Durability and reliability are naturally the two most important aspects of constructing any boat, and whether you choose your boat 'off-the-shelf' or have one fabricated for your specific needs, you will want to ensure that your boat is well-constructed.
To that end, many people purchasing metal boats choose craft that are assembled using traditional riveted methods, but riveting is not your only option. Many modern metal boats are now constructed with welds that partially or completely replace rivets, and for good reason -- welded boats can have a number of practical advantages over their more traditional riveted counterparts:
Assembling a metal boat using traditional riveting methods essentially involves drilling hundreds of holes in the hull of your boat, through which the rivets are inserted and fixed in place. Under ordinary circumstances, these rivets are reliable enough -- however, one rusty or loosened rivet is all it takes for a riveted boat to start taking on water.
By contrast, a welded boat presents very few weak spots through which water can potentially enter your boat, and as long as your welds are created by trained, accredited welding professionals, they can be far more reliable when it comes to keeping your feet dry. Testing the water-tightness of welded boats is also considerably easier than riveted boat inspection, as you only have a few welds to inspect rather than countless rivet holes that must be individually tested.
Anybody who has crashed their riveted boat into a rock, another boat or other hazards will be familiar with how rivets can 'blow out' of their holes under the stress of the impact. Even a few blown-out rivets can cause your craft to take on water quickly. Welded boats are far more reliable should the worst come to pass, as the collision is far more likely to simply dent the boat's hull. Even if your welds are damaged by a heavy collision, they usually fail at a single point where the weld is weakest, giving you one hole to worry about rather than many.
Individual rivets are fairly light and innocuous, but even small riveted craft require dozens or hundreds of rivets to be used during construction. The weight of all these individual rivets can dramatically increase the weight of your finished craft. A welded boat of equivalent size and configuration is likely to be far lighter, making your craft easier to tow on land and more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver on water.
Better for rough seas
If you intend to take your new metal craft out on the open ocean, you may find that welds handle far better than riveted joints in rough, churning seas. Because all metal boats flex slightly as they are hit by waves, currents and undertows, the rivet holes of a riveted boat can widen and lose their watertightness as the hull flexes and stresses the metal around the hole. Welded boats have no such problems, and can be expected to tackle rough seas for long periods without the need for repairs.Share