Design and build a riveted aluminum dinghy

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

  1. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Good quality ply and epoxy will work even better. Lighter, stronger, cheaper, quieter, not subject to galvanic corrossion. Depends largely on how the boat must be stored and under what conditions. Aluminum is better for extended outdoor exposure and owner negligence.
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Glue will be just fine and many aluminum products are built this way, including aircraft. A flexible adhesive should be narrowed down a bit. I'd recommend an epoxy formulation with a favorable modulus of elongation, such as G-Flex. The bond will exceed the strength of the substrate, yet will offer the flexural requirements (modulus of rupture) necessary in panel construction with aluminum.

    Rivets don't make a lot of sense for the back yard builder, mostly because the faying surfaces need to be quite good, as does the riveting process. Pop rivets will not work, even if you employ closed end (blind) pop rivets. Most aluminum blind rivets will have a steel mandrel too, though I'll bet you can get them with a stainless or aluminum mandrel.

    Engineering with aluminum, requires a good understanding of the physical properties of this material and it's various alloys. Anything short of this, will be costly and possibly self destructive, as this material can fail catastrophically with little warning, if not done properly. Not being aware of the typical engineering approaches with aluminum, will surely bring this to light quickly. So, learn about "snipping" stress risers and about the other physical peculiarities of aluminum, before you start cutting up sheets. It's an expensive material to screw up with, even on a small boat.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Have plenty of chewing gum on board to seal any leaks, imo. It sure sticks good !
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't know about the chewing gum, but cyanoacrylate is a common adhesive for aluminum. That's a lot of bottles of Super Glue, but hey, it's readily available.
     
  5. BreathlessAk
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    BreathlessAk Junior Member

    google ac43.13-1b
    lots of information section 4 covers sheet metal
    a good read for all
    aircraft floats and boat have a lot in common
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The accepted method of building alloy boats is welding. Rivets are yesterday's news, it continues to surprise me that in the US and elsewhere some rivetted boats are still manufactured, I doubt if there has been a rivetted boat made here in the last 40 years, it simply would not be competitive in a market swamped with high-quality,welded aluminium boats. I recall way back in 1966 at the age of 12 hearing a pro fisher telling my father of the virtues of his new welded alloy boat used in surf beach launches, and how it did away with the problems ( presumably leaks)of rivetted boats exposed to the rigours of hard useage.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Aluminum boats have a cosmetic advantage. They have fair surfaces, and they can be finished before assembly too.
     
  8. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    welding takes a lot more power to create the weld than riveted seams. lots of small skiff are still riveted, and the Grumman Canoes (they used aircraft construction methods after ww2 to use up all the aluminum inventory, and they have been making riveted aluminum canoes ever since).

    also, look a the way most certified aircraft floats are made: riveted aluminum. It may be obsolete, but is is the only approved method for certified float planes.
     
  9. jonr
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    jonr Senior Member

    Rivets + glue allows the use of heat treatable alloys (which may or may not be desirable).
     

  10. BreathlessAk
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    BreathlessAk Junior Member

    materials and how to use them. whether its hide over wale bone or birch bark over wood ribs. It's all about what's available and cost. We are running out of options.
     
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