How To: 7 easy steps to restoring a leaky aluminium boat using epoxy
WEST SYSTEM G/flex® speciality epoxy is a sensible investment if your aluminium boat is in a little need of TLC. The exceptionally strong holding qualities are designed to provide unbeatable grip to plastics, glass, masonry, fibreglass, wood and metals, such as aluminium.
The bonds that it creates are strong enough to endure shocks, knocks, expansion and contraction.
Not only can it be used to effectively repair leaky rivets and seams, the bonds that it creates are strong enough to endure shocks, knocks, expansion and contraction, meaning that your boat will be fully protected.
We take you through the process of fixing a leaking aluminium boat using G/flex epoxy– the only other items you’ll need are a WEST SYSTEM® 807 Syringe, a handheld propane torch, a heat gun and some paper towels. Then just follow these eight simple steps:
- First, you need to identify exactly where the leak is coming from– this can be done by filling each side of the boat, in turn, with water up to the waterline to reduce the risk of causing damage to the boat and distorting its shape. Once the leaking areas have been identified, mark them with a waterproof marker.
- Next you will need to turn the boat over to begin preparing the surfaces around the leaks. For leaking rivets, clean the area and use a wire brush to roughen the surface. For leaking seams, carefully clean out any debris.
- Create a thoroughly mixed blend of G/flex epoxy resin and hardener in a measuring container, extracting the mix into a WEST SYSTEM 807 Syringe. If the repair is large, it may be easier to cut off the tip of the syringe to create a larger opening for ease of application.
- Using a propane torch or heat gun, dry out the area for repair by heating to between 80-100°C. This allows moisture to be forced out of the area and also thins out the G/flex epoxy once applied, ensuring it flows more easily into affected seams and rivets.
- Make sure you fill all of the seams and rivets in the heated area whilst the aluminium is still heated. We suggest you use a heat gun in one hand whilst using the other to apply G/flex epoxy from the syringe– this ensures that the necessary heat is maintained and that the G/flex epoxy is directed into the required areas.
- Once the repair area has a sufficient amount of G/flex epoxy applied to it, make sure to place the used syringe on a paper towel to catch any excess epoxy.
- Still using the heat gun, keep applying heat to the treated area until the G/flex epoxy has gelled, and then continue at a lower temperature until it’s fully cured, or allow it to cure more slowly at room temperature.
Repeat the process as required for each leak repair area, making sure to maintain sufficient heat throughout.
Once you’ve followed the steps above and the epoxy has completely cured, you can test your boat on the water.
If you follow our guidelines when applying G/flex speciality epoxy, it won’t only stop the water from getting in but will also protect the aluminium boat for years to come, which means saving money and time on future repair work. So if your aluminium boat is in need of repair, pick up some WEST SYSTEM G/flex epoxy today.
To discover the full range of WEST SYSTEM products, visit the West System International website.