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cracked keel

7/14/15 @ 5:55 PM
ORIGNAL POST
STING RAY
User since 6/1/08
So whats the fix on a cracked keel? I have a 18 ft smoker craft the other day out fishing I noticed i took on a lot of water. I got home and filled the boat up with water to find the leak and found a 8 to 9 inch crack in the front keel. Anybody have any knowledge on getting it fixed?

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 13 POSTS
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4/7/20 @ 8:32 PM
WelderGuy
WelderGuy
User since 12/19/10

Yeah old post but I concur, welding the crack wouldn’t be a permanent fix it will likely crack again at the base of the weld. The rods previously mentioned are called alumalloy, they work like brazing and use less heat than TIG welding. They used to have an infomercial on tv using them to fix all sorts of things. Different scenario but I welded a Jon boat for a guy where the ribs were worn through from dragging the boat on ground,  that was about 5 years ago and still no leaks but that’s not the same as a stress crack. 

4/6/20 @ 8:20 AM
Tuffy2
MEMBER since 7/7/04

Post is 5 years old! The boat is either fixed, replaced, or sunk.

4/6/20 @ 5:36 AM
Paranoid Percher
User since 8/19/18

call your insurance company tell them to take a look had this problem on a Princecraft my insurance total

ed the boat



4/5/20 @ 4:14 AM
Technodive
User since 4/5/20

Yes , I agree the cheapest and easiest method to repair the aluminum keel is to weld it. Rather than just welding the crack which was mostly due to wear I bent a piece of aluminum and welded it to the keel. This also reinforced it.  Fellow tells me he still has the boat and no leaks. His keel is mostly worn out from dragging it on the shore. Hope this helps. 

7/14/15 @ 9:26 PM
smokercraft427
MEMBER since 4/16/06
I agree, the only absolute permanent repair is the total keel replacement. Which is cost prohibited.

7/14/15 @ 9:21 PM
smokercraft427
MEMBER since 4/16/06
I think the term weld is incorrect when talking about the thin aluminum on boats. And, a tig or mig weld is not the correct application because of the excessive heat required. Check out Muggyweld on you tube. The rods I previously mentioned do not require oxy acetylene level of heat. A map gas is plenty, which is a much better option to prevent the weakening of panels. Again, my biggest concern would be the continuing of the split beyond the repair since it's not separated at a joint. But if it did continue to split it wouldn't be because of the heat applied during the initial repair. ie weakening of surrounding material.

7/14/15 @ 9:15 PM
migr8r
migr8r
User since 2/8/11
I've been told the only permanent fix is to replace the entire keel. When you figure the labor to take your boat apart to bare-bones and drill out and re-rivet the entire keel, you're better off buying a new boat. Probably a $5000 project.

7/14/15 @ 9:07 PM
migr8r
migr8r
User since 2/8/11
I cracked mine the first time pushing it a little too hard on bago and recracked it on lk mich. Apparently smaller alum boats don't fare well on big water. My crack is exactly as long and where yours is.

7/14/15 @ 9:01 PM
STING RAY
User since 6/1/08
Thats what im worried about. Its a pretty long crack. I need this to be a permanent fix. I fish alot of big water ie. michagan and bago and i doent need this to leak or crack again. Anybody recommend a good boat repair place? I live in sheboygan county.

7/14/15 @ 8:56 PM
migr8r
migr8r
User since 2/8/11
Where are you? If anywhere near Eagle, Wi there is a welding shop that can fix it. I've had them fix mine twice and they've done a great job. Great guys and reasonable price.

I will tell you that it's not a permanent fix and to be honest your boat likely has limited days afloat. That crack happens with excess weight in the bow and flex in the boat structure. Now that it is cracked, it will happen again. When? No telling. The weld will be stronger than the surrounding metal and eventually will likely crack along each side. The heat from more than a couple weld attempts will compromise the joint at the joint of the keel and sidewall and it will leak. I've got the exact issue and am babying my boat until I can replace it. I'm on my second weld attempt.

R and D Welding

DISPLAYING 1 TO 10 OF 13 POSTS
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