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Frickin Dead Head repairs


Tom Linderholm

Question

Cruising through the Duluth entry today behind a trawler throwing up a good wake and then WHAMMO! I feel a jolt but look around and see nothing. Back at the landing I notice I have a dent the size of a football right in the keel with a hairline crack running half the length of it. No water was taken in. By the way it is an aluminum boat

Question is:

A)Do I skip fixing it as I didn't notice any handling difference?

B)JB weld the crack?

C)Bring it to some one and have it repaired?

1)That raises the question of who do I bring it too?

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ouch! i was down by the swing bridge this afternoon in 20 fow, and something got caught inbetween my prop and bent one of the blades. i would get that crack welded right away, four years ago on my way to rainy river in the spring one of the rollers on the trailer busted right thru the back of my old boat, i brought it to a guy up in munger and they did a nice job fixing it for $100.00. if i can find the company name i will let you know. the crack in your boat shouldn't cost that much to fix though, they had to put a 6in. by 6in. patch in mine.

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Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think I will have the whole thing repaired. The crack is more of a hairline about 6 inches long. If a name comes to mind defiantely let me know.

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I'm not a boat professional, but when we had a crack like that in the skin or minor structures of an aircraft, we'd first-thing drill a tiny hole at the end of the crack and at least stop it from getting any worse...

then call the welders.

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Definitly get it repaired (and not with JB weld) the keel serves a lot of functions, and one of them is to provide structural support to the hull of the boat. This helps the boat to avoid flexing (kinda like the steel struts you see on the back of your garage door). Over time, the continual flexing will cause the crack to get worse, so I would suggest getting it taken care of right away. Just be glad it wasnt a fiberglass boat... Once you crack a keel on those babies it extremely difficult to get it repaired correctly...

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The only reason it didn't leak is the seam tape held. You will need to get it welded and there may be the possibility you will need to take the floor up and replace some of the seam tape.

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Get it repaired! The advice about drilling a hole at each end of the crack is right on. Left unchecked, the crack will only propagate under the cyclic stresses on a boat. I can't tell where the crack is, welding may or may not be the best solution. If it's up front, I'd be leery of welding. Toward the back it's probably ok. Another solution might be to rivet a second skin right over the damaged area. Who would or could do this correctly I don't know.

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The worst part about welding too high up on the keel is that it may dry, burn or crack that seam tape. We've repaired several leaky bows where the leak was coming from the seam where someone had tried to repair a keel and disturbed the seal. If the damage is right over the seam, the best way to do it would be to take out the rivets a ways down and pull the keel away from the hull slightly before you weld and then replace the tape while it's out.

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Thanks for the advice, the dead head was sunken so it hit pretty low on my bow. I have a one peice hull so taking out rivets is not an option. I took it out after the incident for a full evening with no leak. I have also found a shop in the Duluth area that will fix her up for me. Thanks again

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