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18SSCraft78

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  1. Hi, I just joined the clan here at LOU. I am "upfixin'" my 1978 Super Sport. I am the second owner and have had it for almost 25 years. It has been a great boat. We have fished, skiied, crabbed, camped....you name it. It still has the original 85hp Johnson "Javelin" motor on it. It is getting a little tired but still works. I just retired and plan to use the boat more but it has started leaking the last couple years and about a dozen rivets have just gone away. Over the years I have made several upgrades: Completely re-wired and added a second battery and moved both batteries to in just front of the console under the front seats, replaced the floor under motor well, had a custom 35 gallon tank with reserve made for under motor well, Parker-Racor water separator fuel filter, new automatic bilge pump, added electronics, down rigger mounts, removable bait cutting/fish cleaning table, full Sunbrella top and all extras, and more I am forgetting. It is used, but not abused. The interior is near mint and all stock. It is always covered and dry stored. Exterior is starting to show it's age, but not too bad. I may eventually repaint it, but for now I just need some opinions regarding rivet replacement to get her watertight again. I need to replace about 400 - 500 rivets. Overall the structural integrity is great except the keel rivets and three courses up each side are going or gone from the stern to about the consoles.....white powder. I have had about 20 just fall out. I am wresting with which rivets to use. I have pretty much settled on 3/16" diameter blind closed end dome head aluminum with steel mandrel pop rivets. I will clean the base metal super well (de-salt,scotch pad and acetone) and dab some 3M 5200 on each rivet before insertion. I believe the steel mandrel will help with strength. My concern is dissimilar metal action as I use the boat in salt water about 80% of the time. I do plan to properly prepare and coat the new rivet heads with an epoxy system to help protect from salt and I always flush and rinse but still have concerns about dissimilar metal action and corrosion. The boat only spends a few days a couple times a year moored in the water. The rest of the time is just day use and it comes out of the water. Your thoughts? Thanks in advance. Great site and the aluminum boat restoration information is amazing. Carpedium set the bar damn high, I must say. Tutoring is gladly accepted! Thanks in advance. V
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