Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Fixing your tin boat
Okay the ol stump jumper is getting a little long in the tooth but you just can't swing $800.00 for a new hull, and that hole in the bottom is sure enough making your friends concerned to the point that they won't go with you anymore. So what do you do with this kind of problem? Well if the rivets are the source of the problem then you only have one recourse and that is to tighten up every rivet in the boat. Not only the ones leaking but all of them. When you tighten only one you cause another one to leak, and start on the keel and and work your way to the chines. A small air compressor and a rivet setting tool with a bucking bar, a good friend, and a place to work make the job one you can do in an afternoon if you keep at it. Now hearing protection is def, needed here as the one inside the hull with the bucking bar is going to get a lot of continuous noise. While the person on the outside takes the pneumatic rivet setting tool the person on the inside holds the bucking bar against the rivet, and when you pull the trigger the noise is going to be loud. Start dead center of the boat and work your way fore and aft, port and starboard. It will not take a lot of effort to reset the rivets and the work goes quick. If you have a hole in the hull you can patch it with a piece of aluminum and some set rivets. But make sure the aluminum is of a grade suitable for salt water immersion if not it will be consumed very quickly by the sea. If you can find a old aluminum boat you might be able to cut out a piece with a zip wheel in a drill end grinder, or jig saw. Cut the patch at least two inches larger than the repair, and drill four holes in each of the corners, use a good silicone and coat one side with a even coating. but not real thick. The silicone will act like an adhesive and hold the part in place while you drill the holes thru the boat and put in the rivets. Drill out the corner holes and insert the four rivets, and set these first. Now drill the next hole and set that rivet. Do this for every rivet, one hole one rivet until you finish that quarter. Then go to the opposite quarter and do the same thing until you have all the rivets set and the patch securely in place. after using the boat a couple of time tighten up the repair if necessary. Now naturally if you are taking this boat out in the sound or ocean I would not do this type of repair, but for your flounder pounder or frog gigger this should work fine.