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Alumacraft Voyageur Rigging (Read 12845 times)
12/11/14 at 15:13:12

mdsimon2   Offline
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Long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently acquired a stock 3 rib alumacraft voyageur and have a few rigging questions. I removed the bulkheads today but left in the "tabs" that attach the bulkheads to the hull via rivets. I plan on grinding the edges of the tabs smooth but was wondering if it is common to remove these rivets? I am nervous about the bow paddler getting caught on the tabs but I am also worried about putting unnecessary holes in the boat. If they are removed what is used to replace the rivet? Pop-rivets? Bolts? Epoxy?

Because the boat is a 3 rib it has quite a bit of flex between ribs. I have seen many pictures that show a v-brace that attaches the middle thwart to the middle rib but was wondering if anyone had experience adding additional bracing between the existing ribs?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Michael
 
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Reply #1 - 12/11/14 at 15:16:19

mdsimon2   Offline
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Pic of "tabs" remaining after bulkhead removal.
 

IMG_0761.JPG (2520 KB | 487 )
IMG_0761.JPG
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Reply #2 - 12/11/14 at 18:45:37

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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If you grind on a rivet it will risk falling out....it is not a crisis....simply fill in the hole with epoxy putty (found at Walmart even)....or re rivet the hole

for your situation in the pics....I would slap a piece of gorilla duct tape on there and not look back

It's a race boat....it's supposed to look serious, which means duct tape, glued in foam , epoxy putty and spray paint (to cut glare off cross bars, etc)....are all GOOD

I recommend you paint flames or teeth on the bow....but that is just the skate board punk rocker graffiti artist in me !!

Wink


Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #3 - 12/12/14 at 06:04:56

Walt Birmingham   Offline
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I agree with Bryan.If you knock the original rivets out you are creating potential leaks. Maybe a little touchup with your grinder and slap duck tape over them. Or just choose a bowman that can handle a little blood without crying too much. Sometimes they can leak quite a lot (your partner, I mean) without creating a scene. Sometimes not so much. It good to find out either way before the race though.
 

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. (Mark Twain)       http://greatrivertimes.blogspot.com
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Reply #4 - 12/12/14 at 12:57:00

Mchardy   Offline
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In messing with my beaver canoe I've had a lot of luck drilling the old rivets and using pop rivets to replace. The alumacraft is a great boat but can have issues with "oil canning". Jim short who is an aluminum boat expert has been known to add two more ribs...
 
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Reply #5 - 12/12/14 at 14:04:56

mdsimon2   Offline
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Thanks for the help. Going to stick with the original plan of cleaning up the sharp edges with a grinder and cover with duct tape for good measure.

In terms of oil canning I have a few ideas for adding additional bracing between the ribs. In the base case I will be adding a v-brace at the middle thwart/rib.

1) Roll an aluminum T to the inner contour of the hull and attach with pop rivets or nuts/bolts. I like this option but I am not crazy about putting pop rivets or nuts/bolts below the water line. If I did this I would plan on using a marine sealant with either fastener.

2) Fabricate a composite rib using fiberglass. I spoke with West Systems and they claim their G-flex epoxy system has good adhesion to aluminum. Use G-flex to attach a base layer of fiberglass to the aluminum and use 105/205 on additional layers for stiffness. Use foam or thin wall plastic tubing in between layers of fiberglass to build up a cross section to resist bending. This results in no holes below the water line but I have no experience with epoxy adhesion on aluminum.

3) Run an aluminum tube length wise down the middle of the boat. Tube would be crimped at the middle rib. Pop rivet v-braces to the tube and gunnels  between the existing ribs. This results in no holes below the water line but does clutter up the interior of the boat. I have seen a few examples of this on composite hulls but never in an aluminum. Here is a composite example.

Right now I am leaning towards option 3. For those of you that have installed pop rivets or other fasteners in aluminum canoes below the water line do you have any recommendations? Specific sealants, washers, fasteners, etc that work especially well?

Michael
 
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Reply #6 - 12/12/14 at 14:42:46

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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you just want to keep the bottom from being able to dent up (oil can)...so what you can do is just work off the middle thwart.  From the edge you can smash an aluminum tube flat on the end (1 or 1.5 inch diameter works well) and bolt to thwart at edge of the canoe (upper gunnel) and then have this tubing go to center of the boat and meet another tube coming from the other side.  you can shape the ends to fit on to the rib or even bolt to a small square of plywood....you want the tubing long enough that you have to "jam" it into place in the center and bolt to the other tube (or the plywood square)...not sure this makes sense...but the idea is to simply not allow the bottom to come up any if you rock over an log, etc....to prevent a denting up of the bottom.  You dont have to put a hole in the boat on the bottom to do this.

look at the middle of this texas style boat for an idea on how I did this for that ride.

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #7 - 12/12/14 at 14:47:26

yankeeclipper   Offline
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Repairing holes. Drill out rivet replace with stain lee round screw 1/4" with lock washer, liberal amounts of silicon. If you use rivets you still have to plug the hole in the rivet. Why remove the bulkhead?
 
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Reply #8 - 12/12/14 at 15:05:43

Mchardy   Offline
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The beaver has a setup similar to your option 3. It can pose some rigging issues depending on what your wanting to carry. Some strategically cut foam will overcome most of that plus it gives you an opportunity to get creative. No specifics on rivets below the water line...I've used a lot and they've always been whatever I picked up at the hardware store sized with the drill bit I used to drill them with. Epoxy the same way. Whatever hole you put in the boat can be repaired easily!! Let it rip!!
 
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Reply #9 - 12/12/14 at 15:25:26

mdsimon2   Offline
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Bryan,

I plan on installing an aluminum tube brace as you describe from the middle thwart. However I am not sure this will be enough because there is currently significant flex between the ribs. At the very least I'll get the middle brace installed and see how it goes. I like your plywood idea if I do install intermediate braces.

The bulkheads were removed in preparation for the installation of sliding seats. This allows the bow seat to be moved further forward and the stern seat to be moved further back so you are paddling in the narrower section of the canoe. It also cuts down on weight. She weighed 57 lbs when I got her and cutting out the bulkheads and associated foam dropped her to 51 lbs. Of course some of this will be added back when I add foam for rigging/floatation and additional aluminum for bracing.

Once again thanks for the help.

Michael



 
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Reply #10 - 12/31/14 at 18:45:48

mdsimon2   Offline
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I ended up grinding out the rivets on the tabs and replacing them with sealed blind rivets.

Santa also brought me sliding seats and a stern foot rest. Right now I have a smaller Wenonah kevlar seat in the stern and a larger Wenonah kevlar seat in the bow. I just ordered a larger plastic seat for the stern and am working on re-sizing the sliders so I can swap seats between my Minnesota II and the Voyageur.

I still have hull stiffness issues. I've played around with bracing and have determined that I need to add additional stiffening in between ribs. The hull is rather stiff down the centerline as a result of the keel but once you get away from the centerline (even if you have bracing in between ribs on the centerline) there is still way too much flex. I just purchased some kevlar, carbon fiber, g/flex epoxy and an aluminum etching solution to make an attempt at fabricating additional composite ribs. We shall see how it goes.
 
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Reply #11 - 12/31/14 at 18:49:56

mdsimon2   Offline
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stock
 

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before.JPG
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Reply #12 - 12/31/14 at 18:51:12

mdsimon2   Offline
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Bulkheads and flotation removed. Sliding seats and foot rest added.
 

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after.JPG
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Reply #13 - 12/31/14 at 18:51:50

mdsimon2   Offline
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Large kevlar bow seat with ridgerest.
 

bow_002.JPG (1825 KB | 435 )
bow_002.JPG
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Reply #14 - 12/31/14 at 18:52:28

mdsimon2   Offline
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Small kevlar stern seat and foot rest.
 

stern.JPG (1387 KB | 397 )
stern.JPG
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Reply #15 - 01/01/15 at 08:20:53

jawsman   Offline
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looks good great work, where did you get the info on where to set the seats?
 
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Reply #16 - 01/01/15 at 11:25:47

mdsimon2   Offline
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I set the seats to be roughly the same height as the seats on my Minnesota II which was also roughly the height of the stock seats. They seem a little low to me but I figure I can always raise them if needed. The forward/aft position is determined by the width of the sliders.
 
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Reply #17 - 01/11/15 at 19:14:51

mdsimon2   Offline
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Installed the v-brace and put the big plastic seat in the stern. In case anyone was wondering the big plastic seat weighs 1 lb 12 oz and the small kevlar seat weighs 1 lb 2 oz. Wenonah now charges $50+ shipping for the plastic seats which is significantly higher than the $30+ shipping I was quoted in the past.
 

big_seat_and_brace.JPG (1176 KB | 433 )
big_seat_and_brace.JPG
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Reply #18 - 01/12/15 at 04:44:55

Walt Birmingham   Offline
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Good looking job there amigo.
 

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. (Mark Twain)       http://greatrivertimes.blogspot.com
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Reply #19 - 01/12/15 at 13:57:21

MurKee Water   Offline
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So here is the question long time lurker, is this sled doing the 340 this year?
Dana
 
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