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  1. #1
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    Default Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    I went today to look at an open 16' aluminum boat, something I've been looking for for a while, the price was right and when I got there the boat was sitting turned upside down on some logs but not covered.

    It looked decent but when I grabbed the rail to flip it over to inspect the inside, noticed that the gunwale rails were all split open, some splits still had ice pushing out of them.

    Being that it was left to sit upside down, a good idea to preserve the inside, the open seam of the only riveted gunwale rail let water fill up that tube area, when it froze, the rail split open like a frozen water pipe. The boat had several huge cracks along the gunwales, some nearly full length of the boat.
    Needless to say I walked away but I think it's worth making note of when storing a boat upside down outside in freezing weather. I think that boat would have been better off if left upright and covered, or even uncovered and just stored bow upwards. It was an open hull with no wood, so there's nothing that would have rotted other than maybe the transom wood which was surface mounted anyhow.

    I wonder how many other boats have this same issue if stored belly up?

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    ice can be very destructive..
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  3. #3
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    Common freeze damage. No big thing to fiz just get it welded of you thinks it interferes with support or you could hammer it down (the splits) and jb Weld it.

    Be sure to drill a few drain holes for the future and make sure they are clear when it is stored.

    The splits and the ice are good for you if you are going to buy the boat.... they become bargaining points on how much money it will cost to replace it

    I have a double atv trailer that has built in aluminum ramps and they have split from water/ice too. Just like a pipe split in copper in the winter..... no panic..... just repair and move on!
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
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  4. #4
    Captain Tim Frank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    Quote Originally Posted by tashasdaddy View Post
    ice can be very destructive..
    Always nice to hear the inside scoop on ice-damage from our friends in Florida....especially after we have just had a week of 20 below....

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Mark_VTfisherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Frank View Post
    Always nice to hear the inside scoop on ice-damage from our friends in Florida....especially after we have just had a week of 20 below....
    So you guys are the ones that sent that 29-below-zero night...
    Clean feet are happy feet; same for boats.
    1964 MFG Niagara Deluxe

  6. #6

    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    I have a 1957 Alumacraft 14' boat that I bought last January from an inlaw. The boat was half full of water, er ice. Literally half full of ice. I put it in my gargae to thaw and it took two weeks.

    I took the boat out this past summer a few times and it doesn't leak at all. As pointed out in the original post, yes it is better to store it right side up. When water freezes it expands, that can be veryt destructive, and the reason we have pot holes in hte street.


    PS
    the heat wave started ysterday, we are up to 9 above 0. Last week it got to 50 degrees below freezing plus the wind chill. That's cold.

  7. #7
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanr3 View Post
    yes it is better to store it right side up. When water freezes it expands, that can be veryt destructive, and the reason we have pot holes in hte street.
    So where do the pot holes come from in hot climates??? I have been to the Florida Keys and I never suspected that the pot holes were from freezing!!


    I have seen 4' deep pools freeze solid which is common.... as long at there is room to expand. I always stored my boats bow high and plug removed to drain if any water got past the cover.

    My 14' Starcraft is stored upside down on the trailer....... between the snow, ice and leaves it stays cleaner. If the rub rail ever spilts ....... I will fix it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Freeze damage to aluminum hull

    The one I looked at was pretty badly split, you'd have to spend all day hammering cracks closed and welding. They would also always show since most were right on top.

    I have two that no matter what, won't drain all their water out, even if put several feet higher in the bow, the drain plug hole is about 2" above the bottom due to a rear rib that crosses right at the bottom of the transom. Super strong but not the greatest for draining. The drain tube extends into the boat 3", or just past that last rib. (Standing it up vertical would allow water to accumulate up to that tube. just wrap it up and keep the bow high, all should be fine. Just so no water is trapped or inside any structure all should be fine.

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