1973 12' Ouachita boat repair/restore

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Cheapshot, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Cheapshot
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Cheapshot Junior Member

    I recently inherited a 1973 Ouachita aluminum boat and trailer from my deceased Grandfather. I recently took the boat on a lake only to discover it has a large crack about 4 inches long directly in the center of the hull. I took the boat to a local welding shop but they wouldn't Tig weld it shut because the crack is directly under one of the seats that is filled with styrofoam. So I decided to try my own repair by putting a welding blanket between the floor and the seat then brazing the crack shut from the outside with a propane torch and an aluminum brazing rod. Any thoughts on this? Good, bad?

    The only other way I can think to fix this hole is to drill the rivets out of the sides of the hull that hold the seat in, remove the seat and then have the hole Tig welded shut. The only thing stopping me is the uncertainty of being able to put the seat back in with the right kind of rivets. I don't know what kind of rivets to use.

    I am also stripping the paint off this boat with aircraft stripper in preparation to repaint it. I had my heart set on coating the bottom of the boat with rhino lining but it is just too expensive, so I have opted for self etching primer, rock chip guard paint on the bottom, and regular black base and clear for the rest of the outside of the boat to match my truck. I was thinking of a tan color for the inside but not with base/clear (Don't want it to be slippery on the inside). What are some good suggestions for the inside.

    Any help in this thread would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  2. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I think I would cut the center out of the seat, leaving an
    inch or so rim. Remove the foam, get the crack welded.
    Replace the foam. Cut a nice plywood seat, 3/4 exterior
    will be fine. You can add a piece under the rim, you can
    get aluminum strips at Lowes. and then just screw the
    new seat in place. Make one for the other two seats
    as well. Some stain and varnish to finish it off.

    I would look into having the boat blasted with a soft
    medium. Nut shells work fine. Then a coat of zinc chromate,
    or other suitable primer and paint. You just need to add
    a bit of non skid to the paint for the floor, or make a nice
    wood floor from cedar or what ever.

    Make Grandpa proud and don't spend a lot of dough.:p

    I can see a real nice little boat! I would love to have it!

    BTW: Where are you located?? The boat was made in Arkansas.
     
  3. Cheapshot
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Cheapshot Junior Member

    Thanks for that input. Like you said, don't sink a lot of money into it, I'm not sure how much the boat is even worth so I don't want to put alot of time/effort/money into it. I just want to get it repaired and sealed up with a new coat of paint. I don't want to take it to a body shop to have it sandblasted although I may not have much choice for the inside of the boat being that there is no real effective way of removing the paint with paint stripper under the aluminum strip braces running across the floor. My homestate is WV but I am living in MO now.

    I did fail to mention that after stripping paint from one side of boat I noticed that some of the rivet heads on the exterior of the boat have been ground down pretty far and am not sure how much I trust them not to start leaking in the future. When I say ground down I mean 95% of the rivet head has been ground off either by someone dragging boat on rocks, pavement or got careless with a grinder wheel last time they prepped the boat for painting. Some spots were even filled over with JB Weld/bondo or the like to try to seal it.

    Like we agree on though I want to spend as little as possible on the boat because I would like to eventually purchase a better motor for it. I currently have an old Shakespeare WonderTroll Model 606. It works great but takes forever to get from one side of a small lake to the other. Rowing is almost faster.
     
  4. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I am in Rogers Arkansas, if you are not too far I would be
    willing to give you a hand with the boat.

    You can get a blaster pretty cheap and I have used corn
    meal to blast aluminum. A small air compressor will work,
    it just takes a little longer.

    Most trolling motors are like that, I can row much faster
    than the motor will push my boat.

    Go to the local airport, someone there will have rivets.
    All you need to install them is a couple of hammers. And
    long arms sometimes.

    The boat has little value, other than it was Grandpa's.
    But it is a nice size and can be fixed cheaply. There
    is a lot of life left in it. Plus, go out and price one??

    http://www.iboats.com/boats/marine--1/boats--10/power_boats--100/aluminum_boats--100002/
     
  5. Brad Baldwin
    Joined: Sep 2021
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    Location: New Berlin NY

    Brad Baldwin New Member

    This is question for Cheapshot - I have this exact same boat!
    Can you tell me where the ID numbers are on this boat or anything such as year made dimensions etc? I searched until I found this boat so I could find the correct oar sockets (1 1/4" round gunwale )!
     

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  6. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Cheapskate hasn't logged in 11 years.
     

  7. Bigsirus
    Joined: Sep 2021
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    Location: New Jersey

    Bigsirus New Member

    Brad, I have the same boat but in a 14'. The boat was given to me from a friends father that had moved to FL. The boat is heavy gauge aluminum and can easily be welded(i had a crack that i had to weld on the bottom). it wasn't easy to find any info on this boat as the paperwork i have says it's a 1966 Adirondack. it wasn't until about 2 months ago that i was on FB Marketplace looking at boats that I saw one for sale. I reached out to the women and she took a picture of the tag inside. So to answer your question, the ID #'s would have been on the port side wood transom. I still have not been able to find much info on them other than it looks like they were made for rental companies and that's why they are so durable. At 54 years old it only needs the wood on the transom replaced which i believe to be original along with the paint. It's not going to be an easy task as it looks like i will have to drill out some rivets which I don't want to do. I'm guessing once that's done, it will handed down to my son and should be good for another 50 years.. here are a few pictures. Good luck with it!
     

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