How to Seal Rivets on an Aluminum Boat

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Aluminium boats can last for years with proper maintenance. The aluminium does not corrode and doesn't need to be painted. Occasionally, however, the rivets in an aluminium boat can form very small leaks. Although not dangerous, these leaks can allow a small amount of water into your boat that can be annoying. Sealing these leaky rivets is something most boat owners can accomplish in a few hours using easily obtained materials.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Marine epoxy sealant
  • Hobby torch
  • Permanent marker
  • Heat gun
  • Syringe
  • Wire brush

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  1. 1

    Trailer the boat out of the water. Allow the hull to dry. Fill the bottom inside of the boat with water. Go underneath the boat and identify the leaking rivets. Mark each leaking rivet with a permanent marker.

  2. 2

    Remove the water from the boat. Take the boat off the trailer. With a friend, flip the boat over so the bottom of the boat is facing up.

  3. 3

    Use the wire brush to clean and scrape the area around each leaking rivet.

  4. 4

    Light the torch and use it to heat each leaking rivet and each seam that has leaking rivets. The torch will thoroughly dry the area, preparing it to accept epoxy.

  5. 5

    Mix the marine epoxy according to manufacturer's instructions. Pour the marine epoxy into the syringe.

  6. 6

    Use the heat gun to keep the work area warm while you apply the marine epoxy to each leaking rivet with the syringe. Use the same process for each seam that contains leaking rivets. Apply epoxy to one rivet at a time and apply heat until the epoxy starts to set. Repeat this process on each affected rivet and seam until complete.

  7. 7

    Allow the epoxy to dry according to manufacturer's instructions. Launch the boat and check for leaks. If any rivets leak, repeat the process.

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