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Old 02-16-13, 03:32 PM   #1
sdesi2010
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Default Boat Leak Test

So here's my dilemma:

I bought a 14' jon boat off clist about a month or so ago. Its middle of winter so obviously couldn't put it in the water prior to buying. The boat looks mint.

I may be over thinking this but I'm just concerned that the boat might leak. Now it has me actually worrying about it.

So here is my idea to test it. Once it warms up a little, I want to fill the boat with water, not all the way up, just enough to cover the bottom of the boat. Then I can check to see if it leaks. My thoughts are that if it leaks, the water is just as apt to seep out as it is to leak in when I'm on the water. Thoughts?

Also, its a riveted jon boat, and I know aluminum isn't the easiest thing to weld, but if a rivet or two does leak can I just weld the rivet or what other experiences have you had with fixing these types of boats?
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Old 02-16-13, 04:07 PM   #2
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If it looks mint it probably is. You can fill it with water but thats a lot of work and sometimes the where you see the water dripping isn't really where the leak is. JBweld is far cheaper, easier and just as effective as trying to find somebody who knows how to weld aluminum. For detailed tutorials and good alum boat mods and repairs, these guys are experts....www.tinboats.com
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Old 02-16-13, 04:52 PM   #3
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Filling it up a little is what I would do, not all the way as you said. It will let you know where there could be some trouble.

I second JB Weld, or JB Quik as your better options if you do find problem areas. JB weld is pretty good stuff, maybe not as good as if you could find someone to weld, but the trouble it saves is worth it.
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Old 02-16-13, 09:12 PM   #4
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well if it were ME, i would fill it to at LEAST the to of the seats. those rivets on the seats can be a leaky spot.

3rd the Jb weld IS A GREAT LEAK STOPPER.
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Old 02-16-13, 10:16 PM   #5
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Wont likly show if its a tiny leak dirt would clog the hole up,wait a tad longer and float on the trailer at first,then if you do have one like another said jb wield.
Wouldnt sweat it if it looks pristine most likly is,if an older boat where pop rivets all leak its scrap metal.Float any boat you are going to buy then you wont worry,and if off craigs list float it twice then once more to make sure.
I bought my first boat out of a back yard and it was full of snow-fiberglass and wood -was lucky no rot.
That link he gave you should be of help if it does.
I dont normally buy where one cannot try them ever.Id even cut a hole in the ice with a chainsaw,and if it sank be the owners problem getting it out.Older alum as well as fiberglass dont have much floatation.

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Old 02-17-13, 08:19 AM   #6
sdesi2010
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Thanks for all the info.

If I do find a leaky rivet, do you recommend jb weld inside, outside or both sides?
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Old 02-17-13, 08:01 PM   #7
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If you get it to take on one side test then do the other side is my guess.
JB wield once i takes is as strong as the original metal or better,I once had a master brake cyl fail hole in side,after attempting to get all the rusty bolts loose gave jb a whirl,as no fluid in it,after it sat 1/2 hr filled it up 2 years later traded the ol rust bucket in on another slightly less rusted.Point is never did take it off it held hole was 1/4 and break master cyl are under lots of psi.
May be all mute may not leak.
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Old 02-17-13, 08:47 PM   #8
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if it were ME, iw ould go to lowes or home depot and buy a riveter and some rivets, 1 SIZE larger than what is in it. then i would drill out the leaky rivet and instal a NEW one. but that is ME.
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Old 02-18-13, 05:46 PM   #9
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sometimes if is just one or two rivets have a buddy go under boat and you on top. you will need two hammers . have your buddy hold is on rivet and you tap down rivet. this will tighten them up. then dap a little marine grade jb weld on inside and out that will stop leaks. or do like bama said if you cannot stop it drill out old and replace with new
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Old 02-18-13, 08:44 PM   #10
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I would take the boat off the trailer so you can get to the leak(s) if present. Mark spot with a marker so you remember where it is. That's what i did when my boat was leaking. I just used the jb weld on the outside and the stuff lasts forever. Another thing if one of the rivits falls out while you are fishing or going fishing take some small sheet metal screws slightly larger than the rivet hole. Screw the screw in and it temporarily saves the day. I always carry a couple of screws with me just in case. But like the others said being clean it should be fine. Just a question. Did you ask the person you bought the boat from if it leaked?
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Old 02-20-13, 08:56 PM   #11
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Good idea on how to test and ditto on the JB Weld.
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