One of the most important, and often overlooked, parts of owning a boat is proper boat maintenance. Many boat engines and boat motors need some maintenance to keep running, but it’s usually not a huge hassle.
Although sport boats may be a lot of fun, they require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them at the top of their performance.
I had a boat brought to me to repair and patch some cracked welds on the bottom of the hull. My first inclination is to weld a patch over the cracked area and I have attached pictures of the job in question.
In truck or equipment frame repair we always used patches with gentle angles and round ends to avoid sharp 90 degree stress points.
However I am having second thoughts on whether or not welding is the best approach for this project because I am only equipped with a TIG and this calls for a lot of welding. Apparently the hull was cracked when my client bought the boat and didn't see that it had a large crack in it from hitting something hard.
This will involve tearing it apart and maybe turning it over to do the welding in a flat position.
In addition, the nature of that much welding may cause warpage to the hull which may stress other adjoining parts such as the ribs or keel. The keel has been welded and from the research I did , the keel tends to crack when welded, right next to the weld bead. These things make it difficult for me to take on much less guarantee this job so although I need the money just as much as the next guy, I must let it go and ask the owner to look for a repair guy that is better setup than me to take on this job.
All welding done with a Miller Syncrowave 200, 2% Lanthanated tungsten, 4043 filler, & pure argon gas.
But to look on the best side of a bad deal, the fact that he's 2 is a big plus in his favor, and with luck it will (most likely, a 3 out of 4 chance) be acute (best chance of recovery) not chronic (not so good, but slower advance of the disease). At above the age of 1 (1 to 9 yrs old) the cure (that is a qualified 'cure') rate approaches 90%, and the long term prognosis for those who respond well to the treatments is quite good compared to about any other age group. So while sure not anything good in the situation, at least he seems to be in the age group with the best outcomes, over all.


A word of caution, I once had a boat that looked a lot like the one your working on, had a pro welder tackle doing the rivets and buckled the boat bad. Aluminum boats are a staple of the boating industry and are exceedingly durable requiring a minimum of maintenance. Whether your boat has been storm damaged, involved in an accident, or it’s merely suffering the ravages of age, Anchor Marine Repair can help. In our 10,000 square foot state of the art facility, no repair or renovation project is too big or too small.
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Whatever your boat repair, renovation, refinishing or refurbishing needs and desires might be, the professionals at Anchor Boat Repair are anxious to serve boat owners in the Lake Minnetonka, Central Minnesota and Western Wisconsin area. Every now and then, they will require washing, buffing and some anti-corrosive agents, but that is about all that is needed for common maintenance. Our team of experts at Anchor Marine Repair will be more than happy to answer any issues you may be experiencing with your boat.
I also attached the proposed patch design as I don't want to weld at right angles to the direction of the hull metal and form stress points that will crack again. I carry this philosophy to practically every cracked or broken metal joint I encounter be it a bike frame or truck frame.


I am afraid I may put too much heat into the hull and create warpage and more potential problems for myself, not to mention the boat owner. A boat repair yard did the welded repair and now it is being brought to me because that repair cracked. They will tolerate being dragged out of lakes on the keel repeatedly and carried on the back of a pickup truck or gently pulled out of the water on a boat trailer.
All damaged aluminum was cut out where needed, custom cutouts were welded in place, structural and body work was done, and a factory replica paint job returned this boat to better than pre-accident condition. We have earned this coveted reputation through the practice of old world craftsmanship, combined with state-of-the-art equipment, high quality products, cutting edge techniques and attentive customer service.
If you have insurance we will work directly with the insurance company and spare you the red tape. Engines need to be maintained, steering components need to be adjusted and finally, because of the nature of the design, all components need to be checkout out prior to every serious day long outing. If your aluminum boat ever gets damaged, or if the rivets come loose with age, professional boat restoration will be needed because aluminum boat repair requires special equipment. Besides not trusting them with the repair, they took three months to get it back to him and he wants it back quickly. Both require the prop to be in good condition because a bent prop can cause various issues due to vibration, sometimes even leading to serious boat engine repair. I usually repair cracks and then plate them but thought I'd ask other people's opinions on this.
Our state of the art facilities, along with our 45 years of boat repair, renovation, and refinishing experience assures that it will be done right.
My patch would have to be somewhat larger than the crack to allow for a gentle curve covering it. Apply marine Tex, J B Weld, or Belzona, or mix your own 24 hour epoxt with a lot of alum powder or filings.



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