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Getting aluminum boat straightened

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  • Getting aluminum boat straightened

    I posted a related question earlier, but just noticed this forum topic...so I'll try to add to the help I have already gotten by bringing up the subject here.

    I have a 15' Grumman Pro-Fisherman boat set up like a "Bass Boat" for fresh water fishing. Is is constructed of aluminum and has the typical reinforced edge at the top of the gunwales. Hurricane Sandy hit NJ in late October and blew down several large White Pines trees on my property. One hit my Grumman boat and bent the left hand side gunwale down about four of five inches - I have a picture. In the past discussion I decided I will try to straighten the gunwale by driving it with heat using a timber and small sledge hammer. Then, I ask myself, what do the auto body shops use? I know they can straighten metal and must have some tools that pull/bend/push.. to move metal bracing. I wonder if a car body shop might be interested in straightening my boat gunwale. I can check with one or more local shops, but post that question here in case someone reading has experience in getting metal boats work on by a car body shop.

  • #2
    Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

    A good sheet metal man can probably be of service to you. I warn you that they're getting hard to find, as body shop technicians are mostly parts replacers. The repair may not be perfect without bondo, however.


    • #3
      Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

      Thanks, sheet metal shop hadn't occurred to me, I'll look into that. I am not concerned about the cosmetic aspects. I'd like the metal to be back in the basic shape it was, but I can live with some ripple or stress marks. The boat is not painted, it is bare aluminum.


      • #4
        Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

        I second the sheet metal guy. I saw some before and after pictures of one that was totaled and restored.


        • #5
          Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

          The metal in the damaged area of your boat has been stretched and will never go back to the way it was. Auto body shops use different methods to shrink the metal back, but it's mainly done with a hammer that looks like a meat tenderizer that puts many dimples in the metal to shrink it back to size. Without a body filler it'll look like caca-doodoo.

          Was your boat not insured?... maybe your homeowners insurance will write it off?
          I consider overkill a job well done... plus a little extra.

          There's as many ways to do something as there is people to tell you how to do it... but not all of them are the right way.

          The drinking and debauchery will continue until morale improves... and maybe for a little while after.


          • #6
            Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

            I have a home owner policy which covers personal property - but to save on insurance cost I have over the years (over 30 with State Farm) had a deductible policy. It is now $1,000 - the boat may have a replacement cost in the neighborhood of $4,000, but my boat is 30 years old. So, if anything like cars, the boat is likely totaled at $1,000 or less. I also had a yard tractor damaged, and I think I can combine them against the same deductible, all damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy.

            My main concern is that the boat will run true, straight keel, and that is only with a small 9.9 hp outboard which with just me in the boat and smooth water tops out at about 6, maybe 7 mph. Of course, I don't want the boat to sink either, and some rivets may have been stressed.


            • #7
              Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

              Unlike some other insurance companies that I won't name, State Farm has always been fair and bends over backwards on weather related claims. You should file the claim. If they total it it you might be able to buy it back from them at recycle value, repair it, then keep or sell if it does not meet your standards. They may decline to insure for anything other than liability if you go this route but that would be fair.


              • #8
                Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                I got my renewal notice from State Farm for my home owner, this caused me to look carefully at what I was paying for, and a lot of $$$ too, and I see in addition to my $1,000 deductible, I have a2% (or amount of home replacement coverage) hurricane deductible... so not likely to have a claim over the deductible.

                Good news, a local fishing expert (books and regular article in local paper) recommended a sheet metal guy who has worked on his aluminum boat. I'll check tomorrow.

                To get a balanced picture I decided to look on Craigslist, and wow. I found a nearby 1995 Discovery Voyager with a new 9.9 hp Yamaha (my local lakes limit me to 10 hp), with trailer, nice fishing layout with extras and a nice looking trailer and tires/wheels for $3,300 or BO. I'll call them tomorrow too. It is clear from what I think I see I don't want to put more than about $1,000 in to repairing my damaged boat hull, it has some damage to the outboard engine too, I think only the engine cover.

                It looks like used boats/outfits are available for a fraction of the cost of new outfit. I don't know the brand Discovery, fut from the pictures it looks like a nice finish and a deep hull, I think (have to look back) it said the engine was a long shaft, suggesting more free board than I have on my current Grumman - I like that too.


                • #9
                  Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                  Pix of your boat & of the Discovery will get you more opinions, which may be good or bad

                  If you can wait, prices will only drop from now until xmas, and as xmas gets close real deals may be easier to find. 6-8wks before the spring fishing starts, it will be hit & miss.

                  Guys looking to dump the old boat if it couldn't be (wasn't) used as a trade in on their new rig may let it go really cheap to keep a happy wife, or appease their HOA/city/neighbors. Guys that want to fund a large portion of their new pending (wanted) boat purchase may also set high unrealistic prices hoping to score big to help pay for the new boat. Same for guys who don't want to sell the boat, but listed it for sale too high just to pacify the wife.

                  Hope the Discovery is a great option, if not, happy hunting!
                  Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride


                  • #10
                    Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                    I am not an aluminum expert, but I do work on some cars that have aluminum body panels...most aluminum becomes work hardened when it is stressed and requires a really knowledgeable and talented aluminum fabricator to apply the correct amount of heat and pressure to prevent the aluminum from cracking when getting re-shaped, although a real good tech can weld a repair panel in and not even leave much of a scar...we usually either replace the panel or pound it roughly back into shape, if possible, slather on some Bond-o and Paint and make it what it ain't...

                    Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome...especially if you have pics...
                    Why a Fiberglass Boat?...Because they are,"The more beautiful, more seaworthy, more elegant, more easier to get chicks in, nicer, more common, more socially accepted, more politically correct boats."Quote by oops!
                    Tight Lines and Float, Float On!
                    Links to everything having to do with this restoration...
                    1988/2014 Glasstream Resto-Mod
                    PAGE ONE
                    PAGE TWO
                    PAGE THREE
                    PAGE FOUR
                    Trailer Thread


                    • #11
                      Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                      Here is a picture of the main damage to my Grumman Pro Fisherman. The picture is shot from bow looking back along the port side. You can see the bow to give some reference to size. I see you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it. This is my first picture on this forum. The wood you see is an arrangement I added to the bow to mount an electric trolling motor.

                      On the Discovery Voyager I found an old thread on iboats that traces that brand to a "spin off" from Grumman, emplyees leaving to start their own company. They went out of business in the late 1990s I think.

                      Here's the Craigslist link: 1995 14ft Discovery Voyager fishing boat with New 9.9 Yamaha in the pictures this looks like a great deep boat suitable for use on large lakes, I don't mean the Great Lakes, but lakes a couple of miles wide that have some problems with sudden high winds - we have couple of those in central NJ. I'd consider this boat a step up, 10 years newer and deeper hull... and a near new outboard, it looks like a 2 cycle, but I'll ask on that too.

                      I appreciate all inputs very much.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                        If all else is good w/ your set up, 9.9, electric trolling motor, seats & trailer. May find just a bare hull for real cheap, and add what you have to it short term & quick. Then watch for a GREAT deal on something like that Discovery.

                        $3300 sounds a bit high for a 1995 14' semi-v w/ a 9.9, but it does look like it's in really good shape & well outfitted. Low hr motor is a plus, but until there's a problem, I'm not sure how you'd tell how many hours it has on it.

                        Has Yamaha changed much on their 9.9's since 1995? 5hrs seems ridiculously low for a 17-18yr old motor, but thats based on the age of the boat. I don't know a lot about OB's & even less about Yamaha OB's.

                        If you go to look at it, you might try & take a model # & yr list of Yamaha 9.9s w/ you to see how old the motor is by decoding the model & serial #.

                        Hate to see the boat damage, bummer. The Discovery does look like a nice rig, and I really don't have a frame of reference to gauge the price. It may sound like a screaming deal to some, and way overpriced to others. I'm in the middle somewhere.....

                        There are used 14' boats w/ motors from $1295-3995 in the iboats classifieds that are linked at the top of most of the forum pages. From Fl to Oregon and a few in between.

                        Here's a Sylvan in WV for < the $2K w/ no motor, less may buy it:
                        2000 Sylvan 14 Super Snapper 409735 Lavalette for Sale - iboats.com 1273651

                        Between now & the first of the year, I bet you could hunt up a nice 15-25hp motor, maybe even off of a similarly Sandy damaged boat w/ an undamaged motor. It's rated for up to a 35hp.

                        May be just hold & wait for a deal if your 9.9 has been getting it done until now. You may even put off another motor until Nov/Dec 2013..

                        Of course, you may get great news from the metal guy & its all for naught anyway..

                        Have a great week!
                        Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride


                        • #13
                          Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                          Thanks for the iboat link, I looked for such and didn't find it...

                          The link you provided looks like a very nice boat, much like my boat only much newer and with paint. I didn't see the year, oh, a 2000, 5 years newer than the Discovery.. and I don't know the brand either. Plus, a new 9.9 OB engine in 2 cycle (if they can still be purchased) is over $2,000 = to the cost of the boat and trailer. And, not sure where it is located. I did spot the used boat listing tag at the top of the page, I hadn't used it but will.

                          I believe th Discovery package is with a new engine, with a few hours on it. Why? Don't know, I can ask. I am in general Leary of private-party purchases/sales. I suppose they will take a personal check if I provide drive license information - guess giving my DL number isn't too much of a threat on the ID theft scale. What should I expect beside a "bill of sale" (then sales 7% sales tax when I register), should I expect a title, on the boat and on the trailer? I think both have current registration. I'd be willing to pay a few % more to buy from an established dealer who will make some claims (no leaks, runs straight, engine will work for 90 days...).


                          • #14
                            Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                            I was using the WV boat merely as an example of a decent boat, w/out a motor, that might be bought for 1/2 what they're asking for the Discovery, and use the motor you have now until you can find a deal on a great motor.... Although it isn't a Starcraft, the Sylvan brand is well regarded aluminum hull manufacturer. But it was merely an example... I wouldn't suggest that you drive this far to buy a $2K boat....

                            I agree a new 9.9 might be $2k, may be more, but unless you know a lot about Yamaha 9.9 OB's, since the seller has it listed as 'LIKE NEW' not new, I was suggesting that you take some Yamaha model & serial # info w/ you when you go to look at the Discovery. That way you can look it up while you're there & get it's year by decoding the model & serial #. The motor may in fact be a 1995 model, & you might consider that the low 5hrs & 'like new' condition to be suspect & inaccurate. Even very well cared for motors that have quite a few hours may look 'like new' if well taken care of, or have possibly gotten a fresh coat of paint in the last year or two. If the motor is a 2011 Yamaha 9.9, maybe it does only have 5hrs.

                            Unless you ask the seller in advance about using a money order or a cashier's check, I doubt many sellers will take anything other then cash for their boat.

                            You should look up NJ's rules & regs for boat ownership (title & transfer) and registration as well as trailer title & registration info. Small boats, low hp motors, and low weight trailers are occasionally not titled, but usually require registration. Depending on NJ's requirements, you may need more then a bill of sale, and if the owner never titled it, or never transferred it into their name, it can become a huge headache & very time consuming to comply w/ current regulations. The rules may have changed since the current owner bought the boat, they may just not know what the rules were/are, or don't care if you'll buy the boat w/out knowing for yourself.

                            Title & registration and your concerns about buying from a private seller could all be mitigated by buying from a dealer.
                            Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: Getting aluminum boat straightened

                              Progress Report:

                              1) On repair of existing boat, zero, I have not heard anything back from the aluminum fabricator I sent pictures too, I'll telephone him again tomorrow.
                              2) On the Yamaha and 14' Deep V, Discovery Aluminum fishing boat (asking $3,300 - a 1995 model) I went to take a look today. The boat looks as good as the Craigslist pictures (I provided a link in an earlier email - also a picture of the damage to my existing boat, but I can't seem to find that post right now). I went armed with the "word" from the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (handles boats too) and was flatly told any boat over 12' (canoes/yaks not included) must be registered and must have a title. I said the boat has an NJ registration and she said then the current own will have no problem getting a title issued to them. I also check and told the interface I had (not the owner) that there is branch of PNC bank where I have my funds just a couple of miles from the location of the boat and I would prefer having a receipt for my payment, e.g., a certified check. He seemed somewhat more interested in cash, but didn't argue much. I feel I need a receipt in case there is some disagreement on if I paid or not. What can I do if I hand someone a hand full of cash and they turn around and walk off? I'm a big guy, but I don't carry a gun and in fact no one outside of law enforcement is allowed to carry a concealed or open weapon... but I digress. The two pedestal seats, mid-ship and stern (tiller steer OB) look like new, he said they are near new and form ******* - look like they must be about $100 each, the front seat has a Discovery logo and he said that may be original. The carpeting looks good, but it was sitting uncovered outside and we got about 1" of wet snow last night, so much was covered with snow. He was not able to get the Yamaha to start, and I said we can put that off to the next step if we can reach an agreement on the price - I said I'd go for $2,800. He contacted the owner (the boat/owner are at a very nice three car garage 4,000+ square foot home, so I assume the owner isn't likely to be in the business of selling junk to people from his property.d My interface, a neighbor from across the street, talked with the owner and said the owner would get a title this Saturday and would throw in the fish finder (don't know exactly what but I did observe the transducer at the rear of the boat, looks professionally done) and asked about a price of $3,000. So, I'd guess I can have it for $2,900, which I intimated and conditioned on meeting the owner, and getting the engine turned up. Again, the hull looks very clean and straight, the rivet look tight to the eye, and the logo paint and the stern mounting look very good, the electric switch panel (sump, live well, and lights) works, it has a large deep cycle battery all really looks good.

                              What became clear is the 9.9 hp Yamaha is as old as the boat, or nearly so - I understand the current owner purchased the boat 2nd hand and motor from a local marina (there is a sticker for the marina on the stern) and then purchased a 25 hp 4 cycle to use on the boat, thus the engine has seen very little use, and it looks like that is the case... but my experience says it isn't good to have an engine sitting unused for years.. seals and internal rust problems can develop, not to mention carburetor problems. I'll explore this further - any comment on what should have been done to the subject engine if it was sitting unused for long periods, maybe years?


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