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Quick Fix for Minor Leaks in Aluminium Boats

Blog | 28 August 2017

Even a reliable aluminium boat can develop a minor leak. The seams develop a gap, a rivet loosens enough to allow a small rivulet of water to dribble into the boat, or maybe a hairline scratch splits the tough alloy below the waterline. It’s happened, so there’s no use complaining. What really matters now are the actions you take next. Make them the right actions by knowing these quick fix solutions.

Trace the Leak

Minor leaks are tricky things. First of all, they’re not always easy to locate. Rivets, loosened by time or an abrasive sweep across a submerged obstacle, aren’t about to spray a jet of water, nor is an inaccessible nook in the boat about to announce the exact spot where the liquid is finding its way into your craft. One solution is to hook the boat up to your tow vehicle and use a garden hose to fill the boat with water. Viewed from the outside, you’ll see where the drops of water are leaking.

Escaping the Preparation Blues

The boat is wet, the leak is winning, and you’re trying your best not to scratch your head. Raise the bow, pull the drain plug, and let the boat dry. Get up close to the leak area. This next step may sound counterintuitive, but it’s not. Pick up a wire brush and lightly rough up the leak site. You conduct this light abrasive scrub to help any bonding agents adhere to what would otherwise be a smooth metal. Now, with the prep work done, the minor repair work turns to a high-quality marine sealant.

Systematic Repair Procedures

The goal so far has been to split the bulk of the work into manageable chunks. You’ve visually traced the leak. You’ve filled your aluminium boat with water and seen the leak in motion. Prepped and dried, your next work step involves the sealing of the small hull breach. A broad range of marine sealant adhesives are formulated for this purpose. The chosen product is brushed evenly onto split seams and hairline cracks. Alternatively, if leaking rivets are causing the problems, a waterproof epoxy gets the job done. That glutinous stuff penetrates deep into chips, cracks, and rivet gaps until no watery discharge can seep into the boat.

The systematic repair plan we’ve illustrated for you is important. It emphasizes the trace, prepare, and repair procedure that finds and closes minor leaks in aluminium boats. Chips, pinhole leaks, loose rivets, or seam gaps, all of these holes seal tightly when the above steps are followed. Incidentally, the products you choose should be abrasion resistant and flex-capable so that they permanently seal all of the leak scenarios you’ve read about today.

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