How to Repair a Hole in an Aluminum Canoe

How to Repair a Hole in an Aluminum Canoe
Canoes provide a great means of accessing ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. They've been used for many years as a means of transportation in many parts of the world. Today, canoes are primarily used for recreational purposes and are available in materials such as wood, plastic, fiberglass and aluminum. There will be times when it is necessary to perform minor repairs such as patching holes. When patching holes in an aluminum canoe, there are specific steps that need to be taken to ensure a good repair.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hammer
  • JB weld
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • Mineral spirits
  • Dry cloth
  • Small plastic container
  • Mixing stick (a Popsicle stick will do)
  • Small plastic putty knife
Step 1
Examine the hole in the aluminum canoe, checking for rough or protruding edges around the hole. Use a hammer to tap down any rough edges and smooth the hole. Attempt to fold as much metal back into the hole as possible
Step 2
Sand the area immediately around the hole with 80 grit sandpaper. Make sure to sand both the inside and outside of the canoe around the hole.
Step 3
Clean the aluminum around the hole on both sides with mineral spirits to remove sanding residue and other debris. Wipe dry with a cloth.
Step 4
Follow the directions on the JB weld and mix a small amount of the product. This will involve dispensing equal amounts of material from two tubes into a plastic container and mixing thoroughly. A wooden stick such as a Popsicle stick is ideal for this. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to slightly thicken; this will make it easier to apply.
Step 5
Apply the JB weld to both sides of the hole using a small plastic putty knife. A thin piece of plastic similar to a credit card works equally well. Spread the weld to fill and cover the hole and the metal surrounding the hole. This is necessary for a good seal. Allow the JB weld to cure completely based on manufacturers directions before use.

Tips & Warnings

The JB weld works well on smaller diameter holes; however, larger holes or tears may require welding by a professional.
Use caution when attempting this project. Jagged aluminum, mineral spirits, JB weld and sanding paper all have the potential to cause injury. Wear gloves and eye protection during the project.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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