Dings in aluminium boats

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Can they be be repaired? How costly are they to repair compared to GRP? Anyone got first hand experience of Ovni , Allures, Garcia repairs?
 

Quandary

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Not really an answer to your question but
Last year I was helping one ( French but not an Ovni) through the canal here when the skipper made a gear selection error and went full ahead into lock 2 colliding with the closed heavy steel upper gate, the crash was loud enough to wake the Scottish Canal guys in the workshop. The pulpit was comprehensively rearranged and the ears of the bow roller were forced back but I could detect no visible damage at all to the hull.
Though I suppose if they are so hard to bend they may be equally hard to straighten.
 

Lon nan Gruagach

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Can they be be repaired? How costly are they to repair compared to GRP? Anyone got first hand experience of Ovni , Allures, Garcia repairs?

Repair is virtually the same as original build, so, yes, eminently repairable.
An aluminium repair will be indistinguishable (mechanically) from the original build, so better than all but an ultimate GRP repair.
But, theres always a but. Since the process involves a lot of heat then preparation is more involved. Removing everything that can be damaged by heat from the area. Also it is vital that the new section (if required) and the welding rods are an identical alloy to the original material otherwise galvanic corrosion will eat you boat (or the patch)
Cost: your biggest expense will be a top notch welder, garage welding probably wont cut it, having said that there are plenty about.
 

[3889]

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Thanks. I believe some Obnis, at least, have reinforced bows for dealing with ice.
I can see why many boats are left with the odd ding if repair preparation is so complex.
 

DownWest

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Not a ding, but an ally boat appeared next to us in the local yard. They sand blasted off the coatings (nice for us, as the dust was all over..)
It was like an Ovni, but not. Same hard chine with a box keel and centerplate. The box keel had corroded and exposed the lead ballast inside. No idea about why it happened, but felt a bit bad as it was their live-aboard. It got carted up to La Rochelle to fix the prob. Won't have been cheap..
 

TQA

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Small dings can be filled with bog. Large ones can be cut out and a new piece welded in. MIG / TIG has a cooling gas flow so the amount of internal dismantling need not be extensive.

BUT If you start with a natural ali finish then hiding the repair is virtually impossible without a paint job. Of course you need not paint the whole boat eg turn the ding into a pic of a sunflower as seen on a French boat named Tournesol.

Most ali boats seem to ignore their dings and carry on with life.
 

Fr J Hackett

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MIght question that comment. The gas flow is a shield to stop oxidation of the metal. Doesn't stop it getting pretty hot.

The heat will be fairly localised so unless the stuff inside is actually touching the weld area then things should be OK. I don't know about how a welded patch might change the characteristics of the Al locally and induce stress, I am not a coded welder or yacht designer.
I suspect that it only gets really costly when you have a nicely painted hull and then you have a lot of filling fairing and painting to do.
I have never been able to make my mind up about aluminium boats, certainly after we saw an Onvi with davits and my mate described it as looking like a big wheelbarrow with a mast.;)
 

Lon nan Gruagach

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The heat will be fairly localised so unless the stuff inside is actually touching the weld area then things should be OK. I don't know about how a welded patch might change the characteristics of the Al locally and induce stress, I am not a coded welder or yacht designer.
I suspect that it only gets really costly when you have a nicely painted hull and then you have a lot of filling fairing and painting to do.
I have never been able to make my mind up about aluminium boats, certainly after we saw an Onvi with davits and my mate described it as looking like a big wheelbarrow with a mast.;)

Theres a 15m ally saily boat near here, unpainted. The bulkhead and rib positions can be seen clear as a bell from the outside. it might be that the hull panels also line up with them, but the dark stripes at those locations are quite wide.
adventure_selkie.jpg
 

Arcady

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Theres a 15m ally saily boat near here, unpainted. The bulkhead and rib positions can be seen clear as a bell from the outside. it might be that the hull panels also line up with them, but the dark stripes at those locations are quite wide.
adventure_selkie.jpg

It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but might that not be water staining running through the scuppers on the toe rail?
 
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