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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my first fishing boat this weekend from a marina (1999 Tracker). Dumped it into a lake. Ran thru the gauges and switches. Hit the bilge pump and to my SHOCK i pumped out 90 seconds of water. I was in the water for about an hour and pumped what i thought was at lot of water out.

I check the simple stuff: back plug was tight (rechecked), livewell water never went down, so no leaks from that, still leaked when i did not use livewell or any other features, still pumped water when it just sat at the dock, clamps i could see were tight.

Called the marina today. They said they fixed a rivet and i can bring it back in for them to look at it.

Prior to purchasing, i asked about a water test. No insurance, so a no go (marina was not by water also). What about leaks i asked. They noted that they put water in the boat and see if it leaks out. Ok, i thought,,, a diff approach than what i was thinking. Marina noted water test was done and no leaks (or what i now think is that it did leak that is why they fixed the rivet).

Question: If i assume only one leak that they "fixed" how can i verify a quaility job after their second repair? How did i know that they did not put a bandaid on it? I dont want to see a tube of chaulk on the ground when i pick it back up.

If possible, is this purchase something i should reconsider? Should i question the quality of the boat this boat or it this a somewhat common problem with alum boats?

Thanks for your help. Very frustrating!
 

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Cracked livewell hose? Perhaps it is more than one thing too. Rivets leak, plain and simple, especially if you use your boat on Clair.....

Mini
 

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QUOTE(John Maniaci @ Jun 28 2004, 01:08 PM)Cracked livewell hose? Perhaps it is more than one thing too. Rivets leak, plain and simple, especially if you use your boat on Clair.....

Mini
What's a rivet? Boats have them?
 

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What I have found to work best is that green stick, you clean the area around the the rivet with a wire brush apply the stick with a blow torch, melt the stick around the rivet. That stuff works great its like you welded it. Holds up forever. I have also heard you can have someone hold a hammer on one side, give the other side of the rivet a good smack to mushroom it out more. I like the green stick best. when you put the boat in the water look for the leak, circle it with a permanant majic marker now it's identified to fix later.

h2o<----nobody wants a leaky boat for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone's suggestions. Before bringing it back to the marina, I performed the same test that they said they did. I put water in the boat to make sure that I knew which rivet leaked so I could ensure a proper fix. I again was shocked when I found no less than 16 rivets all on or one level up from the keel. 16 rivets!!! I was furious! This is the same test that the marina said they did. I could not get that sinking feeling out of my stomach. Toss and turned all night long just thinking about the water almost streaming out of what looked to be a solid rivet in the front. I could not believe those rivets could leak that much.

But, all is good now. I called the marina and explained what I saw. With a slight hesitation, they gave me my full money back. What a relief. They noted that they are going to send the boat to Tracker for repairs to make sure it is "factor correct".

Buying this boat was one of the best diets I have been on in awhile,,, could not eat because of the excitement of the purchase, could not eat when in found it leaked, and almost lost my cookies when I saw so many rivets leaking. I think tonight is a good day for a all you can eat buffet dinner!!

Thanks again for letting me post, and replying to, a non-fishing question.
 

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Hey Basshawk,
Depending on the price you paid for the boat, leaky rivets can actually work in your favor. They can be used as a bargaining tool to drop the price. I have done it twice in my boating career and have had great success. Saved myself $1,000 on my first aluminum boat by pointing out the leaky rivets and having the owner feel bad.

After I got the boat home, I drilled out the rivets in question. I used a #11 drill bit to round the holes and installed 1/4" closed-end "Pop" style rivets to close the holes. I replaced 18 rivets on that boat and it cost me all of $6. ( Not including the drill bit. LOL) I used an aluminum rivet with a stainless steel mandrel, flush head. A box of 50 cost me $16 at the local industrial supply house. They looked great and no one ever asked about them, so they blended in pretty well. That boat could sit in the water for an entire weekend and the sand in the bilge area would be dusty. That's dry.

UFM82

Don't be afraid of rivets unless the metal is screwed up around the hole. If the rivet is just loose, it is easy to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That same thought crossed my mind. I have worked with rivets on non-boat projects (gutters, ladders, snow mobile tracks, misc other projects), but was not confident in my ability to do a proper repair on a boat that would take a pounding on the water. If there were only a couple, I would have thought longer about it,,, but with so many and right along the keel (ie in the water 100% of the time),,, I just did not want to chance it. However, I certainly appreciate your post which gives me something to think about while looking at future boats.
 
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