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Thread: How do I fix this riveted boat??

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    Default How do I fix this riveted boat??

    I recently got a 16 ft monarch... it is a flat bottom boat that is riveted. There are quite a few leaky rivets that have a lot of cold epoxy and bottom paint on them. i plan on flipping it over and wire wheeling the whole affected bottom area. then drill out the rivets that are questionable and use truss head stainless screws and nylocks w/ washers and a dab of 5200 . Then etch prep the whole bottom and use liberal amounts of Gluvit to seal up the imperfections. then primer and bottom paint. Then have the welder beef up the transom and a riser for the 70 hp jet.... The boat will be ran in saltwater to get to the rivers, thus the bottom paint.......Does this sound like a good plan ........ is there a better way.???? ANy and all advice /comments welcome...Thanks guys!!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Any decent boat shop will be able to replace the leaking rivets for you....
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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Once you get it clean, you can tighten up the rivets, may need a helper to hold the buckin bar....or install new rivets.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    I don't know if you really need the paint over the Gluvit or not. If your just looking for color you can have pigment added to the gluvit to put color into it. Home Depot added color to the gluvit I put on my drift boat for free however they nor myself thought about the gluvit being more clear than white so the pigment added turned the gluvit black rather than gray. It was not a big deal to me but keep that in mind if you choose to go this route. Sounds like you have a good plan already.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Just wondering why you need bottom paint if you dont leave it moored in the ocean? Or maybe you do?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Thanks guys for the help, maybe i'll do the pigment to the gluvit...should I replace the rivets with new or use the screws?????The screws are stronger but with a riveted boat isn't the whole idea that the whole thing flexes?? ..TAIGA..no offense to the boat shops in Juneau, but I am pretty sure there are no decent boat shops in Juneau.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    The idea behind riveted construction is that it allows a very light yet strong construction, not necessarily that it flexes. Each individual rivet connection is itself not intended to allow any motion, but quite the contrary; motion at a rivet joint is the result of age or abuse induced working, which ultimately results in leakage... In practical terms, replacing a few rivets with screws won't make any difference either way. Personally tho, unless there's some really strong compelling reason not to, I'd stick with rivets, but that's just me because I like to do things "right"...
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosscoak View Post
    ...I am pretty sure there are no decent boat shops in Juneau.
    Difficult to believe, but I'll have to take your word for it.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    There are float planes in Juneau, the A&P's working on floats can fix you up....put the boat up on saw horses. Put enough water in the boat to cover the riveted bottom. Get underneath and mark a circle around every leaking rivet. Centerpunch the head of the leaking rivet and drill it out without making the hole bigger. If the hole is bigger fill it with the next size up rivet. The guys at the airplane shop have solid aluminum rivets and the tools to install them. They will also know what sealant to use to seal them(if needed).....
    I would not use steel fasteners in an aluminum boat if I could avoid it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    There are float planes in Juneau, the A&P's working on floats can fix you up....put the boat up on saw horses. Put enough water in the boat to cover the riveted bottom. Get underneath and mark a circle around every leaking rivet. Centerpunch the head of the leaking rivet and drill it out without making the hole bigger. If the hole is bigger fill it with the next size up rivet. The guys at the airplane shop have solid aluminum rivets and the tools to install them. They will also know what sealant to use to seal them(if needed).....
    I would not use steel fasteners in an aluminum boat if I could avoid it....
    I'd have to agree with using a float repair guy. And as for the steel fasteners with an aluminum hull - - - it's NEVER a good idea to use dissimilar metals, especially in a salt environment.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Replacing rivets is not a big deal, they make a tool that goes in a air hammer that will make quick work of it.
    A rivet is actually stronger and seals better that a bolt, when the rivet is set it expands inside the hole and contacts the edges of the hole sealing far better than a bolt will...........maybe you already know all this?..........
    It might seem like a daunting project and bolts might appear to be a quick solution..........but I would go with rivet, they made em that way for a reason...............have you considered just resetting them? Or maybe the holes are really wallered out?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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    How I used to do mine - put the boat on sawhorses and fill with 3-4" of water. Climb underneath and mark the leaky rivets then drain the boat. Using a friend and a pair of 2# hammers, locate the top of the correct rivets and have your friend simply hold his hammer against the top of the rivet while you give it a couple relatively gentle whacks with your hammer from underneath. Repeat with all leaks. I used to do this every other year or when I started noticing annoying amounts of water getting in and it works like a charm. If the leak continues on the same rivet, drill it out and change it.
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    Have you ever seen the aluminum alloy what you can solder with a torch? I have a welded aluminum boat, but the keel has a few rivets. It also had a small hole in the hull where the trailer had rubbed it wrong over the years before I bought it. I used this stuff and it worked great. If you are interested pm me and I'll look for the link.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I would replace the rivets with new ones. Keep it simple is best. http://www.bullfrogrivet.com/ I have used these before and they work great.

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    Good advice...thanks all!! I ordered some closed blind rivets from hanson rivets in california. After reading up on gluvit, it appears I will need to be sure and prime and paint over it so that UV rays don't break it down and I can get maximun life out of it and not have to do it every few years.....THanks for your input!!

    rosscoak

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Lol, it's a riveted boat, trust me if you use it much it will leak a bit every couple of years. Go with a welded (and much heavier...) if you want something that will be tight for years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosscoak View Post
    Good advice...thanks all!! I ordered some closed blind rivets from hanson rivets in california. After reading up on gluvit, it appears I will need to be sure and prime and paint over it so that UV rays don't break it down and I can get maximun life out of it and not have to do it every few years.....THanks for your input!!

    rosscoak
    Blind rivet...? sounds like you may have bought a pop-rivet......?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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    I lined the inside of my boat with brush on truck bed lining and it don't leak a bit. Looks a little ugly but does the trick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Replacing rivets is not a big deal, they make a tool that goes in a air hammer that will make quick work of it.
    Never ever drive rivets with an air hammer. An air hammer and a pneumatic rivet gun are NOT the same tool. (That's an early lesson in A&P School.)

    An air hammer is designed to cut through muffler pipes and break stuff apart, etc. The pounding action is much harder than on a 4x rivet gun, and the cyclic rate is much faster and more erratic than on a rivet gun, making it difficult for the precise control needed to drive rivets. Rivet guns don't cost much more than an air hammer, so use the right tool for the job and get better results.

    Also, "blind rivet" does not necessarily mean "pop rivet" although a pop rivet is a type of blind rivet. There are some very good blind rivets out there that are high strength and high quality. (Cherry Max comes to mind.) I would discourage anyone from buying pop rivets at home despots for use on a boat.

    I also agree with the idea of taking it to a general aviation shop that has a well reputed sheet metal mechanic. Also, another good sealant to use, especially in a pinch or to seal small, non-structural, areas and leaks is PRC1422B-1/2. We use it for sealing all sorts of panels and window assemblies. It's chemical resistant and remains flexible in extreme cold temperatures, which means it holds a seal well as materials shrink and expand with temperature changes. There is another p/n, I don't recall the number at the moment, that is used specifically for in wing fuel cell sealant. You can buy it at Aviall, near ANC International Airport, probably at Stoddards on Merril Field, any number of online-vendors, and I would be surprised if there was none to be had in Juneau.

  20. #20

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    I would really try to avoid spending waaay too much time (and money) with Gluvit and prep time. Prep work for fastesters is very tedious too. Nothing wrong with just cleaning off the bad spots with a wire wheel, clean with acetone or brakleen, and use JB weld. Or just wire wheel your leaky rivets, spray with brakleen and weld them sealed. That's what I would do.

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