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Thread: Rivet gun for Aluminum Boats

  1. #1
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    Default Rivet gun for Aluminum Boats

    I am looking to repair an aluminum boat and need some advice.


    1. Rivet Gun: Would this cheap one be adequate? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Arrow-1-...7SHK/304679379

    2. Rivets: Not sure what size i need. Since i will have to drill out the old I imagine i have to go large so perhaps these at 1/4". https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/62184

    3. Sealant:
    a. Gluvit:https://www.amazon.ca/Travaco-Gluvit...1DGRMPSMZQ5STP


    For the rivets I saw a video of a guy saying OEM would something like a Brazier Rivet. This needs a neumatic hammer gun and something for the back plate like a hammer i believe. Definitely seems like a bridge to far since i am looking to fix this boat well, but for fairly little money. So buying these tools which i don't really have is not an option i want to explore.

    And if anyone is generous enough and has a nice rivet gun (battery or air powered) in the Ottawa area that I could make the job quicker/easier that i could borrow I would be eternally grateful. Since its only for one job I don't want to spend lots of money on something expensive. I imagine this job wouldnt take more than a few days maybe a week so i wouldn't have it for long.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Has too much time on their hands

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    I guess the first question would be,are the rivets gone? If the old rivets are there and the boat just leaks all you need is two hammers and a buddy with hearing protection.

    One guy on either side of the boat, one river at a time, give each a good smack with the hammer while buddy holds his hammer on the inside.

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  4. #3
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    It can't be that easy can it! I dont have a pool or water nearby to test sadly so maybe I was aiming for overkill before driving the boat out to a lake.

    Yes all rivets are there. Added some water to the boat and the center keel (i think that's what its called) has slow drips all down the thing. So far i have sanded down the bottom as there was signs of some sort of caulking all over the place. The plan was to clean it all off, then replace the rivets on the keel and use an epoxy on the outside of the boat along the rivets.

  5. #4
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    fill the boat with water and see were it leaks from the underside

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN008 View Post
    It can't be that easy can it! I dont have a pool or water nearby to test sadly so maybe I was aiming for overkill before driving the boat out to a lake.
    Well ya, it can be that easy? Put the boat up on saw horse's and add water. The leaks will show up, mark them and then have a buddy help you to "peen" them. It aint rocket science?
    Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in the above post, the author does not and cannot guarantee its accuracy. All rights reserved.

  7. #6
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    It works did it on mine then I covered each rivet with seal it and expoxy inside and out no leaks
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  8. #7
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    Had a friend fix a leaky 14 foot aluminum by using a paint brush and painting the entire inside with a thin layer of bedliner coating that you get at NAPA. It's been about 5 years now and its never leaked. Fixed a vibration problem when you trolled as well. Only drawback is it's black and gets hot on scorcher days. He tried peening but some of his rivet heads had been sand scoured flat with the hull. A few popped the first time the boat flexed on a rough day.

  9. #8
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    Bought some aluminum brazing rods, silicone wore off after last 5 years of use, this should last a lot longer.


    As others have said, can tighten then rivets up with 2 hammers, youtube it.

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SongDog View Post
    Bought some aluminum brazing rods, silicone wore off after last 5 years of use, this should last a lot longer.


    As others have said, can tighten then rivets up with 2 hammers, youtube it.

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    Be careful heating the aluminium especially if it 7 series , means heat treated , it has very high tensile strength 120,000 psi.
    Once heated it drops down to 20,000 psi

  11. #10
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    Often times you can't get at a leaking rivet with a hammer and backing mall because its under a seat or bracket. The simplest fix by far is a two part epoxy. As the old phart from east of the Soo says, put it up on sawhorses and slowly add water. Watch which rivets drip then mark'em with a black (or pink if you prefer) marker pen. Buff and clean them up with a wire brass wheel and apply the epoxy. I bought G/flex from Thunder Bay and it was utterly amazing stuff. It was liquid enough to drip on a rivet then it actually seeped through to coat both inside and outside of the rivet. I worked on a boat about 8 years ago, its sits outside in the snow every winter and still doesn't leak one drop.

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