Design and build a riveted aluminum dinghy

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Little Iris, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Little Iris
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    Little Iris Junior Member

    Need help!

    Trying to find information on how to design and build a riveted aluminum dinghy (scantlings, what is overlapping what ...etc.), but find only tips on repairs.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    This would probably be the most difficult method of making a dinghy for an amateur, which explains the lack of info available. It is skilled work for experienced tradespeople, I would expect to get nowhere fast, amidst much cursing and profanity, without the requisite skills. Why select this path ?
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    a lot of amateur built aircraft are riveted aluminum, no reason it could not be used on a small boat. Though working with wood is more pleasant and does not require a lot of costly tools, aluminum can be done in a home shop with only a few special hand tools.

    If you can not find plans perhaps you can go look at how thick, size of ribs and spacing etc. on commercially built skifs, canoes and fishing boats, of similar size, and develop your own design based what you find. When in doubt, copy what others have done!
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Practice making an aluminium bucket that is watertight first, imo.
     
  5. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Aircraft and boats are more easily built if the metal need not be stretched into a compound curved surface.

    I would start with modifying a hull designed to be built in plywood , which can twist , but not stretch.
     
  6. Little Iris
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    Little Iris Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies!

    What is the easiest way to attatch for example the transom? Do I bend the sides to 90 degrees and get one row of rivets , or is it better to put the transom and freeboard peaces just touching each other and use a "90 degrees strip" and get two rows of rivets?
     
  7. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    In Australia, rivetted alloy boats went out of fashion before flared jeans came into vogue, about the only rivets used these days are where thwarts are joined to the topsides, well above the waterline. Elsewhere, it seems to have persisted somewhat longer. I suspect it is probably a tough essay for the inexperienced to be attempting, to come up with something that literally will not come apart at the seams.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There is no "better" way. It depends on the overall design and the tools and skill available. I think that one of the most efficient ways is how canoes are made. Each side is formed from one piece and then riveted together with a keel/stems sections. The sheet of aluminum is stretched and then stamped.
     
  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    there are lots of jon boats and skifs made of aluminum that do not have compound curves. I would not use a strip of metal to join to panels together, it doubles the amount of rivets you have to install. where you have flat panels, I would bend the edge in a sheet metal bender to form an angle and rivit a single row. You can by "home shop" type benders cheap from Harbor Freight, or even make your own from a few lengths of angle iron. likely you will need some adhesive caulk in the joints.

    Again, go look at how the production aluminum boats are built, you can find them at any Cabela's or similar out door stores.

    here is a picture of a sheet metal break, this one only costs $32, but it would not be difficult to make one.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Little Iris
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    Little Iris Junior Member

    I guess the strips will overlap two times in the corners of the transom. How do I get that part watertight?
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Unless you are a practiced sheet metal worker, the answer is, "with great difficulty" :D
     
  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You make a close to perfect fit, and the rivets take up the metal to make a tight seam.
     
  13. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    you could just glue it together with epoxy. aluminium and epoxy work well together.
     
  14. jonr
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    jonr Senior Member

    Glue and rivets makes sense, but I wouldn't do just glue.
     

  15. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A flexible adhesive compound would work better.
     
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