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Aluminum Welds

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by BtweenShots, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. My Tracker Grizzly had 4 cracked
    ribs and 11 broken welds and
    Tracker was kind enough to cover
    the repairs (1 month of waiting)
    my first outing after its repair
    3 cracked ribs at the repairs and
    one new one and numerous weld
    had to be redone. I asked the manager at Bass Pro's if the vendor was going to repair all the
    lousy welds he had done previously and was told no and they would only repairs whats
    cracked. I can only assume that I will be making numerous trips and long waiting periods for the
    rest of the fishing season and
    into the start of duck season.
    After all this venting, I have but one question, just how many times can one weld aluminum
    before in the same spots without
    any loss of tensil strength and
    it becoming brittle and it happening again?

    Gene
     
  2. Google, lemon law boats ohio. Then google tracker boats. Nightmare in the making.
     

  3. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    that is a common problem with welded boats . when welded, the metal next to the weld becomes week.
     
  4. not if welded properly, I would expect the have someone with very little training doing the welding,, they probably don't pay enough to get good welders..I have looked at some of the welds on tracker boats they are pretty poor Quality in my opinion,I have repaired a few welds on them .most broken weld were because of poor fit up
     
  5. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

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    Unless welded under carefully controlled heat and technique. Look at aircraft- lots of welds there but not a huge crack issue. Those welds are monitored and carefully applied to the base metal and are then inspected and tested thoroughly. I've looked at welds on many items on the market and see that many welds are inferior and not proper. When it's a grill or lawn chair or the like, it's not so big an issue. When it's a boat or other item such as that it needs to be done properly to ensure long life. Look at welds on a Lund or other top-end aluminum boat and then look at welds on cheaper boats like Trackers and older Spectrums. Uneven beads, discolored metal too far from the weld site (excessive heat) or gaps in the bead. I've actually caught my clothing on spikes on welds on boats at Bass Pro. That's just poor quality control and poor technique. You get what you pay for in most cases and Tracker can offer a cheaper product by building the boats cheaper. It's not a throwaway- you can fix it so it lasts but you'll need to find a good welder to do it. A couple extra gussets and supports can go a long way to improving the durability of the boat.

    UFM82
     
  6. Seaturd

    Seaturd Catcher of Fish

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    Exactly, the heat affected zone next to the weld itself is usually what goes first. A lot of care has to be taken regarding heat when welding aluminum and knowledgable welders are difficult to come by. Your boat can be repaired properly but it will take someone skilled in aluminum welding to do it.
     
  7. Papa, thanks for the info my problem is what does the state
    laws are to consider just what is reasonable.

    Roger, I understand the proper
    procedure for the welds but it looks likes on the first welds were not followed they dumped
    a weld ontop of each other.
    But given the fact that the service manager would not reflect on who was doing the repairs I was just left with we see what it looks like when its done.

    But he77 the service department said a weld ontop of a weld was
    better anyway. When that was said on the first repair I felt my
    butt tighten up to avoid the smoke trying to be blown in.

    Thanx Guys it looks like a long
    end of summer and fall with
    boat sitting in the carport or
    at BASSPRO Maumee Ohio


    Gene
     
  8. sorry to hear about your boat . i have a friend in springfield ohio that builds poontoon boats from scratch. i know thats a 3 hour drive but he is a top notch welder and you would probaly not be with out your boat over a week or to . pm me if you want his number .
     
  9. When aluminum is welded the heat affected zone is annealed---aluminum gets its strength from its hardness and when its welded, engineers typically use an allowable stress of one half of the rated tensile of the original material.

    the other problem is called a stress riser ---thats where the stress runs through the material of equal thickness and when it comes to a poorly executed weld thats thicker, it will concentrate the stress there and the crack will start next to the thicker weld (complicated by the softer and weakened heat affected zone)

    answering your question---weld it once(factory weld) and it has a lower tensile strength---hopefully the engineers made the boat thicker to compensate for the anticipated stress---which you have already exceeded because it is cracking. The more heat input into the original material---the larger your heat affected zone and the more material becomes annealed.
     
  10. I'd be talking to the Attorney General of Ohio. Tracker & Bass Pro have to be concerned about how many potential customers they want to lose cuz they won't service the products they sell. An occasional threat of lawsuit over poor products tends to keep retailers on their toes, especially during a time of hurting, bushwhacked economy. You'd think they need to keep every customer they have.
     
  11. Het,
    After reading this, they sure are doing a job on the people who believe they are getting a quality boat with a good warranty, but it doesn't seem like they are following what they are being told. Not good business for sure.
    Ron