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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be buying a new jon boat in the spring and was wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of a riveted versus all welded jon boat? I am looking at one for 3 people and primarily will use it on Pinchot for fishing which is electric only. It will also be trailered and double wide. It will be used every other weekend on both Saturday and Sunday weather permitting from May until October. What brands should I consider and stay away from. Thanks in advance.
 

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The riveted vs. welded debate could go on for hours. There are positives and negatives to both. Riveted boats have been around for years and and many of the top manufacturers still use rivets, so welded boats aren't specifically the better way to go. Welds fail too and are harder to fix. Instead of worrying about the build type, look more at the hull type, beam width, and other options that will suit your needs. For most purposes, a modified-v hull will work the best for both shallow and slightly larger water. Lund makes great boats, but they are pricey. Express also make a great boat for a little less price tag and for a good value in boats, look at Grizzly.
 

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Triton make a good boat as well. Uncle bought a 16' bass boat and uses it on lakes, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Nice boat - mod -v welded.

My preference is with a welded boat. The only hard part on repairs is finding a competent welder. One that understands the need for a stick of pure tungsten, argon, and extreme cleanliness with the fine motor skills to manipulate the weld pool. Seen to many people thinking they knew how to weld aluminum only to ruin a easy fix.
 

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Bluetick, that is the issue. Finding a welder is easy, finding someone that can weld separated aluminum joints is a different story altogether. Sure, hull welds are warranted, but no fun to deal with. Plus, a riveted boat is just a sturdy, when it is done correctly, Lund is a good for instance. I have owned both.
 

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If you're only using it at Pinchot, or other electric only lakes I'd definitely go rivets. Using electric motors it will probably cut down on your weight a decent amount, which will safe you some serious battery power. If you were going to be running a gas outboard, or jet (especially with a jet), and risking hitting things at speed, I'd say welded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A few trips would me made on the Susquehanna north and south of Harrisburg. I still have my ocean kayak trident angler for solo trips and also have a canoe with a trolling motor. I want this for my wife, 3 year old son and I for family recreation on the weekend.
I am leaning towards a riveted one. Are fixing rivets a diy project or a dealer service? This would be a basic boat for the next 3-4 years and then I plan to upgrade when the $800 a month daycare is over.
 

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I bought my 12' Sea Nymph in 1970. It is riveted. I have drug it across rocks in shallow water for all these years and finally had to have the rivets worked on three years ago. I took it to my local master welder and he simply welded all the rivets, plus repaired two small welded seam leaks. If you aren't beating your boat the way I did, a riveted boat should last a lifetime, or at lest a long, long time before ever needing attention
 

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My riveted Jon is late 80's, never leaked a drop. Its important to never let water freeze in a riveted anything, then you are in trouble. Stored dry and upside down, never a problem. My frugal neighbor here fixes his old tub every year with clear gutter seal on the leaky rivets. Its $3.99 for a toothpaste size tube, and works like a charm, although its only used on a farm pond.
 

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ive got a 92 tracker thats riveted and it doesnt leak
 

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I have had welded and rivited. I never had a problem with either.

I would look for a boat that was taken care of and if it is what you want and the price is right then buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input. It looks like i will get a riveted one in the spring.
 
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