How To Weld Your Leaking Aluminum Boat At Home

Randall Edwards

How To Weld Your Leaking Aluminum Boat At Home

The most discouraging news to an aluminum boat owner is to discover that their boat has started leaking. Luckily, an aluminum boat can be welded because a leaking boat should never be put into water.

It is possible to make both permanent and temporary fixes to a leak. Among what can be called temporary fixes, you can use various epoxies as well as compounds like RTV to fix that leak. You also have the option of welding the rupture shut.

Here, we tell you the steps you should take and the information you need to know to do option number two.

Aluminum Boat Welding – Locating the Leak

The location of the leak is one of the major factors in determining how suitable aluminum welding is as a solution for your leak. A smaller fracture or pinhole leak in the skin is easier to fix than a fracture at riveted joints, where the sheets of aluminum are joined together. A rubber or other such gasket close to the leak makes that leak an even worse candidate for an aluminum weld because the rubber will melt when it becomes too hot. In such a case, it is better to go with some other solution, such as using a sealing compound such as 3M 5200. Welding too close to rubber will create more problems than it will solve.

Aluminum Boat Welding – Using Brazing Rods

For do it yourself welding, an inexpensive solution is to use aluminum welding, or what are also called brazing rods to fix the leak. Using these you can repair an aluminum boat at home using a common propane torch.

The aluminum needs to be heated to a temperature of 732 degrees Fahrenheit (389 degrees Celcius) in order for welded with brazing rods to work.

This step requires careful handling because at such a high temperature, there is a risk you will hold the torch over the aluminum for too long and burn another hole through the metal (easily done). Also be careful of the oxides that are formed on the surface of the metal – you should use a stainless steel brush to avoid contaminating the surface.

How to Aluminum Weld

The first step is to scrape the surface of the metal that needs welding with the stainless steel brush to get rid of any contaminants.

As you heat up the surface of the boat to be welded, be careful not to melt the aluminum skin. At normal temperatures, aluminum and regular aluminum have a dull finish; the more you heat the aluminum, the more shiny it will become.

As you begin to melt the fusing rod into the aluminum, keep the rod moving and clear the area you are working on until you have built up sufficient thickness to fix the leak.

Here are a couple of videos explaining how to weld thin sheets of aluminum, which is very similar to an aluminum boat being welded.

If you want more information on how to aluminum weld and some aluminum welding tips, browse the rest of this website.


Leaks in an aluminum boat can be welded. There are a lot of options out there to temporarily fix a leak that will be used for a short while. It is always recommended that a leak is permanently repaired.

Having received helpful feedback from forums and friends over the years, I felt it was time to give back to the online community to assist with making decisions when it comes to metal tubes. Furthermore, it is going to eliminate you from losing valuable time and cash - it’s the real reason I created this site - to help others make a promising choice.