First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

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fir3hawk
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Jul 2016, 17:38

First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by fir3hawk » 10 Jul 2016, 18:54

Hey all,

Just picked up my first boat this spring and unfortunately my first few attempts to get it out have not been very successful.

The boat is a '86 TX-17 w/ a 45hp Mariner (Merc "Classic 50") and it is in fantastic shape for the age. During the test drive, it took on a little bit of water in the bilge but when we pulled the plug out it was wet so I did not think the elderly gentleman I bought it from put it in tight enough so I wasn't overly worried.

I took the boat out a few times and it was still leaking after having the plug in tight. I found a few loose rivets so I got impatient and had them welded. Boat was still leaking so I filled the livewell and verified the livewell plumbing wasn't the source of the leak. Then I decided to go ahead and fill the boat with water and found a bunch of rivets were still leaking a couple of which were the ones that had been welded.

So now, I'm working on pulling the boat apart to fix the rivets. Any helpful advice is welcomed. :)

Here she is the day I got her:
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Maiden voyage:
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Most of the rivets I found to be leaking:
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Front deck removed:
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Console removed:
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A couple questions:
Do I need to remove the side to get the bottom floor out? It looks like it will come right up but I had a screw that was stripped so I am working on drilling that out.
Can I just tear the foam out? What do I need to do about getting some put back in?

Xtremeboats
68rs327
Posts: 32
Joined: 10 Apr 2012, 20:28

First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by 68rs327 » 10 Jul 2016, 19:46

This video shows how to fix the leaking rivets. There are several ways people will tell you is the best... But this is the way I chose.
This video isn't the product that I bought, but is how I am fixing mine. I have searched and Googled this subject for Hours.
This way seems to make the most sense and from what I read, is a solid repair.
I bought my big riveter on Ebay, ($23.00) and bought my 1/4" closed end aluminum sealing rivets from McMaster-Carr.
You do all this from outside the boat, no need to take the interior apart.
Also, most people recommend applying 3M 5200 Boat Sealant around the rivet then place it in the boat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPfPryTRcY4

dootech
Posts: 32
Joined: 23 Oct 2015, 16:29
Location: Twin cities, Minnesota

First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by dootech » 10 Jul 2016, 20:37

I've got a early 80's tracker too, I'm on my second rebuild right now. My advice....
Use as little wood as possible
Rip out the old. Foam
If you're gonna replace the foam, use EPS (expanded polystyrene) (cheap) or pool noodles or two part marine grade foam

fir3hawk
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Jul 2016, 17:38

Re: First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by fir3hawk » 10 Jul 2016, 20:53

dootech wrote:I've got a early 80's tracker too, I'm on my second rebuild right now. My advice....
Use as little wood as possible
Rip out the old. Foam
If you're gonna replace the foam, use EPS (expanded polystyrene) (cheap) or pool noodles or two part marine grade foam
Can I remove the foam completely? My dad never put it back in on his '78 Bass Tracker III

Only wood I'm aware of is the decking. What can I replace it with?

fir3hawk
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Jul 2016, 17:38

Re: First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by fir3hawk » 14 Jul 2016, 22:36

Finally got the floor out tonight. Some of the rivets are under the front foam and cargo area. The aluminum bracing and cargo area are riveted on so i'm not sure how to remove. I could drill out the rivets and put bolts in but a few spots I'd probably have to rivet back in and I dont have a rivet gun.

Any tips? Feel kinda stuck now.

Image

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DaleH
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Joined: 12 Dec 2014, 14:32
Location: Eastern Mass

Re: First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by DaleH » 15 Jul 2016, 08:18

fir3hawk wrote:The aluminum bracing and cargo area are riveted on so i'm not sure how to remove. I could drill out the rivets and put bolts in but a few spots I'd probably have to rivet back in and I don't have a rivet gun.
If it were me doing that work, I'd use one of the large 'A'-frame type rivet guns that take both hands. They can be found for $35 or so. Use one of them and good rivets and your work will be done right and done once.

Note that is NOT the tool I'd use to repair/replace solid rivets set through the hull, but is fine for other riveted uses.
#1) 1st tin rebuild, 18' Lund http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36583
#2) 25' Parker refurb from EMPTY hull http://www.classicparker.com/phpBB3/vie ... p?f=15&t=6
#3) 16' V-tin rebuild http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36465
#4 Procraft SV14
#5) 16' Starcraft entirely NEW Transom Skins http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37548

68rs327
Posts: 32
Joined: 10 Apr 2012, 20:28

First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by 68rs327 » 16 Jul 2016, 14:07

I'm going through the same thing rebuilding my jon boat, now.
I gutted the entire interior of my boat, getting ready to take the aluminum floor off and replace the old waterlogged Styrofoam and replace with closed cell foam board from Lowe's. I drilled out all the rivets and bought a big rivet gun from Ebay and replaced the rivets with 1/4" closed end aluminum rivets from McMaster-Carr. I also removed all the foam in the boat, because I wanted an open boat. I am not sure, but hopefully the closed cell foam board will keep the boat afloat if it ever sinks. :LOL2: There are a world of old jon boats out there that never had foam...


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Hanr3
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Location: Central Illinois

First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by Hanr3 » 18 Jul 2016, 22:36

Your boat maybe the only thing to save your life, if it has foam. Without foam, you remove it from the list completely. It's a short list to begin with. Boat, life-jacket (if your wearing it). after that, good luck? The odds are stacked against you.

Replace the foam, the life you save may be your own...

As for the leaking rivets, most can be re-bucked to seal.
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fir3hawk
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Joined: 10 Jul 2016, 17:38

Re: First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by fir3hawk » 21 Jul 2016, 23:40

Pulled the foam and front storage floor out. Gonna try to find some time to have my dad help me rebuck the rivets.

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BigTerp
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First Boat - '86 Tracker TX-17 w/ leaking rivets

Post by BigTerp » 22 Jul 2016, 08:39

Since you have the floor out and access to both side of the solid rivets I would replace the leaky ones instead of just re-bucking them. You can get a cheap air hammer from harbor freight and a rivet setting tool for about $20 total. You'll be surprised how much you will end up using it throughout your modifications. At least I was.

Here is the air hammer I use to set my solid rivets. $10. http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/ ... 92037.html

The style of rivets will determine which rivet tool you need. Mine are brazier head, so this is what I needed. http://cdn.opentip.com/Tools-Home-Impro ... hgodiI4JYw
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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