Who knows (aluminum) boats

Joined: April 15th, 2003, 12:28 pm

September 4th, 2018, 4:55 pm #1

This fishing boat has sat in my neighbor's yard for the better part of... 24 years? Its been moved, blown away (see the dent) and ignored. Ive been fishing more, and like to go out with my buddies on local lakes. But I dont have enough cash to buy everyone a slick kayak, but I was offered this one for $150 with the trailer (and title). 

The trailer needs rebuilt wiring, winch, and the wooden parts.  My concern is joint sealing and the dent on the keel (that is the keel on this boat, right?). Is there anything special to sorting those out, and should I even worry? I figured a heat gun and some body hammers would do the trick there. Overall its 12' long, 3 benches, and a motor mounting plate in the rear. I figure a small trolling motor will work for us, and have a nice big deep cell for one too. 

2018-09-02 18.53.50.jpg
2018-09-02 18.53.53.jpg
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Joined: April 15th, 2003, 12:28 pm

September 4th, 2018, 4:57 pm #2

Oh, the brand is a Sea King... 
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Joined: December 7th, 2014, 5:43 am

September 4th, 2018, 7:12 pm #3

That would be the hull. The keel, if it even qualifies on this boat, would be that ridge down the bottom center.
If that dent can be banged out without causing cracks, I'd say you're golden on that. A lot of trailers need rewiring, and it's no worse than other stuff. Just be prepared for scrubbing to prevent or alleviate corrosion.
My dad used to have a similar one, and I don't recall ever having any issues with a trolling motor running it--just maybe a bit slow--or problems with sealing. He may have caulked it. You're forgiven a lot of bubba-work on small aluminum boats.
Just remember the ownership rule of a boat: BOAT=Break Out Another Thousand (or Break Out All the Tools).
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Joined: July 12th, 2017, 12:19 am

September 4th, 2018, 7:53 pm #4

Just remember that the boat needs to be registered too. That varies by state and I'm not sure what the rules are in Pennsylvania. As DeusMachina summed up, a boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money. :)

Tim
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Joined: February 2nd, 2015, 4:36 pm

September 4th, 2018, 10:58 pm #5

That dent might not even be a problem if you're not trying to get the boat up to hull speed. I'd suggest getting the thing in the water to find out if it leaks.

My first aluminum canoe (bought used for $150 in 1979 or '80) leaked because it had been used in whitewater, and some of the rivets were sprung. But it didn't leak much, and we had a dog, so we were gonna get wet anyhow. 😁
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Joined: September 16th, 2014, 7:01 am

September 5th, 2018, 1:49 am #6

DO NOT start banging on any dents unless you really need to - Aluminum work hardens real easy and will crack.  If you have any holes or cracks get someone to weld it - TIG or wirefeed welder with a spoolgun and Argon or Helium shielding gas.

If those Denty looking scar spots don't leak, don't mess with them - where the bow keel cover meets the main keel cover, and the one right below the left registration numbers (right when upside down) 
  
This is Not a DIY Welding training exercise, because Aluminum Sheet goes straight from Solid Metal to Growing Big Melty Puddle in about a 20 degrees F zone - it's not like steel with several shades of red-orange-yellow color change before disaster strikes. .  You need get lots of welding practice time in on scrap aluminum pieces first and get really good judging when to stop adding heat (Before the disaster) before you try this.
  
Might have to drill & grind off and replace loose rivets, or drill and rivet new patches or reinforcements. You also have to do that right or get someone who's dealt with it before - they make the solid rivets pre-annealed and ship them frozen subzero on Dry Ice - Once you place and set (buck) the rivets and they're back at room temperature they'll self harden (age hardening) to the final temper to match the sheet and structural bits (usually T-6) 

There are closed back Pop Rivets, but that's not the right way.  
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Joined: June 28th, 2017, 11:03 pm

September 5th, 2018, 5:52 am #7

TimoRu wrote: ...a boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money...
A family friend had a a wall hanger at his cabin with that exact quote on it. But in my family's experience, we were probably a bit more fortunate than most as we rarely had any major expenses beyond normal maintenance and off-season storage fees. Both Dad and his dad were pretty rigorous about staying on top of maintenance of the boats and their motors.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 5th, 2018, 1:51 pm #8

Dents are no big issue. You can leave it, it won't cause excessive drag or anything- it won't help, but it won't hurt appreciably either,

They are, however, easy to take care of- don't pound on them directly, use a piece of soft wood (IE, pine, etc.) with the corners rounded off a bit, and use light blows,

And the usual dent protocol applies- don't just whack it right in the center. Start at the edges, and tap-tap-tap around the edges while you work your way in towards the center of the dent. You'll want to pay particular attention to the "ends" of the dent- IE, where it contacts both the keel and the chine.

Doc.
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Joined: April 15th, 2003, 12:28 pm

September 5th, 2018, 5:03 pm #9

Trust me, no welding happening on this one. I stick to steel, no tig yet, and honestly, dont have the time or room to play with it. So patching is fine on a boat like this, if it needs it? Figure if there were some minor leaks, I would drill out, slide a patch under, and rivet with the proper rivets. 

Plus, if my calculations are right, I can run a center channel down the trailer and use it for motorcycle stuffs :D Nothing like getting more than one use out of a trailer, since I have already more than once moved that boat for her by carrying it, I know it isnt that bad.  

And realistically, I'll look for a new trailer axle for the thing instead of repairing the one under it, probably cheaper at this point. 
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Joined: April 15th, 2003, 12:28 pm

September 5th, 2018, 5:12 pm #10

And I just talked to fish and game for PA, if I drop it in the water to test, with no motor, Im fine, just avoid a launch. Once I do buy it, it would be $26 a year to please the king to use a trolling motor on it (some of the local lakes are no gas motor). 

And trailer registration.. (which is $18 a year)
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