Author Topic: Fixing hull rivets/help!  (Read 1207 times)

triton

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Fixing hull rivets/help!
« on: May 21, 2020, 07:38:33 pm »
Looked at a boat today. 4-5 hull rivets are loose. And the boat leaks more than i'd like. Question. Should/can the rivets be replaced? Ok to weld them? Or is there another fix that can be done?

Thanks in advance for advice/help!

Dave.

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CATNIP II

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 07:49:47 pm »
I would not recommend welding. My inclination would be to drill out the old rivets and replace them.

HBC

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 10:56:37 pm »
Sorry - you do not use a rivet gun.  It is a 2 person job as you need someone on each side.  These are solid aluminum rivets and one person holds a metal block on the inside surface while the other person uses a hammer drill on the rivet head. 

triton

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 11:16:13 pm »
Sorry - you do not use a rivet gun.  It is a 2 person job as you need someone on each side.  These are solid aluminum rivets and one person holds a metal block on the inside surface while the other person uses a hammer drill on the rivet head.

What is your recommendation?

Ultima172

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 12:18:45 am »
I’ve had a few “leakers” over the years and have used closed head aluminum rivets without issue. Depends where on the hull, a little JB weld or marine silicone under the river doesn’t hurt.

 https://www.hansonrivet.com/rivets/blind-pop-advel-rivets/closed-end-blind-rivets/

HBC

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 10:25:58 am »
First question is what type/size of boat is this and do you have access to the underside of the hull to get at the rivets?  Do you have to pull up the floor and remove floatation? 

If you have access, first thing I'd do is re-hit the rivets that are leaking.  This may shore them up enough to stop the leaking or reduce to a minimal amount that is tolerable (where your bilge pump doesn't come on).  You will have to buy a rivet tool for your hammer drill to match the radius of the rivet head.

salmontracker

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 10:36:16 am »
Had some leaky rivets on Princecraft years ago. Took the boat to an aluminum welder. He drilled out the bad rivets and replaced them with stainless screws and some sort of sealer. Simple fix and didn’t have to take the interior apart like you would have to do with rivets. It seemed like a pretty solid fix but that was just three rivets on a fairly new boat.

moemoe

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 02:27:26 pm »
Traxstech sells a rivet repair kit, "frog kit".....comes with everything you need, blind rivets to fix without having access to other side....works wellor can see over the top transom repairs in port colborbe does boat repairs

saugeendrifter

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 02:28:00 pm »
Bought a Starcraft in 2012 that had sat for years that leaked out of the rivets really bad for a dozen or so spots and not so bad on 2 dozen others.
What I did is;
1) put in the plug, fill the boat with water on level ground till I knew the bottom was full. Circled all the leaks with magic marker but not on top of the rivet or where I was going to adhere too, and marked the ones I knew I was going to be replacing. Drained the water and gave it a few days to dry in the sun.
2) Purchased some of the above closed ended rivets and the 2 handed rivet gun, you will need this, they are really hard to close in on. I would not replace a series of them in a line, only the absolute worst ones; meaning if the rivet was finger loose and falling out of the hole.
3) Drill out the rivet with the recommended drill bit size for the rivet you will be replacing(WEAR YOUR SAFETY GLASSES, A LONG SHIRT OR YOU WILL BURN YOUR ARMS WITH HOT METAL, PUT YOUR HAIR IN SOMETHING, DO UP YOURS SHIRT, WEAR GLOVES, A GRINDING MASK WOULD BE BEST), dip the closed end rivet in to your sealant, I'd recommend a good sealant, I used 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200
4)Only do one rivet at a time. If you drill several the metal could shift and in some of the older boats they sometimes put a rubber type gasket between the overlapping metal and you don't want it shifting.
5) Wipe the area with alcohol and scuff with sand paper, wipe with lint free cloth, wipe again with alcohol, place a small glob of sealant at the drill hole, push the rivet in and set it, and snap it, some sealant will be forced out, spit on your hand and use your finger to press the sealant around the rivet face. The spit stops the sealant from sticking to your hands. Wipe the end of the rivet gun and repeat.
6) The small leaks are OK with just capping the leaking rivet and filling the outside (hull side) of them with 3M.

I repaired my 22ft center console Starcraft Mariner in 2012 in this manner, It spends 3 weeks straight per year in derbies and a few weekends per year up north for walleye trips and I probably fish at least once a week outside of that from March till End of September in this boat trailering it every time.  To this day it still does not leak a drop.

My boat is no show piece, I'm Ok with white globs on my silver hull, this was the cheapest way I found to do it. Welding could fix it, or could cause more issues if they screw it up, a good aluminum welder can do a great job and make it look professional, but its a real science and Ive seen more bad jobs then good; ripping out the floor is excessive but it up to how far you want to take it.

If you want to repair the sanded areas you created treat the bare metal with an etching primer or it will just flake off, regular primer will not do it. Etching primer is about 14$ a spray can. Several thin, less is more coats, then lightly sand to scuff surface and wipe with a lint free cloth, then many thin coats of your desired colour. A gloss marine paint will do, I did my boat in tractor paint. DO NOT TOUCH THE AREAS YOU ARE PAINTING/ETCHING WITH YOUR HANDS/FINGERS, the oils on your hands will cause the bond to fail over time. BUT! It will be hard to match the paint to your existing paint, option 2 is wash the entire bottom with dawn/sunlight with a scotch brite pad then wipe it down, sand the area with 180 wet sand, allow to dry, wipe with alcohol and prime the entire area, you do not need to get rid of all the old paint, only the gloss finish on it and the scratches are good, gives the paint an edge to grab on to.
Give a fish and they eat for a day, teach them to fish they eat for a lifetime both in mind and body

ssrhagey

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 03:14:39 pm »
Yep, that's how she's done right there. Excellent right up Mr. Drifter

HBC

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 04:18:08 pm »
Sorry - that is not how you do it.  The hull of the boat is designed for inward pressure, not outward pressure.  And I guarantee that the trailer load was fully exceeded with the weight of the water added to the boat.  Even though the boat was static on the trailer when the water was added, you may damage your trailer depending on how much water you add to your hull.  Do some research about this on the internet - you would be surprised what you find out.

John S.

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2020, 12:51:13 am »
Although most boats are assembled at the factory with solid rivets that need to be hammered to an anvil or weight, most larger boats are built up with flooring and storage and foam filled cavities. Accessing both sides of a rivet would require an unnecessary amount of work. Drilling out the rivet from underneath and replacing with the next size self sealing closed end rivet is the wisest, quickest, most cost effective, as well as waterproof way to go and can be done by one person. Welding is not recommended for various reasons unless repairing a cracked weld at a hard corner.

antondavel

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2020, 08:15:16 am »
I just gave up and got a screen door, sprayed it with Leak Seal, added 2 hand riggers and holders, sonar and good to go. She sits a little low in the water, so I got a flag. :o

saugeendrifter

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 03:00:46 pm »
Sorry, I almost forgot
This is an opinion and what I did, I am not a professional nor do I pretend to be, my 1984 centerconsole 22ft deep haul starcraft on its single axle northland trailer handled it fine and this is what I did
As always, this is an opinion, this is what I did, we must always remember that no matter what advice we give others have theirs as well
Give a fish and they eat for a day, teach them to fish they eat for a lifetime both in mind and body

CATNIP II

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Re: Fixing hull rivets/help!
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 05:42:31 pm »
Drilling out the rivet from underneath and replacing with the next size self sealing closed end rivet is the wisest, quickest, most cost effective, as well as waterproof way to go and can be done by one person.

Good info. Did not know that these things existed.  Thanks for posting.