aluminum row boat restoration

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Old 08-22-19, 07:56 AM
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aluminum row boat restoration

Any preferences on products to clean a 60+ year old aluminum row boat? Was my dad's, who was also my favorite fishing buddy, but he's been gone for more than 30 years, and work and whatever have gotten in the way, so it has sat for a long time. It's in good shape, but obviously dull with a few darker, almost black streaks here and there. So with retirement on the not so distant horizon it's time to get started cleaning it up, buy a new motor and oars, make some bushings for the oars, dust off the fishing poles and tackle box, and get ready for some fun later next year! Oh, and back to the cleaner, I've seen some on Amazon and whatnot, and assume that most of them work, but figured maybe someone had found something that worked well for them.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 08:57 AM
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What type of finish are you looking for out of the old boat?

With our old boats being unpainted aluminum with close to or over 70 years of abuse by us kids (and my parents when they where kids), A quick scrub with a course brush and dish shop is all we ever did. Check the rivets to make sure they are tight (someone holding hammer on one side of rivet, another person hitting rivet on other side with hammer), and double checking we didn't crack or damage the transom supporting the motor is about it.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 09:00 AM
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I guess the biggest question is what type of finish do you want to have when done?
 
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Old 08-22-19, 11:37 AM
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Thank you, Mike. I don't really have any particular expectations, so will hit it with soap, water, and a stiff brush like you said and am sure it will be fine. I don't think it ever had the bright almost aircraft type finish I've seen on some, and not what I'm after anyway, so what you said makes sense. Like I said, it's unfortunately not seen much action for too many years, but before that it was used a lot, and was never mistreated but nevertheless has its' share of scrapes and bruises. One day a few years back my mom and dad went fishing in this boat, went home, cleaned and cooked the fish, cleaned up the kitchen, then to the hospital because it was time for me to be born. And it was used a lot for a number of years after that. Oh, and a couple other things I was wondering about. You mentioned the transom, and I was thinking I might go ahead and replace that while I'm at it. Maybe a piece of PVC lumber? And the anti-slip paint in the bottom of it is pretty well worn off. Any thoughts on that? I'm imagining that one of the marinas might know of something. Thank you again, I think a good scrubbing will do the trick.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 11:53 AM
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I would be iffy on the PVC, mostly as I don't have experience with it and flexing.
If it was me, I'd use some good 3/4" plywood for the transom, use a larger piece if the back of the boat has some flex, do the seats with it as well. Sand down, translucent stain, glossy clear and go.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 01:04 PM
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What size motor is the boat rated for? Even a 10 hp will put a lot of torque on that transom. Replaced my transom a few years back and I think they built the boat around it. Just no way to fit a whole pieces of wood in there. Ended up using 2 layers of 3/4 each in two pieced, 1/4 and 3/4. Staggered the layers so no seam in the middle and lots of glue and ss screws. Being good plywood I suspect the new is better than the original.

As for shinny don't think the fish would like that.

Bud
 
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Old 08-22-19, 01:51 PM
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Not sure what it's rated for Bud, thought about asking if anyone knew then decided I could probably guess on it as good as anyone on that one so will look for something in the 5-7 horse range. Dad had a 7-1/2 hose Scott Atwater on it as far back a I can remember, and as I recall it really scooted that boat along. Then that died and we worked on it one winter, well, I was still young enough that he worked on it and I handed wrenches and whatnot, no go, so he traded that to someone who wanted some parts for theirs, and bought a 5 horse Wards or Sears. I hated that motor, air cooled and noisy, but I was still in grade school, no money of my own and not sure if I fully understood what a luxury an outboard was for my dad at that time, but that little bugger ran good for a lot of years, maybe close to 20 of them. Then, it quit one fall so we rowed back in, and I wasn't sure if it was worth it but figured I'd look at it over the winter, except that someone broke into the garage at the cabin that fall and as far as we could figure the only thing they took was that outboard. Hand tools, circular saw, lawn mower, even the roll around stand the outboard was on were all still there, just the non-running outboard was gone. So my brother put a 7-1/2 hp outboard on it and we used that for several years. So I know firsthand that a 5 or 7-1/2 will work. And I've seen guys with 10's on almost identical boats so might look at those as well, but I was never fond of the idea of driving down the road with an outboard hanging on the transom of smaller boats like this, and I'm not getting any younger, so a lot might depend on what I can comfortably heft into the back of the pickup. Of course there you go, the tailgate on my Ram 2500 4x4 isn't exactly low to the ground either so may end up changing my thinking on how to haul it. As far as material for the transom, will probably just go with plywood again, but at least mine looks easier than yours, just unbolt it, pull it straight off pretty much, then slip the new one in.
 
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Old 08-22-19, 02:55 PM
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I'd probably hit it with Cameo Aluminum and Stainless steel cleaner. If you had a buffer with a bonnet for scrubbing that would safe a lot of elbow grease.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the cameo cleaner X. I am going to try soap and water this weekend as Mike suggested, but itís been sitting for a long time so not sure if that will do it or not, and may end up giving this stuff a shot. Itís one of those things that one doesnít use very often, so not sure what shelves in the stores or wherever to start grabbing from, and the reference to something that has been proven to work is greatly appreciated. And I do have a seldom used buffer, so sounds like that might make for relatively easy work.
 
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Old 08-23-19, 07:37 AM
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Yeah, you need something stronger to take off the black oxidation on aluminum. Most grocery stores around here carry it. I don't envy your job but find some shade under a tree and grab a hose!
 
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