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TinBoats Supporter
Feb 20, 2023
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Henryetta Oklahoma
Henryetta oklahoma
Inherited a 14 foot boat a few years back from wife's brother after he past away. Started working on it and got side tracked between job and motorcycle hobbies. Now I am ready to rebuild it. Taking it down to bare metal via wire brush. Found a crack in the hull and another bad spot which should not be an issue. Military Certified tig welder by trade. Title to boat under make and model says [ LONEST/VBTM ] Year is 1982. Is this a good make and model?IMG_1696.JPGIMG_1697 - Copy.JPGIMG_1698 - Copy.JPG
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The old rule of thumb says not to weld near rivets, as they expand and contract under severe heat and will leak...also many mfgrs used a sealant between the two pieces of aluminum to make the seam watertight. The heat will also destroy the sealant if any was used. Most folks use an epoxy called gluvit to seal the inside after a thorough cleaning. Just read an article on a product called "Goop epoxy coating" that is designed to paint on the exterior ofvthe hull to fill small pinholes and cracks. It has a fiber infused into it to plug tiny holes and create an abrasive resistant surface. Some years back I came across a product called " leak stopper" it is a clear roof coating that can be used on most any surface. It is thick and plugs small holes, even sealed the cracks in my jon boat ribs that were worn completely thru from dragging it over sand and rocks. Hasnt leaked in over 5 years...found this stuff at home depot and tractor supply. Any boat that floats without leaks and serves your purposes is a " good" boat!!
Sonny1, I'm no metalurgist, but if I had the coordination n eyesight to tig weld, my 2 little boats would have pretty little stacks of nickels all over um.
I got mad respect for welders, I have seen some pretty amazing looking welds by some skilled welders. From midget/sprint car chassis/ Harley frames and the like, these guys not only weld steel, but also aluminum. There's 2 Busch beer cans at my work stacked together that are perfect no discolored graphics, no distortion's and the weld looks beautiful.
So in my opinion, it's all in the metal prep and heat range.
Would certainly weld, rather than going the flex seal route🏊‍♂️.
Not saying there's not some really good sealants and epoxy's out there
But...... Weld er up!
As for the make, there are many more knowledgeable people on this site than me. I too am sort of a newbie.
And in no way did I mean to dig on airshots earlier post.
The only problem I see in welding it is the age and condition of aluminum. A patch welded over holes and crack would work but then over time it may just crack along the fillet joint. Been reading about what is referred as soft patch. Two pieces of thin aluminum riveted inside and out with water proof sealant in between. Doing some research on the boat to investigate what grade of aluminum the boat was made out of. So far all the rivets are tight with no cracks around the rivets. Plan on using "Total Fair " to fill in scratches and small dents. Gluvit will be used on the inside as recommended by most of the threads I have read. Since am striping the boat to bare metal inside and out planning on using the two part epoxy primer by Total boat. Then finish coat with the aluminum paint by Total Boat. The transit needs to be replaced.
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Maybe drill a 1/8" hole at each end to terminate the cracks and then TIG away. Or maybe not. If I can do a solid job with a cheap MIG, you won't have any problems.

You may want to put a heat sink on the opposite side to prevent sagging or blow through, but you know better than I do the proper process.

Take some video and share it! That would be pretty cool to watch.
For now I am more concerned about getting the rest of the paint removed. I had a complete hip replacement done in Nov. and was suppose to get the other hip replaced in Jan. Picked up a infection which delayed second surgery. So here I sit in the last week of Feb with no set date yet. Down time is an easy two months. I need to get all the paint removed so we can get a good look at the rest of the boat. Have a decent size shed/garage but need to be ready to prime while weather permits. I would like to get the scratches and dents filled in and sanded. Thinking about using a product called Total Fair by Total Boat for this part of the project. Anybody use this product and can give some input it would be appreciated
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Unless the old paint is flaking off, no need to remove it all. Your going to repaint anyway, so why waste the effort. Something you might look at is the "Goop" epoxy bottom paint for old aluminum boats. A boat restorer from another forum put me onto this stuff. Not only a durable epoxy but has a fiber in it to fill small cracks and pinholes !!
This stuff is supposed to wear like iron, the reviews have been very positive !!
The paint and primer is shot. The inside is really bad. The last thing I want is to paint and have it flake off. After I fix the obvious leaks I plan on float testing. Have a large pond on the place so that will be easy. After all leaks are found and fixed then I plan on priming and painting.
Did some searching and found out the boat is a Lonestar. In 1965 Lonestar was sold to Chrysler boat division. Apparently they are a quality made boat. Got the grandkid and one of his friends to come out and move the boat towards the front of the shed. Now I can sit in my walker and work on the boat.
About thirty years ago a group of high school buddies and our families started an annual trip to a five species trout lake. I was the only one without a boat. I bought a boat when the guy who's job I took over, retired, sold me his 14' Valco on an easy payment plan. So the second year while heading up I-5 north to the lake, I wake up while my wife was driving and look back at the boat to see that it is listing seriously. I had her pull over where I found the passenger side trailer leaf spring had busted. I wrapped it up with 50' of rope and limped into Stockton where I was able to replace the trailer springs. With the delay we had to setup camp in the dark and listen to fish tales from my buddies who had a jump on the fishing. Next morning as I'm launching my boat, it immediately starts filling up with water. When the spring let go, it ripped a 2" long gash in the hull bottom.! I happened to have a tube of clay like epoxy for aluminum that you knead together to activate. I applied that thinking I would do a more permanent fix by welding when I returned home. I never touched it again and it lasted over 16 years until I got a new boat. Epoxy is great stuff. There's an unlimited amount things you can do or repair with it.
Well this is just great. Electric drill took a dump. Wire brush job is on hold until the wife gets back from Harbor Freight. 70 degree weather by 11: 00 am and figured it would be a good day to get something done. Loaded down on pain pills and prescription ointment. A couple of beers don't hurt either. From what I read Harbor Freight is running a sale this weekend so we shall see. Relocated the boat so I can sit in my walker and wire brush. Awaiting left hip replacement. Right hip got replaced in Nov. I really would like to get this boat wire brushed.
Sounds like a good time, pain pills and beer! Some medical marijuana just for good measure.
You will have the boat wire wheeled in no time, as long as the new drill holds up.
I will say Harbor Freight tools have improved, but I still try to stay away from most of there electrical products. I renamed the place Horror and Fright.
I actually enjoy working on the boat. My left hip gets replaced the first part of April. So I will be down and out for about three months. The last couple of weeks has been slow progress on the boat due to the weather. Wet and cold but this week's forecast looks good. The cheap Harbor Freight drill is working out great. The stern turned out to be in really good shape but the wood needs to be replaced. Selling a 2013 Fiat Abarth and plan on using the money from that for the boat. No longer driving 200 miles a day back and forth from work so really have no need for it. If I go back to work it will be part time and local. Plan on becoming a professional fishing flake. For twenty years plus have watched people driving south with their boats heading towards the lake while I drive to work. Lake Eufaula is in my backyard. Have a boat ramp that is six miles away. Plenty of good times ahead.
That sounds awesome. Take your time and explore the lake. Sometimes, the best spots are close to the ramp, but no one stops.

Trout in a lake... must be nice. Too warm around here, unless up in the mountains.

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