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Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 01:20
by Grego
image.jpg
This is what the cracks in 4 of the ribs look like.
Ok guys, I have been a lurker here for a while, I finally joined the forum and now really need some advice from you all.
Talked my dad into buying a 1979 bass tracker 17.5 mod v. Seemed great up until we tried to get it on plane. It quickly became Apparent that something wasn't right. After removing the alum diamond plate flooring we found 5 cracked ribs! I love the design on these boats and would really like to fix it up for him. He just retired so hopefully he will use it a lot. But after a $700.00 dollar quote from a welder and another guy that works on boats professionally telling him to just sell it I figured I wanted you all to share your opinions with me. I have seen that several of you have dealt with similar situations with either welding, or riveting a brace to the rib but have not really seen any comments about long term durability.

So here is are the questions for you all: what is this hull worth to someone who would want to fix these problems? Would it be worth it to have it welded without removing the ribs from the boat? Is this something that you all would actually fix or is this hull just scrap?

The reason that I posted this in this forum is because I want to build a river boat with mud motor on it. If I can figure out what the hull is worth, if fixable at all I will buy it from my dad and get to work.

Thanks for reading this, you guys are awesome.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 08:14
by typed by ben
as long as you have all the foam out of the way and the cracks are accessible, they could be rewelded in the boat. a price tag $700 is a little spicy. must be harder to reach than they look, and they may break again if the problem isnt in the stringers.

you could also have a metal fabricator make ribs following that profile that you could lay over top of the broken ones and be riveted in, but that would be the more expensive option.

i think its definitely worth it to fix the hull. if you fix it and it breaks again in another 15 years thats good use imo.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 13:00
by lckstckn2smknbrls
The price is high talk to some other welders or if you have a community college with a welding program talk to them.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 15:45
by Ranchero50
Ditto, just welding the damaged ribs will not remove the underlying stresses that caused the original cracks.

That being said, I am curious how you determined the cracked ribs were keeping the hull from planing out. Unless the rear of your hull has a huge amount of hook from the ribs being bent I don't think the cracked ribs would cause the hull to not plane out. Trackers were never built very strongly so I would expect you have a lot more stress in your ribs and potentially a lot more cracks down the road. Your picture also shows what appears to be corrosion. Again, time / cost of a temporary repair vs. replacement is rearing it's ugly head.

Per the not planing out, I would be more suspicious of waterlogged foam / overloaded hull or an under performing engine before cracked ribs allowing the bottom to deflect too much.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 21:19
by Grego
Thanks for the input guys.

Well it wasn't so much that we couldn't get on plane. It's just that when we started getting up to speed the floor started flexing in and out so much that we slowed her down real quick.

Does anyone think it would be worth contacting bass tracker about this?

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 21:29
by andrax
Looks more like a cut than a crack to me

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 22:02
by waterman
andrax wrote:Looks more like a cut than a crack to me
Yep.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 01 Jun 2014, 23:27
by Y_J
lckstckn2smknbrls ยป 01 Jun 2014, 13:00 wrote:The price is high talk to some other welders or if you have a community college with a welding program talk to them.
From my experience in this area, is that usually colleges or vocational schools will do it for FREE with you have to foot the cost of any material or parts. I've had my truck worked on a couple time that way. Plus you have the certified instructor overseeing the work being done to make sure it is done right. Just my 2 cents folks..

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 02 Jun 2014, 00:01
by Grego
I'm sure they are cracks. The po mentioned that the guy he bought it from did not strap it down on the trailer. Does that sound like a legitimate cause to you all?

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 02 Jun 2014, 06:17
by waterman
Grego wrote:I'm sure they are cracks. The po mentioned that the guy he bought it from did not strap it down on the trailer. Does that sound like a legitimate cause to you all?
Must have been some really rough roads.




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Looks like it is the same size for the length of the crack. That's why it looks more like a cut. I would have thought a crack would be open at the top then tapering to nothing at the bottom.


Are they all at holes? If so that may be what caused it. :dunno:


Definitely have them welded. It'll be worth it.

Broken ribs help!

Posted: 02 Jun 2014, 11:06
by Grego
They are all at holes except one. I thought maybe someone stop drilled them and didnt weld. Idk. I just would hate to weld them up and have it break again.

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 22 May 2019, 03:38
by Abo_knapper
Several 79 if not all Ive seen on the builds have the same cracks/tears especially where live well and console sit, I had 3 in a row on mine and removed the live wells. I see pattern and in my mind a design flaw.

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 22 May 2019, 09:54
by ericman
Whether you have it welded or re-enforced with a riveted patch, it should be .125" thick and span 4 inches to either side of the crack. Just welding in the crack will do nothing because a weld will have some porosity and porosity is how any metal breaks when bent. To save money, I would cut an 8 inch long piece of .125" thick aluminum and drill 8 3/16" holes, the first 4 within 3/4" of the crack (2 on each side) and the other 4 within 1/2" from the edges. Clean both the rib and the patch metal really well and smear some JB-Weld between the 2 and pop-rivet into place. Try to have the side of the boat pushed up to close up the gap of the crack before you do this though.

Re: Broken ribs help!

Posted: 24 May 2019, 13:23
by turbotodd
They (bass trackers) aren't easy to weld. The material is pretty thin for one, two it's never clean. 3 you need to know what alloy it is so choose the proper filler material (mig wire or tig filler). 4032? Dunno.

A TIG is about the only type welder that's going to be feasible due to the MIG's higher output and lack of heat control.

That said, the material to be welded-no matter the process used-is going to have to be super clean. If you think it's clean enough, clean it 3 more times. Therein lies a major problem. Ya can't get to the bottom side of the material to clean it, so a lot of times what happens is that the oxidized aluminum under the bottom of the rib begins to melt away and contaminates the material that you're trying to weld, which results in a poor weld. Also, the localized heat can cause the aluminum to change properties such that it may crack again.