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Non-MBG boat question (please forgive)


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So, apparently my son inherited the "dumb" gene from me that causes otherwise sensible men to buy boats into which they can continually hurl money.   He and his buddy spent a good portion of their hard earned money on a little G3 aluminum boat.   It's a great boat and a GREAT engine, but it's been the victim of electrolysis/galvanic corrosion, or whatever demons cause pinholes in aluminum boats.    

While the boat has a lot of them (bad), they are all still very very small (good) and they are confident that with enough JB weld, they can probably make it halfway to any desired fishing destination.   They seem less concerned about that prospect than I do, but what do I know, I recently went through a 2 year process of buying my boat twice.

All teasing aside, I do believe that they can correct the problems that have already happened.   The question for this group is - does anyone know what can be done to stop or at least slow the process that is causing this in the first place?    They are already going to replace the bunk carpet with plastic skids to keep that water away from the boat when it is on the trailer.   I've also got them removing every piece of metal from the hull that is not aluminum so we can put a sealant between the two metals.   I've read that you can mount zinc anodes to the hull, and they are looking into that.    Also, we'll be checking what little wiring there is to make sure we don't have any stray current.   

Aside from completely re-sealing the bottom of the boat (which will probably happen in the future) anything else we are missing?    This hole "pinhole" thing with aluminum is a terrifying mystery to me.   At least with Fiberglass, you can always sand it down and re-apply it!

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5 minutes ago, SouthernWake said:

Make sure the battery has a switch and it is turned off while not in use.

Was the boat stored in the water previously?


I have sealed many jon boats up with JB Weld, just prep the surface well. 

Thanks Southern Wake, glad someone on here has some experience with this.   No, the boat was never (to my knowledge) stored in the water.   It's a 2004 (boat, motor, and trailer) and the guy he bought it from was the second owner.   It had been garage kept for the years he owned it (8 or so).   He hadn't used it at all in the past 4 years - he stopped using it when he discovered it was leaking.   I am guessing the holes were forming from the prior owner, but hadn't penetrated when he bought it.   

Aside from sanding the area down, any other prep you recommend for the JB to hold?  The biggest hole is 1/8", but most are true pin holes.   We may eventually re-coat the entire bottom with Gluvit, but will try spot treatment w/ JB weld first.

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45 minutes ago, fin-addict said:

Are the holes all over or just the bottom or waterline down. Don’t think you answered the question about having a battery switch. 😀

Sorry Fin!  I missed that!    The holes are all on the bottom, but scattered.  There does seem to be a line of them on one side, which is curious, since it isn't near the bunk where I would have expected them . . . makes me wonder if there is a wire there.    Currently, there is no battery switch on the boat, but it's a good idea to add one eventually.   Boys just texted me - they have supplies and are starting work.   Got the trailer registered and are going to get the boat registered as well.   It's fun to watch this unfold.   They are bringing the trailer over tonight for me to help them grind down the rusted areas, apply some Ospho, and then paint w/ galvanized paint.   I think there is enough axel left to just repair, given how light the boat is, but we may have to replace it.   We'll also look at the bearings and decide if we need to replace them as well.

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On 5/17/2021 at 5:24 PM, THE OUTLAW said:

Flex Seal


That dude made a boat with a screen door .

As much as this sounds like a joke, this stuff is legit.  I had a crack weld on my old 92 starcraft and used this to temporarily seal it.  To my knowledge the kid that bought it from me which I told him about it said he has not touched it and it has been almost a year.....

WWU there are a few products out there that with a propane touch and a pre-fluxed aluminum rod you can easily braze those holes....


here is something else I came across also, https://www.hunker.com/13415425/how-to-repair-holes-in-aluminum


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On 5/17/2021 at 4:59 PM, jh141 said:

These guys make some incredible coatings. Have their super slick on our duck boat. Thing slides across glue. Bet they have something that will coat and seal those holes.



I have coated Jon boats, Pontoon boats and Airboats in Fasco products.  Super Slick is great for the bottom because it has teflon built in so it is literally "Super Slick".  We also use Fasco Epoxy products in the commercial aircraft world.  They make great stuff.

Just make sure you sand and prep the area well.  Mix correctly, Roll it on and let it set up.  You will be back in the water in no time.  FYI... they offer several colors including cammo green.    

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Quick update since so many of you provided advice and help.    I gotta say, I am proud of 'em.   They have spent the last few days sanding, scraping, fixing, and patching holes.  They have the boat and trailer, registered, titled and both passed the boating license test.   How they mananged to get the DMV to cooperate with them I still dont know.   

The trailer has new plastic bunk covers, the axle is regalvanized, the lights work (glory of glories).  All holes are patched on the boat.

They conducted their solo maiden voyage on Wednesday and the boat had no leaks.  They were going to fish, but ended up driving around most of the time enjoying their freedom.   Apparently that 25hp scoots pretty good, because they came back wide eyed and fired up.   





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1 hour ago, MuddyBottomBluz said:

Man, back in my day we had to carry our Jon Boats to the water, then go back and get the motor and gas tank! These kids today have it so easy!:D Kids getting down and dirty and fixing stuff on their own, that's always nice to see. Tell them to be safe and enjoy, they deserve it!

Hahah - That is so true.   My first boat cost me a hundred bucks and I put a 40 year old kicker on it.   Kept the boat up on the bank at the lake, but had to trek that outboard, trolling motor, and battery up and down to the lake every day in a wheel barrow.   I developed some serious shoulder muscles over those summers and learned a lot about how to fix fiberglass.   

I look at this boat these boys got with envy.   If I'd had something like that at their age, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  But these boys earned every penny for it, they found it, they negotiated the price, and they did the work to fix it, so it's been fun to watch them enjoy it.

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On 5/21/2021 at 8:55 PM, plainsman5 said:


That is fantastic!  Congrats to those young men for wanting to do this on their own!  Obviously y'all are doing a great job as parents.

Plainsman, thats a heck of a nice thing to say.  We are proud of the kids, and to watch my son take this on has been a real blessing.  Hoping to sneak in a trip tomorrow with him and his buddy in his boat and some of his brothers/sisters in mine.

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