Aluminum is a highly durable material commonly used for making boats. It is also sturdy and less likely to leak from gashes. However, it can leak somewhere around the seams and rivets. Amongst the possible causes are wear and tear and collision. These problems can be solved more easily by learning more about aluminum boat repair.
This particular task can be described as moderate. The materials needed for this one include a putty knife and a 3M 5200 sealant. In addition, be sure to have a tape or paint for marking the damages in the boat. Aside from these, it can help to have raised supports to make things easier. Once you have these items, you can start right away with the repair.
It is very important to locate the main source of the leak. In order to do this, you have to put the boat in the water. It is easier to identify the leak when the boat is dry so wipe it first before placing it in the water. With that, you can easily see the source of water. To be sure that all the leaks are found, you can ask the help of another person.
An alternative method of finding leaks is to put the boat on a sawhorse, trailer or any kind of raised support as long as the area below is open. Put lots of water inside the boat. You can fill the boat if you want and then wait for water to leak below. Get a tape or paint and then mark every leak both outside and inside. Before fixing the leaks, it is very important to clean the surface first thoroughly.
Put 3M 5200 sealant on each of the leaks that you have marked earlier. You can ensure a tight seal by putting significant amount of the sealant on the outer and inner parts of the boat. This type of sealant is applied commonly like caulk. Get the putty knife and then use it to smooth out the sealant on the surface of every leak. With this, you can create a durable seal that can last for numerous years to come.
Before putting the boat on top of the water, you have to let the sealant dry up first. Likewise, the sealant must also be cured.
Additional Tips and Other Helpful Information
In case the leak is coming from under the seat, it can be patched from the outer part of the aluminum boat. Never forget to clean the surface of the aluminum before applying the sealant. This is important so as not to compromise the efficiency of the sealant. In case the hole or gash is more than an inch in diameter, it is best to take the boat to a welding shop for repair.