Warm weather is here which means that it’s time for weekends at the lake, campfires and lazy afternoons out on the boat. There are few things sweeter than fishing, tubing and swimming with your family as you make memories under the summer sun.
Thankfully, your welding skills can come in handy when you need to make repairs and do projects to boats, trailers and boating gear. Keep reading for 4 boat welding projects to make your time at the lake both easier and more enjoyable:
Boat Trailer Welding Project
If you can’t get your boat to the lake, you’re out of luck for a relaxing weekend on the water. The constant in and out of the lake or ocean (especially when dealing with salt water) can cause trailers to rust and wear, so learning how to repair boat trailers can be useful both personally and as a side business. Sometimes certain sections of boat trailers can be repaired, but more often than not these portions need to be removed and completely re-fabricated to get them back on the road.
Start by removing the damaged portions of the chassis, but if you’re cutting away large sections, you want to ensure that you brace the frame so that you don’t cause additional bending and damage. Recreate the damaged part of the trailer chassis using matching materials. Then, use a cross plate to reinforce your welds where you’ve attached the new portions to the main part of the frame. Be sure to grind away any superficial rust on the trailer and grind down edges before repainting and finishing the project.
Swim Platform Welding Project
Make it easier for swimmers and skiers to get back into the boat with this swim platform welding project. 316 marine grade stainless steel is a good choice for this project as it is less prone to rust. However, it tends to be heavier and more expensive than aluminum.
Aluminum is another good option if you have the equipment to weld it, but should be powder coated to prevent rust. Use sturdy, round metal tubing for the exterior of your swim platform and TIG weld smaller rods to fill in the platform floor.
Consider a brushed finish on your material if you’re using stainless steel for your project, this will increase your durability. Be sure to grind all welds smooth before finishing to ensure your swimmers don’t get a cut on their way back into the boat.
Aluminum Boat Welding Project
Some novice welders hone their skills with a small, aluminum boat welding project. A trade school in Washington has created 3 small, outboard motor boats with their students using both MIG and TIG welding processes.
For materials the high school students used ⅛” and ⅜” aluminum for the stern of the boat and finished the exterior with a self-etching primer for the as well as truck bed lining for the floor. Aluminum boat welding projects are highly customizable, so if you choose to tackle this project, consider adding fishing rigs, or even cupholders to customize your new ride.
Boat Propeller Welding Project
Boat propellers are another marine item that may need regular repair and welding work. The time spent in and out of both fresh and saltwater can cause propellers to rust and decay quickly. Boat propellers can be tricky to repair and you have to pay special attention to their makeup in order to repair them.
Your best bet for this welding project is a high frequency AC/DC TIG welder with a foot control for precision welding. Adjust your welding rod according to the metal you are repairing (copper, bronze, stainless steel or an alloy mixture) to be sure your weld is a good match to your blade repair and can hold up to the friction a propeller is put through.
This Month’s Sales on Welders and Welding Supplies
Before you hit your welding shop to prepare for a summer at the lake, be sure to head over to Baker’s gas and welding to stock up on the items you’ll need to get the job done. We’re keeping things hot all summer long with great deals on fantastic brands like Lincoln, Miller, 3M and more.