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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to find a reputable place that repairs aluminum boats. If you know of a place please let me know.

Yesterday while out fishing on the DR I found a cracked support in my bow that is riveted to the hull of my '86 Sea Nymph FM145. I suspect that once I pull up the floor in the front of the boat that the support next to the crack one will also be cracked because when looking at the bottom of the hull there's a crease going across the spot where the cracked support is & it runs to the next support.

I don't plan to take the boat out again until I get it fixed because I don't want to chance the hull cracking as well. I had noticed when I was riding in the front that the floor seemed to move/flex a little when we would hit a wave & now I know why.
 

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my buddy had his welded at i think 12 and groesbeck, any aluminum welder can fix it. you got to tear out the whole interior and get to it from the inside, than the welder will take over and patch it. next few times out leave that spot exposed just incase there is a flex spot that is causeing a weak spot so you can have more spots re inforced before thinking everything is 100% and safe. When looking for the best person to repair aluminum, don't look for a good boat place, look for a good aluminum welder because not every welder can do aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I'm better off having the support replaced. I'm not so sure it can be welded while it's riveted to the hull itself.

It pisses me off because I just got a new motor for it last year & a new sonar/gps.
 

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Can you find a support to replace the broken one? Once you have a replacement you just drill out the rivets and replace the support and rivet it back together using a pneumatic hammer and bucking bar. I replaced about 70 rivets on my Starcraft and it really was not that big a deal. The toughest thing was getting the interior out and then back in which took a day out and a day putting it back in. The structural repairs themselves were pretty simple. Just need someone on the bucking bar while you hammer the rivets in pneumatically. If you are handy at all it's a weekend job start to finish. I was a bit nervous about tackling it myself but after doing the repairs it really was no problem at all.

If you can't find a replacement support you could probably get the existing supports welded after taking them out of the boat. I drilled the old rivets out with a 3/16 bit. The rivets are aluminum so they drill out pretty easily.

I know you were looking for a boat repair place to do the job. I mention repairing it yourself because the estimates I got for repairing my boat were about $1200. I did it myself for about $300 which included the cost of the tools and new marine plywood for the floor. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE(canaller @ Jul 30 2009, 03:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can you find a support to replace the broken one? Once you have a replacement you just drill out the rivets and replace the support and rivet it back together using a pneumatic hammer and bucking bar. I replaced about 70 rivets on my Starcraft and it really was not that big a deal. The toughest thing was getting the interior out and then back in which took a day out and a day putting it back in. The structural repairs themselves were pretty simple. Just need someone on the bucking bar while you hammer the rivets in pneumatically. If you are handy at all it's a weekend job start to finish. I was a bit nervous about tackling it myself but after doing the repairs it really was no problem at all.

If you can't find a replacement support you could probably get the existing supports welded after taking them out of the boat. I drilled the old rivets out with a 3/16 bit. The rivets are aluminum so they drill out pretty easily.

I know you were looking for a boat repair place to do the job. I mention repairing it yourself because the estimates I got for repairing my boat were about $1200. I did it myself for about $300 which included the cost of the tools and new marine plywood for the floor. Good luck.

Where at can I get the rivets?

A $1,200 repair job isn't worth it for this boat. I'd be better off selling the motor & trailer by themself & scrapping the boat.
 

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I bought rivets at a Starcraft dealer. They were pennies a piece. I think there is another thread on where to buy rivets. I didn't want to spend too much either which is why I did it myself. The boat has not leaked a drop since the new rivets were installed.
 

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QUOTE(canaller @ Jul 30 2009, 12:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I bought rivets at a Starcraft dealer. They were pennies a piece. I think there is another thread on where to buy rivets. I didn't want to spend too much either which is why I did it myself. The boat has not leaked a drop since the new rivets were installed.

My boat doesn't leak but in order to take out the support to repair/replace it I'll have to remove a lot of rivets. I'm going to need to think about what I really wan to do. I would hate to be without a boat during the fall musky bite. I had planned to buy a new boat next spring but thanks to the Governor, that's not going to happen now.


I'll try to post a picture of the damage later on.
 

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A picture would be a big help. I mentioned the no leaks just to show you can drill out the rivets and replace them and maintain hull integrity. If you decide to tackle the job send a message. I can give you a list of what you need and have the tools. Maybe we could work something out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I pulled the floor up & there's only 1 support that's cracked. I think I might just have it welded.

 

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Looks like welding it might just work. Just want to make sure the "flexing" is taken care of. Good luck with it. Wonder how that happened. My boat needed new rivets because the previous owner was a maniac. Not sure what happened there on yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE(canaller @ Jul 30 2009, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looks like welding it might just work. Just want to make sure the "flexing" is taken care of. Good luck with it. Wonder how that happened. My boat needed new rivets because the previous owner was a maniac. Not sure what happened there on yours.

I'm not sure how or when it happened. It may have been when I was out by myself on Houghton lake running full speed with a nice chop on the water. The bow was pounding on the waves. Or it might have been when I let my buddy drive it on Anchor Bay while I rode up front & Afterwards I hurt for a week straight.
 

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You might want to try JB Weld or Metal Set Metal epoxy first. (not too expensive, and fast)

I think either brand, would get you thru as a band aid, and may work as a permanent fix.

I have used both brands, to seal cracked cylinder heads and blocks (external leaks) on my duck hunting rig, and also fixed cracks just like that in an old Alumacraft 16' tender boat. Been 10 years, still doesn't leak.

If you are going to have it welded..maybe Henry Smith & Co Propeller Repair or Johnnies Prop Shop, would be your best bet. Both shops are familiar with welding thin aluminum.
 

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QUOTE(Zib @ Jul 30 2009, 08:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(canaller @ Jul 30 2009, 03:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can you find a support to replace the broken one? Once you have a replacement you just drill out the rivets and replace the support and rivet it back together using a pneumatic hammer and bucking bar. I replaced about 70 rivets on my Starcraft and it really was not that big a deal. The toughest thing was getting the interior out and then back in which took a day out and a day putting it back in. The structural repairs themselves were pretty simple. Just need someone on the bucking bar while you hammer the rivets in pneumatically. If you are handy at all it's a weekend job start to finish. I was a bit nervous about tackling it myself but after doing the repairs it really was no problem at all.

If you can't find a replacement support you could probably get the existing supports welded after taking them out of the boat. I drilled the old rivets out with a 3/16 bit. The rivets are aluminum so they drill out pretty easily.

I know you were looking for a boat repair place to do the job. I mention repairing it yourself because the estimates I got for repairing my boat were about $1200. I did it myself for about $300 which included the cost of the tools and new marine plywood for the floor. Good luck.

Where at can I get the rivets?

A $1,200 repair job isn't worth it for this boat. I'd be better off selling the motor & trailer by themself & scrapping the boat.


jay-cee sales and rivet inc. 32861 Chelsy Drive, Farmington, MI 48336 (800)521-6777
or (248)478-2150 will have any rivet you need. I have a 1987 221 Hardtop Starcraft Islander and replaced many rivets while I was changing the floor out. I even ordered an pnematic aircraft rivet gun set complete with bucking tools from ebay. Makes changing out rivets effortless as long as you have a partner to hold the bucking tool while you rivet.
 

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QUOTE(Zib @ Jul 30 2009, 07:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I pulled the floor up & there's only 1 support that's cracked. I think I might just have it welded.



That's not bad at all Zib. It can be welded easily. Personally, I'd look for someone who can TIG weld it. Otherwise a mig welder is almost as good. But that's my personal preference, i have nothing to back it up.
 

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tig all the way, if you want it done right, Tig it. i previously worked at an aircraft fab shop. we had to weld some guys duck boat from KUKA Robotics, the guy was spudding the ice out, LOL i really dont need to say more, but when he was done, it had about 25 holes all over.

i even made him a nice camo paint for it, it looked great
 
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