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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got 17' 2001 Alumaweld Stryker that I bought used. The previous owner informed me that he took out much of the floatation below the deck because it had become water logged and damaged. I want to reinstall some type of floatation as well as address what looks like corrosion in spots where the foam once was.

I pulled the deck and he had in fact removed much of the foam, but left the foam alone that is inside the stringers as well as "pillows" of foam just forward of the driver and passenger seats as well as in the center cavity. The "pillows" of foam are somewhat discolored, but solid and the foam inside the stringers appears to be intact and not broken down.

My questions are these....

1. Since I have everything pulled up, what is the best way to check for leaks?
2. Should I go ahead and try to get the remaining foam out of the stringers so everything is clean?
3. How do I go about "treating" the aluminum where it appears corrosion is taking place? What process do I use as well as products?
4. What type of foam should I put back into the cavities below deck?

Any thoughts that anyone has to share on any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Lots of help here using the search function. Get all old foam out. On corrosion, get it all out down to shiny bare metal. If it has taken more than half of the hull thickness gone after cleaning, take it to someone like Quiet Riot to get it repaired. Clean it very well, then acid etch it and look for a product called alodine.

If you decide to put foam back in, then be sure that water has multiple ways of running out to the bilge, and don’t spray foam, as it forms too closely to the aluminum and will eventually create a place for corrosion.


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As far as checking for leaks, I've always (while on the trailer) put the plug in and filled the boat with water up to about the water line and looked for it coming out.

As for corrosion, make sure your zinc anodes are in good condition. Might also add a couple extra to help with future corrosion. I had a 23 Duckworth Magnum I ran out of Juneau and it had some serious corrosion from 100% salt water operation I had to contend with and additional zincs helped.

For cleaning up existing corrosion, I used a wire brush and some white vinegar to remove the corrosion. While in the Coast Guard, we used a zinc chromate primer for all painting on aluminum boats so rather than reinvent the wheel, I just did that and put a good marine polyurethane paint over the primer. Good luck!
 
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What are options if it's pitted and thinned the aluminum and it's on the floor. This a cut weld or patch?
 

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Maybe depends on how bad the pitting and area. Just a few pits, maybe grind and fill weld. Had a hole near the bow years ago.. was a copper wire that fell in the anchor locker and layed on the bottom with some dirt. Drilled it and a guy tig welded the hole shut. No problems since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What are options if it's pitted and thinned the aluminum and it's on the floor. This a cut weld or patch?
Subsequently found several holes (1/2 in in size and smaller along the keel right below the gas tank. First estimate I got to fix it was $4,000-5,000 to cut a 1' by 4' section out and reweld a new piece. Seemed a bit extreme. Have you ever used the product Super Alloy 5 Aluminum Welding and Brazing Rod with an oxyacetylene torch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've got 17' 2001 Alumaweld Stryker that I bought used. The previous owner informed me that he took out much of the floatation below the deck because it had become water logged and damaged. I want to reinstall some type of floatation as well as address what looks like corrosion in spots where the foam once was.

I pulled the deck and he had in fact removed much of the foam, but left the foam alone that is inside the stringers as well as "pillows" of foam just forward of the driver and passenger seats as well as in the center cavity. The "pillows" of foam are somewhat discolored, but solid and the foam inside the stringers appears to be intact and not broken down.

My questions are these....

1. Since I have everything pulled up, what is the best way to check for leaks?
2. Should I go ahead and try to get the remaining foam out of the stringers so everything is clean?
3. How do I go about "treating" the aluminum where it appears corrosion is taking place? What process do I use as well as products?
4. What type of foam should I put back into the cavities below deck?

Any thoughts that anyone has to share on any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.

Subsequently found several holes (1/2 in in size and smaller along the keel right below the gas tank. First estimate I got to fix it was $4,000-5,000 to cut a 1' by 4' section out and reweld a new piece. Seemed a bit extreme.Has anyone used the product Super Alloy 5 Aluminum Welding and Brazing Rod with an oxyacetylene torch? The video I saw indicated it was a fairly easy process. It's reviews were mixed.
 

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I would think it was pretty much garbage for this purpose. For less than a $1000 you can buy a used mig welder with a spool gun. My Lincoln 180c was only about $1400 15 years ago. Go to the local community college that reaches welding and take a semester course. My local has an art welding course. Great for learning, and not going to be a certified welder.
 

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I took a college welding course many years ago and we did learn how to 'gas' weld aluminum. It is unbelievably difficult because you have to set up your flame totally different than steel to minimize oxidation (your flame looks horrible when it is correct) and the eutectic point of aluminum (where you go from solid to a molten mess) is extremely narrow and simply cannot be seen: you practice endlessly until you get a feel for the temperature to add your rod. Not a beginner's project, or an intermediate level project to gas weld aluminum. Huge amounts of practice and skill. Plus, welding on something that thin, surrounded by thicker material, even in the best of conditions tends to blow it out. Really, it takes a LOT of skill to make repairs like you are talking about. People who are good at it make it look easy - just like Michael Jordan made it look like anybody could effortlessly make those three pointers. You probably should talk to Quiet Riot or possibly Gordon in Canby (he was previously an aircraft welder). I would expect they are both slammed with work.
 

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Subsequently found several holes (1/2 in in size and smaller along the keel right below the gas tank. First estimate I got to fix it was $4,000-5,000 to cut a 1' by 4' section out and reweld a new piece. Seemed a bit extreme. Have you ever used the product Super Alloy 5 Aluminum Welding and Brazing Rod with an oxyacetylene torch?
Tried it, was more trouble than it's worth. Bought a hobart 190 and mig gun, does great with 4043/5050 wire for how I use it. I have done .100-.190 panels pretty well with the mig. Also built a scratch start tig in my old tombstone for really thin stuff.
4-5k sounds pricey, but depends if they are doing all the work and guarantee it then maybe yah. I would think 500- 1k at most for a cut patch job if it's a flat section of surface. If any bending involved then prices goes up. Is there anything that can burn on other side like foam?
 

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Subsequently found several holes (1/2 in in size and smaller along the keel right below the gas tank. First estimate I got to fix it was $4,000-5,000 to cut a 1' by 4' section out and reweld a new piece. Seemed a bit extreme.Has anyone used the product Super Alloy 5 Aluminum Welding and Brazing Rod with an oxyacetylene torch? The video I saw indicated it was a fairly easy process. It's reviews were mixed.
That's pretty pricey. The market is not in your favor though.... I would get some other quotes. Where are ya located? Just for reference, my 24ft precision weld had a new bottom put on which is a lot more work for under 15k. Its a big jet and finally had to many rock hits.
 
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