Boats are usually waterproof and safe to take out for extended periods on the lake. However, leaks can often develop if the boat goes through a rough period, such as falling off of the trailer and suffering from damaged rivets. When this happens, you need to either weld the rivets yourself or get help.
Rivets Are One of the Most Common Causes of Leaks
Most metal boats have what are known as rivets going up and down these seams. These rivets are where welders joined the boat parts together. They are designed to be tough enough to withstand a multitude of storm and weather problems. However, they can still be damaged if your boat is handled improperly. For example, if your boat somehow fell off the trailer and landed on the bottom, a rivet could be impacted. These kinds of below-the-water-line leaks are more troublesome because they are harder to spot.
Spotting Leaks Below the Water Line
When a leak develops in a rivet above the water line, you aren't in that much danger. That's because you can either easily repair the rivet, replace it, or block it up with a plug. Unfortunately, leaks below the water line are also a serious issue. That's because it's very easy for a boat that suffered from falling damage to suffer this kind of damage. Thankfully, it isn't too hard to fix this problem either on your own or with help.
Welding May Help
If you know how to weld or know somebody who can, it might be time to try repairing the rivet. Inspect the boat, and look for signs of damage along the rivet line. This type of damage is typically noted by scrapes, breaks, and even missing rivets. Once you've spotted the sign of the issue (likely on the bottom of the boat where the sides were originally welded), you can fix it.
Even if you can't weld, you could apply a patch to the rivet to keep it from leaking water. Typically, these patches are found at marine shops and don't cost that much to use or apply. After applying one, put water in the bottom of the boat near the rivet to see if it leaks out. If you don't notice a leak, take it out on the lake to see if any water comes up through the rivet.
And if you notice water coming in through the welded area or the spot that was originally damaged, you need to take your boat to a professional marine repair services specialist. They can identify the source of the problem, see why your weld didn't hold, and fix the issue for you.