crack on a corner and not a flat spot ??????? I would go from the outside, cut a patch about 2-3" bigger all around than the hole and pop rivet it on and then JB weld the outer edges of the patch.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:13 PM   #4
T-REX
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The best way is to weld a piece in, or you will sooner or later have a leak again
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:16 PM   #5
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Here's a better view...not sure a sandwhich patch would work right on this channel/corner.

I did consider finding a welder to take this but the first one I asked to take a look at it said he would have to charge more than it would likely be worth to me for a cheap little boat.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
tminc
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flex seal is the cheapest best quickest,or get it welded.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:22 PM   #7
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Our warehouse roof was in such bad shape you could see from inside to the outside - including through the rusted perlins.
Before we replaced it our roofer came in and "painted" this stuff on in a couple of light coats and built up a skin that you could still see through but water wasnt leaking in. That lasted about a year till he did the actual replacement.

I am trying some of this on a riveted flat bottom for our pond. Takes a week to dry and 2 weeks to completely cure. It remains flexible as far as I can tell.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
hog_down
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I used Flex Seal and regular JB Weld for a cheap jon boat I bought off here, and it has worked well.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:26 PM   #9
UncleBubba
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Stop by a welding/fab shop, I bet they'd patch it for around $50 or less.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
bowaddict40
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Do you now anybody with a mig welder you could borrow? Wouldnt take but a few minutes to weld a patch on.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:46 PM   #11
texaslammer
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friend of mine/ neighbor is a member on here. dont remember his screen name. Let me find it. Him and his dad build all kinds of aluminum stuff and i bet he could fix it for you. They work in crosby tx
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:57 PM   #12
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id take a piece of alum angle and run a fat bead of silicone before drilling it to the corner with short self tapping screws. Trim down screws outside and put silicone on ends to seal and cover sharp screw

remember you are dealing with a jon boat here... not a high dollar yacht.. just make it functional and dry
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:04 PM   #13
MadHatter
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Fluxless brazing rods. All you need is a propane torch.
I have fixed a ton of aluminum with them, and it flat out works.
For that spot, it's as good as welding.
If there's any flex, JB weld will last not time.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:09 PM   #14
hogslayer78
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It's not going to be cheap to have welded unless you have a buddy with a tig or spool gun. That crack is going to be full of whatever they used to seal it and isn't going to want to weld worth a crap.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogslayer78 View Post
It's not going to be cheap to have welded unless you have a buddy with a tig or spool gun. That crack is going to be full of whatever they used to seal it and isn't going to want to weld worth a crap.
Truth. That whole area will need to be sanded down to clean aluminum. The crack will need to be clean as well if itís to be welded. I might would try marineweld epoxy first, but the surfaces still need to be clean. I might make a suggestion and take a 3/32 drill bit and drill thru each end of the crack to stop it from spreading. Then weld or epoxy both sides.
If you ever own an aluminum canoe and abuse it , you learn how to fix it
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:27 PM   #16
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Here you go. Get the aluminum CLEAN, use a new brush, clean with acetone, don't overheat your aluminum. PM me your address and I'll send you a couple rods. You be sold for life, if you do it right, and that's not very hard to do .

https://youtu.be/2ACYV6dJTbk
https://youtu.be/3SBfP4_i1Go
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:46 PM   #17
Texas Grown
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Having done over 2,000 aluminum boat structural repairs and mods, JB Weld should be sued and burnt at the stake! It's a tig welder's nightmare!
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:01 AM   #18
Cardinal
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Thanks all for the advice and suggestions! My main concern is whatever solution I come to is reliable and doesn't fail. My boys (5 and 3) may run lines and fish with me on this thing and we'll all be wearing PFD's, but it still worries me because of them.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:13 AM   #19
Cardinal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
remember you are dealing with a jon boat here... not a high dollar yacht.. just make it functional and dry
This is my mindset, as long as functional and dry also means reliable/safe... I am not trying to drop a bunch of coin on a boat that I spent more time and effort tracking the title down on and getting registered than what I spent on it, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by texaslammer View Post
friend of mine/ neighbor is a member on here. dont remember his screen name. Let me find it. Him and his dad build all kinds of aluminum stuff and i bet he could fix it for you. They work in crosby tx
Thanks for the offer! Crosby is a bit far for me to haul this thing right now (working on the trailer as well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHatter View Post
Fluxless brazing rods. All you need is a propane torch.
I have fixed a ton of aluminum with them, and it flat out works.
For that spot, it's as good as welding.
If there's any flex, JB weld will last not time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHatter View Post
Here you go. Get the aluminum CLEAN, use a new brush, clean with acetone, don't overheat your aluminum. PM me your address and I'll send you a couple rods. You be sold for life, if you do it right, and that's not very hard to do .

https://youtu.be/2ACYV6dJTbk
https://youtu.be/3SBfP4_i1Go
When I bought the boat and knew it had a small leak, I looked into this. I actually bought the rods...have the torch...but the inside of the hull is just so caked in JB weld, I'm not sure if I could ever get to the bare aluminum without sanding/grinding off more than I should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBubba View Post
Stop by a welding/fab shop, I bet they'd patch it for around $50 or less.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowaddict40 View Post
Do you now anybody with a mig welder you could borrow? Wouldnt take but a few minutes to weld a patch on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogslayer78 View Post
It's not going to be cheap to have welded unless you have a buddy with a tig or spool gun. That crack is going to be full of whatever they used to seal it and isn't going to want to weld worth a crap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar View Post
Truth. That whole area will need to be sanded down to clean aluminum. The crack will need to be clean as well if itís to be welded. I might would try marineweld epoxy first, but the surfaces still need to be clean. I might make a suggestion and take a 3/32 drill bit and drill thru each end of the crack to stop it from spreading. Then weld or epoxy both sides.
If you ever own an aluminum canoe and abuse it , you learn how to fix it
I finally got a text back from a friend of a friend that does aluminum work late last night. His suggestion was to prep it as much as I could, get as much of the JB weld off. He told me he could patch it with a weld and account for any additional prepping for a $100 bill.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
Thanks all for the advice and suggestions! My main concern is whatever solution I come to is reliable and doesn't fail. My boys (5 and 3) may run lines and fish with me on this thing and we'll all be wearing PFD's, but it still worries me because of them.
If your kids are going to be in it. Don't cheap out, take it to a welder let him throw some beads down on the outside. Our jet boats had one similar but way worse. They just filled the crack a few times. Cost $85, which is what they charge per hour. Shouldn't take them more than an hour to fix this, a good welder anyways.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:08 PM   #21
fowlwaters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaslammer View Post
friend of mine/ neighbor is a member on here. dont remember his screen name. Let me find it. Him and his dad build all kinds of aluminum stuff and i bet he could fix it for you. They work in crosby tx
Thanks Aaron
I weld aluminum but stay away from old rivited boats they are very thin and do not weld good. Aluminum um changes with age and makes for bigger problems then it's worth. Would not recommend mig welding it. Only advise I could give you on this is drill a hole at each end of the crack and like others said JB weld and I hate the stuff or cut your losses and scrap it and leson learned.
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:19 PM   #22
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Flex seal. Lol
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