Aluminum Starcraft repair questions

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Poppy, May 23, 2017.

  1. Poppy
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Nashville

    Poppy New Member


    I recently purchased a used 14' Skiff type of Aluminum Older Starcraft boat. I only plan of operated it in freshwater with a trolling motor for Wildlife Mngmt lake fishing.
    I have a few very slow drips at some of the rivets that I have sanded and plan to repair with GluVit. There is some damage to the bow at the V-hull that the previous owner patched with a large fiberglass patch inside and what seems to be fiberglass patch outside as well as some black rubber feeling product. I have power washed and the majority of the fiberglass and rubber product from the outside and I plan to use an aluminum weld to patch these spots. Unfortunately, I have not been able to completely remove the fiberglass patch from the inside. I had planned to weld this too, but since I can't get out all of the old patch wonder if there is an alternative way to patch? Should I used another fiberglass patch? If so, any recommendations on product? I am new to this and appreciate any help you can offer. I am going to try and upload some pics. 20170523_145357.jpg 20170523_145419_001.jpg

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  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    You have several problems there. First off, forget about GluVit, the rivets will just "circle out" again with some use and vibration. The biggest issues I see is a bunch of corrosion and dramatically compromised rivet heads.

    First off, get the rest of the surface contamination off the boat. Yeah, removing the 'glass will be a pain, but some heatgun time and a scraper will get it done. The surfaces have to be clean, fresh metal or getting anything to stick well is tough. I repair these puppies all the time and I don't brush or pour magic goo in a can, onto any of them.

    This is a "low temperature" weld type of thing (actually brazing). The video shows a small tip (#2 or so) with acetylene, which is how I do it, though you can use a propane torch too, it just takes longer. This will fix the boat and her leaks, plus make it stronger in places of missing material, cracked ribs, etc. The heat is low enough and if you're moving around enough, distortion isn't a problem, like it would be with a traditional weld.

    As a rule the wonder goo's in a can, are for people that want to do it again in another year or two.
  3. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    It looks rather extensive....i would remove the whole plating section and replace with new, rather than a patchwork quit repair. It also guarantees any micro issues you cannot see just beyond the cracks/holes, is alo removed permanently.
  4. Poppy
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Nashville

    Poppy New Member

    Thanks PAR
    Would you recommend the same weld tech to shore up the rivets?
  5. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Hit it with a strong high pressure water cleaner to see what you actually have. If you happen to blow holes in it ( not an unlikely contingency), at least you know where you stand. Directing the jet under the edge of fibreglass patches will likely lift them. You have to know the worst, before judging whether it is repairable. It would not surprise if there is poultice corrosion under patched areas. I'd say there is a strong chance it has arrived at the end of the road, there is little that can sensibly be done to repair such boats once the thin material gets the "cancer" curse.
  6. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    I am not sure about Starcraft but most riveted boats put a mastic tape, ie a thin sealing double sided sticky tape between an overlaping SEAM.
    If you try to weld in an area near the mastic, it will ooze out and ruin the sealing characteristics of tape
    Best to check for the existence of the mastic before applying heat

    I have seen a couple of guys wth seam issues scuff the area. Mask the area, the take the boat to the guys that do spray in polyurethane pick up truck box liners and spray over a patch from the outside
    I have seen DIY kits at places like NAPA and Walmart for box liners so you might be able to do this your self. Scuff up the surface, spray Brakeclean on the surface, mask and brush
    Before you take an acetylene torch to a thin sheet of aluminum, you should find a similar thickness piece and try it. Or you run the risk of blowing a 2 inch hole in your boat
  7. dirtydiego41
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    Location: avila beach

    dirtydiego41 Junior Member

    If you weld on a riveted alum boat the rivets on both sides of the weld will start leaking. Splash zone is our best bet, and only a bandaid at that.

  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Not for nothing, but I've repaired dozens of leaking tinnys with the method described above and they don't leak.
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