Monday, April 23, 2012

14' Modified V Jon Boat: Sealing Rivets

Ever since I bought my boat I have had a few leaky rivets. I thought I had the leaky rivets patched up a month ago, but we took the boat out last weekend and I noticed the rivets under the back bench seat had water around them. The boat isn't leaking bad at all, but I'm the kind of person who has to have things perfect. (Or at least as good as I can afford.) This Saturday we had rain and thunderstorms all day so I decided to patch a few more rivets on the boat. I went to Walmart and picked up a tube of Permatex Sensor Safe Blue RVT Silicone Gasket Maker. I was told to use this type of silicone to stop leaky rivets before, so I used it on the rivets that I thought were leaking in the front of the boat with success.
8 Rivets between the middle and back bench seat.
When I got home I began preparing the rivets for silicone. I started by using soap and water to clean the dirt off of the rivets and surrounding areas. I simply added dawn dish liquid to the bottom of a cup and added water. I then used a wash cloth and paper towels to clean the dirt off.

From there the next step is to sand the area to give the silicone a good surface to attach to. I personally used what I had lying around, which happened to be 100 grit sand paper, as well as a fine sanding block. There's really no need to go super fine with the sand paper, since all you really want to do is create a rough surface. I also noted a few minor dents and dings so I cleaned and sanded them as well. I then cleaned the surfaces once again with water and soap to remove the excess dirt and aluminum that was created from sanding.

At this point all that is left to do is apply the RVT Silicone to the rivets. I started by adding a nickel sized circle of silicone to each rivet and tapering them off from the center to the edges. I then added more silicone if needed to completely cover the head of the rivet and to connect the two rivet areas.

All that is left to do is smooth the surface of the silicone out as best you can with your finger, or tool. I have found that these patches work best if the edges are super thin. This helps to keep them from ripping up when you walk on them. We took the boat out Sunday and the rivets had stopped leaking. Now I just have to find a way to keep the water from the anchor and anchor ropes from getting into the boat, maybe I'll use a small bucket for that.

1 comment:

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