How to Fix a Leaking Seam or Rivet on Aluminum Boat
As aluminum boats age they show various signs of wear and tear. One of these signs may be a leaking seam or rivet. Over time, rivets can stretched and loosen, causing a gap in the hull integrity and this results in a leak. The solution to this problem is fairly simple and may be fixed at home using just a few tools and know-how. So, how should this problem be addressed?
Locate the Leaking Rivet or Seam
The first step is to find the exact seam or rivet that needs repair. To do this, put the boat in water and observe carefully. You could also put water inside the boat and see where it allows the water to escape from.
Assess the Damage
The second step is assessing the extent of damage to the rivet or seam. If the seam is too wide to be filled or caulked, it will need additional rivets in combination with a sealant product. If the damage is easily visible a sealant or caulk will be sufficient.
Choose a Sealant or Epoxy Product
There are hundreds of products out there that claim to fix leaks and seal cracks. How do you know which to choose? The Bottom Paint Store has done most of the hard work for you and can confidently recommend 3 products that really work.
PRODUCT NAME is an excellent product to repair aluminum hulls. We recommend getting one of the PRODUCT NAME WITH LINK that will contain everything you need for filling in the aluminum. PRODUCT NAME is a versatile product that can be used for many other application too. Everyone should own this kit!
The second is PRODUCT NAME WITH LINK. This sealant may take a long time to cure (1 to 3 days), but it results in a waterproof, rubber seal that will adhere to almost anything. It can also be applied underwater for emergency repairs!
The third option is PRODUCT NAME WITH LINK made by COMPANY. This liquid epoxy is more flexible and versatile than regular epoxies and will adhere to almost any surface. The bond that it creates can absorb shock, vibration, expansions and contractions. It will fully cure in 24 hours. Also, COMPANY has created a detailed and comprehensive set of instructions for a wide variety of applications.
If your hull is bare aluminum you can cover the entire surface with a high build epoxy primer to help seal and protect it such as PRODUCT NAME WITH LINK. For application details see our link for How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat.
Now that your leaky rivets and seams have been repaired, you are ready to paint! Check out this How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat for more information on how to paint your aluminum vessel.