Alright, Ive got a T-Top on a boat to repair its got stress cracks all over it. Some places at the end of the gussetts all around the pipe. Most of the cracks are not in the weld , but behind. the welds tell me they are stessed out areas. Maybe need gussetts or longer gussetts. I personally think this tower was poor designed. But , I would like to know if Im thinking right? any advice would helpfull!
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04-27-2009, 08:38 PM #1
Alright Guys Need some advice?? Tig welding
04-27-2009, 08:57 PM #2
aluminum? you need to check all the bolts holding it in place...grab the back of the top & shake it side to side there should not be much movement...do you have a picture of the frame? it might need more bracing
04-28-2009, 12:25 AM #3
thanks for the reply
I'll have some pics today,
04-28-2009, 01:00 AM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Deltaville, VA
If that T-Top has stress cracks "all over it" you're wasting your time trying to reinforce it. Once a tower gets to that point it's generally better/cheaper to replace it.
One of the major problems with "repairing" broken aluminum towers is, that it invaribly involves a double pass weld. This is precisely what you do not want when dealing with aluminum towers. Double pass adversely affects the HAZ and, more often than not, will cause a future failure adjacent to the repaired area.
From your description of the problem (and without photos) I suspect the original builder used several double pass welds which led to failure in the HAZ as I described previously. Only true solution is to cut out the affected parts and install new tubing, or have a new T-Top fabricated. Trying to patch it up is just putting a bandaid on an open wound.
04-28-2009, 05:05 AM #5
if you cut out the bad pipe & change it out it will do it again you need to find out why it done it,if its a bad fab job then it needs replaced but if its loose then it needs to be tightened up & gussets added...if i can see a pic to see if it has enough supports...on aluminum you cannot just weld it up where it is fatigued it will break again...we use the oval tubing for gussets...my shop has a lifetime guaranty on all tops ,stainless or aluminum & some boaters beat the $hit out of there boats so we do get a few in for repairs...mostly because of loose bolts...
04-28-2009, 08:43 PM #6
Thanks Guys for the comments, I worked on the tower for about 10 hrs today I did not take pics today. But,your advice is so true. I checked the tower for stability this morning and it did not move, there was only single pass welds.The tower did seem a little heavy toward the rear of the boat though.I really think there was nothing wrong in the design or the weld that it was operator of the boat. In high or ruff seas these boats cant take an unbelievable amount of stress if the operator doesnt back off. I added longer gussetts past the afectected areas and I did put double passes in some areas. And I do feel that this is just a band aide if he doesnt treat the boat any better.I did like the idea of tube gussets rather than the plate gussetts.
Thanks again for all the advice, I wish I could have read them before I made the repairs.......
04-29-2009, 12:23 AM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Deltaville, VA
Know what you mean about "tough" operators.
Years ago I sold a 38' Blackfin Combi to a buddy of mine who runs a large excavation business. Toughest man I ever saw with a boat.
One night, headed up the Chesapeake, coming in from an offshore fishing trip he ran into a bad N'easter. Seas running 10-12 with short interval. Another guy who was on the boat at the time said Jimmy (my buddy) launched off the crest of one wave. Said he counted to seven before the boat hit down. Hit so hard it knocked the fan belt off a 6V92 Detroit Diesel. Broke 4 sister stringers in the hull and cracked the tower in five spots. We repaired the hull and never had any further problems. We repaired the tower but it was never "right" after that night.
Good luck on the repair.
04-29-2009, 12:50 AM #8
Thanks for the story. Some guys just beat the chit outta stuff. I'm a 'soft operator'. In my world, I had to buy it and I'm going to take care of it.RETIRED desk jockey.
Hobby weldor with a little training.
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