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Question:
I just bought an old 14ft. aluminum boat and I want to seal the rivets to prevent leaking. What should I use? Will a high quality silicone work? Should I seal them from the inside or outside of the hull? Also, do aluminum boats weaken with age? Mine is about 30 some years old.


Answer:
-Mine is too old to tell. Old aluminium eventually hardens in the area of repeated stress, and cracks. Some aluminium boats are easy to weld, some not so, depending on the alloy used. A good welder can tell you.

Get two rocks. Get a friend to hold one rock against the outside of the rivet, and bash the inside with the other rock, or vice versa. If you get viscious enough, the little bugger will stop leaking, so long as you are both entertaining the same rivet.

The other solution is to drill out a really bad rivet, and install a new solid rivet, using equivalent technology, possibly two hammers, or a dolly and a hammer. No sealant is required, as the rivet expands to fill any voids, unless the hole is really ragged. In that case, a larger hole, nice and round, and a properly fitted rivet may be employed.


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