Boats are designed to remain dry on the inside. Some water will inevitably splash on board, but you don’t want it coming from the bottom, right? Loose rivets and seams are the worst, but you can easily defeat this by getting the best aluminum boat sealer on the market.
There’s no need for you to have any prior knowledge of how to pick or use one because our team has put together a set of top reviews of aluminum boat sealers for you to check out. Also, don’t miss our exclusive guide full of tips and information on how actually to utilize the sealer that you will purchase.
Best Aluminum Boat Sealer Comparison Chart
Travaco Gluvit Marine – Tex Epoxy Sealer
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Hy-Poxy Aluminum Putty Repair Kit
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3M Marine Adhesive Sealant
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TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Leak Sealer
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J-B MarineWeld Syringe
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Amazing Goop Epoxy Sealer and Protector
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TotalBoat Penetrating Epoxy
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This is The Top List of Aluminum Boat Sealers
Take a dive into our reviews and explore the products that we have picked. Bear in mind we don’t order them in any way, so the most suitable one for you may be somewhere around the middle.
1. Travaco Gluvit Marine – Tex Epoxy Sealer
With this Gluvit epoxy sealer, you can protect the deck of your vessel. You can use this material on wood, fiberglass, steel, and aluminum. The hard protective coating of this seal bends well with the hull of the boat and seals even the smallest holes and the thinnest cracks.
This product includes a big can containing the sealer and a small bottle in which there is a hardener. You need to mix them. That’s why you will notice that the can is only half full of substance. The rest of the space you will use to combine the two parts easily. Though you may find it inconvenient to wait at least 48 hours for the mixture to harden, this is necessary as it ensures that Gluvit will soak into all the cracks and holes.
If you want to apply paint over the seal, this is possible. However, make sure that the sealing is absolutely dry before you put the paint over it.
- This sealer fills all tiny cracks and holes.
- You will find the mixture easy to apply.
- The Gluvit sealer protects materials such as fiberglass, wood, steel, and aluminum.
- In addition to this, the Gulvit coating minimizes water absorption and the risks of corrosion.
- The mixture of the sealer and the hardener needs around two days to harden.
- You may find a bit challenging to mix the sealer with the hardener – it is advisable to use a drill for this purpose.
2. Hy-Poxy Aluminum Putty Repair Kit
You can repair a range of things with this putty repair kit – it works well for radiators, different pieces of equipment, boat hulls, and appliances made of aluminum. Also, there is a variety of ways in which you can treat this substance – you can paint, sand, drill, tap, or thread it.
The product has an aluminum gray color, which doesn’t change even after being polished or sanded. Moreover, this material is a non-rusting one. Thanks to the aluminum particles, the curing agents, and the high-quality additives this putty consists of, it is a strong and durable material. In addition to this, it is very easy to apply.
When you order the product, you will receive two tubes that are small enough to fit in any repair kit box. One of them contains the hardener, the other one – the resin. A lot of plumbers and mechanics prefer Hy-Poxy for small repairs.
- The product is easy to use – you just need to mix the hardener and the resin and wait around 30 minutes for the mixture to be ready.
- Its formula makes the material very durable.
- The two parts of the substance come in small tubes which are handy to carry.
- This epoxy provides very effective weld for different aluminum products.
- This substance doesn’t hold up a lot of pressure, so you cannot use it inside a boiler or any other appliance that works similarly.
3. 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant
This adhesive sealant is suitable for interiors and exteriors of boats, below and above the waterline. The material has proved to be very strong and durable, and it resists harsh weather conditions and saltwater. In addition to this, you can apply the sealant easily, and it doesn’t need to be mixed with any other substances.
The time necessary for the adhesive to dry is from 5 to 7 days. You can choose from 4 different colors – -white, tan, mahogany and black, and three sizes. If you don’t like these colors and want to use another one, you can paint the sealant.
To apply the adhesive, you will need a caulking gun. Bear in mind that it is important to keep the tube tightly closed so that there isn’t air in it between uses. You should be warned that applying the sealant may be a bit messy, and it is hard to remove the residue.
- This product provides a firm seal both above and below the waterline.
- Don’t be afraid to use it if your boat sails in saltwater as the sealant is resistant to it.
- You can use this sealant for boat and roof repairs.
- Even vibrations or structural movements won’t be able to affect the strength of this adhesive.
- This sealant doesn’t adhere to any porous surfaces, such as concrete.
- It takes from 5 to 7 days for the sealant to cure.
4. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Leak Sealer
If you need to repair any seams or rivets that are leaking, or fill any holes or cracks on your boat, you may find the TotalBoat sealer the right product for you. The hardener and the resin for the mixture come in one container so that you won’t have to mix anything or create any mess.
If you have a standard caulking gun, it will be suitable for the cartridge this TotalBoat arrives in. Also, two mixing tips come with the container. Applying the sealer is easy – put the cartridge in the caulking gun, attach the mixing tip to it, and pull the handle. The substance that comes out will be already mixed at the exact ratio of 1 part hardener, and the same quantity resin.
Before you use this adhesive, make sure that you have properly prepared the surface, and that the temperature of the air and the substance is not more than 40 degrees. If you need to fill a bigger hole, you can put sealant both inside and outside as it can adhere to itself and provide a better seal.
- The product includes a cartridge that fits any caulking gun and two mixing tips.
- Thanks to the wide span of working time, the sealer can absorb well in the surface.
- Using this adhesive, you can patch all holes and cracks of your boat.
- If you follow the given instructions, you will find it easy to apply the sealer.
- It is a bit hard to get this substance off your hands once it sticks to them. The only thing that has proved to work is using dish soap with lemon.
5. J-B MarineWeld Syringe
This J-B product consists of two parts – an adhesive and a sealant. Mixing the two parts is easy using the given tray and a stirring stick. Once the mixture is ready, it needs only 5 minutes to set. Then it is time to apply the weld, which is done by a special syringe. Thanks to this handy tool, the mixture comes out in a 1:1 ratio.
Whenever you are done with the syringe, close its caps to prevent the liquid from drying or leaking. This way, you will be able to use the substance several times. The time necessary for the epoxy to cure is 1 hour. You will understand that it has cured when it becomes white.
The J-B weld has proved to be strong and flexible, as well as resistant to UV light, water, and chemicals. If you want to paint this substance, it is better to prime it first.
- Mixing and applying the substance is easy with the help of the syringe it comes with.
- It takes the mixture only 5 minutes to set.
- You can sand, tap, shape, file, or drill the weld once it has cured, and it will remain as strong as before.
- This substance is resistant to UV and chemicals, and it is waterproof.
- This epoxy has a solid odor, so you are advised to wear a mask while applying it.
6. Amazing Goop Epoxy Sealer and Protector
Special Kevlar fibers make this epoxy very strong. You can use this substance as a sealer and protector of boat bottoms of truck beds made of fiberglass, wood, steel, or aluminum. One coat of this epoxy is enough to seal small leaks.
Applying this material is easy – the only thing you need to do is to pour and stir the substance. However, the only way to apply it is by brush. You cannot use a paint gun, a roller, or a sprayer because the material is very thick. 10 to 12 hours will be enough for the sealer to dry.
After it cures, it turns into a black graphite coating, which is rather thick and smooth. If you are not a fan of the black graphite color, you can paint the epoxy. A disadvantage of this product is that it is not flexible after it dries completely.
- This material is waterproof and prevents leakage.
- You will find it easy to apply this product.
- Only one coat of it is enough to cover the surface well.
- There are Kevlar fibers in the structure of this epoxy, which provide its strength.
- Once the epoxy dries completely, it is not flexible anymore.
- Since the substance is very thick, the only way to apply it is by brush.
7. TotalBoat Penetrating Epoxy
This TotalBoat epoxy is intended to seal and protect any kind of wood. Another good feature of this material is that it is suitable to repair and harden rotten wood. Moreover, this substance prevents the growth of fungi and mildew.
The package of this product contains a bottle of resin and a bottle of hardener. You need to mix them 2:1 resin to hardener to achieve the desired results. You can easily clean up any residue of this material. The only things that you need to do this are soap and water. Depending on the temperature of your area, you can get the epoxy for regular or for cold weather.
The manufacturers advise you to use the substance for regular weather if the temperature is between 65 and 90 degrees. However, if it is between 40 and 65 degrees, then you have to use the epoxy for cold weather.
- The product comes at a reasonable price.
- This epoxy can seal any wooden objects, and at the same time, it protects the wood from fungi and mildew.
- You can easily clean up if there is any residue.
- Thanks to its consistent thickness, this material penetrates the wood well.
- The time necessary for the epoxy to cure is four days, which is a lot.
Why do I Need an Aluminum Boat Sealer?
There is no way around it. Every boat requires a lot of maintenance, and you merely ought to be aware of everything related to keeping your boat in good shape. Preventing leaks is among the most critical challenges you will face.
Yes, there are plenty of tasks to carry out when it comes to renovating your boat, but this one is vital because if your vessel turns into a submarine, you won’t be very thrilled. Now, don’t get us wrong, not every leak means that your boat is automatically sinking.
Leaks are bad also because they can damage the areas through which the water makes its way on board. Nuts get rusty, linings corrode, and the overall integrity of the vessel will be compromised. Well, this is why you need an aluminum boat sealer.
What are the Benefits of Aluminum Boat Sealers?
Perhaps after reading what we said above, you now have generated an impression regarding the benefits of boat sealers. But here we will make it even more efficiently- digestible by listing the upsides of using a sealer:
- Will prolong the life of your boat.
- A sealer will prevent further damage on the inside of the boat.
- Using the right product will not allow the boat to sink.
- Adds a protective layer on key areas of the vessel.
Notice how we said that your boat would be protected on the inside. This is because the bottom and the hull will interact with water regularly. The exterior of the boat has to be in excellent condition already. In fact, we recommend that you look at our excellent reviews of the most elegant marine epoxy out there.
But the inner part of the hull is not supposed to take that much water. Also, the rivets are screwed on the inside. This is where you don’t want to have any rust at all. Rust is not only dangerous for the boat, but it is also very messy. Having some filthy water inside your vessel is a nightmare. What if some of it ends up on your brand-new seats? You will then need to visit our guide on how to find the top boat seat cleaner on the market.
All of the above shows us that any boat owner needs to grab a reliable marine sealant for aluminum boats.
It also has to be crystal clear to you that such sealers are not meant to fix punctures in the hull of the boat. The products we are talking about will help you when you got leaky rivets or loose seams. We aren’t going to talk about plugging holes but sealing weak spots instead.
The “Forms” in which Aluminum Boat Sealers Come
While the goal of all boat sealers is the same – to prevent leaks, the shapes and sizes vary. Not only that, but the way they work may also be different. It depends mainly on the substance and the formula used for production. This is not your typical super-glue. Sealers typically come in one of the following:
- Silicone – these are the most popular types, and they are usually the cheapest ones. Silicone is simple to apply, but as far as the lifespan goes, you might want to check your boat for leaks every summer.
- Polysulfides – Some of these are one-part substances, while others are considered two-part. They typically come in the form of two products that you must mix to create an epoxy.
- Polyurethane – these resemble plastic. They are more of a sticky substance and not so much a sealer. Of course, their performance is awe-inspiring, especially when it comes to aluminum surfaces. Just avoid using these on plastic boats.
Because of the difference in substance and application, most aluminum boat sealers also differ in the containers that they arrive in. Don’t get surprised if you see any of the following.
- Cartridge – this is typically the home of silicone boat sealers. The application is straightforward, but you will also need to get a caulk gun. Bear in mind that after you are satisfied with the amount you’ve applied and whish to stop, some extra adhesive will keep coming out of the cartridge unless you relieve the pressure of the caulk gun.
- Can – nothing special here. Substances in a can really look like paint from far away. In reality, sealers that you find in cans are typically pretty sticky and cure quickly. You just need a brush to apply the substance to the desired area. What we don’t like about these is that you cannot be very precise with the application even if you use a tiny brush.
- Syringe – such sealers are also typically silicone-made. They resemble the substance that you see in cartridges but at a very reduced quantity. The sealing power is what matters here, and this is why such containers are small.
- Spray – this is perhaps the most natural sealer to work with. You just aim and shoot. The downside is that the time required for the substance to cure is typically 24 hours. They are also called flex seals.
- 2-container epoxy – such sealers can be found everywhere. What we didn’t like about them is that you have to find a way to take out the resin first and somehow put it in another container. Making a mess is inevitable. Then you need to pour the hardener over it and stir rapidly. Too many tools are required for such a project, but people still keep using the resin + hardener combo.
What is the Best Way To Seal an Aluminum Boat?
Well, obviously, you want to use a top-class aluminum boat sealer, and luckily we have reviewed a plethora of products above. The bottom line, however, comes down to your own preference. Here we will describe the necessary steps you need to take, but depending on the substance you want to use, you may need to improvise a little. So…
How do You Seal a Leaking Boat?
What we will do here is talk about the generic stages, but in the end, we will also give you a little bonus section explicitly related to sealing rivets. This is because we understand that an aluminum boat may have its own secrets that we want to address. So let’s see how to seal an aluminum boat.
- Most other boat maintenance jobs are related to cleaning and application of whatever material you are about to use. Here, the first step is to inspect your boat. Make sure you go from top to bottom and from west to east and check every little area and seam where your boat may start leaking.
Carry out this process during the day and count on natural light. Don’t inspect your boat in a closed area because you may very well miss something.
- The most important part here is to gather all the tools necessary because some products cannot “wait” for you to go to your shed in the middle of the process. Some sealers should not remain open for long, and many of them start curing immediately. You want to have your Brushes, stirring sticks, gloves, goggles, mops, etc. at the ready before you start opening boxes and cans.
The second aspect of your preparation is related to sanding and cleaning. Some people may argue that this is no longer part of the prep and is, in fact, the first real stage of the sealing process. However, you want to look at it, make sure you clean the area thoroughly.
First, sand the broken parts and make sure the paint is pretty much scraped off completely. Then, vacuum or brush off every remaining piece of dirt, dust, and debris.
- Follow the instructions on the container of the sealer and then apply the product to the problematic area. Some substances cure in an hour or so, but some other ones may require up to a day before you can use your boat.
- You will likely have to repaint the sealed area because of all the sanding you’ve done but also because the sealer has its color that you aren’t probably going to like.
Sealing Leaking Rivets on an Aluminum Boat
As promised, we will now focus on fixing leaks specifically around rivets in boats. Make sure you get your hands on a product that will be able to absorb the shocks and vibrations of the aluminum boat. Most epoxies do that.
- Check if it is only the rivets leaking or the keel as well. Do that by pulling the boat out of the water and filling it with some. Grab a towel and start wiping the bottom.
- Use a wire brush to prepare the problematic rivets and the area around them. Yes, the paint will come off. The surface has to be smooth and clean.
- You want to apply some solvent then and wipe it across those rivets. Any contamination left on the aluminum has to be gotten rid of.
- This next step is an interesting one. Grab a blowtorch and heat treat all the rivet heads. This is to make sure that there is no more water or solvent left. The area has to be 100% dry. Don’t spend too much time with that blowtorch on every separate rivet because the aluminum will get too hot.
- Applying the material is something we already covered, but here you may also want to conduct the whole application process under a heat gun. This is to reduce the viscosity of the seal so that it can get tucked in nicely under the heads of those rivets.
Well, there we have it. This is where our guide to obtaining the best aluminum boat sealer ends. Our main hope is that we have helped you pick the correct product and that you have sealed those pesky loose rivets inside your boat.
Don’t let any water bother you when you go out fishing or just enjoying yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us or simply check out the reviews of aluminum boar sealers again. Some information is easy to miss, so it’s worth reading a second time.
Make sure you check some of our other guides as well. Thanks