Once you get a boat welded up, and get good at welding, it opens up the possibility of running a beat up mank boat on the mank runs and saving a "new" or intact boat for higher water runs. Running a mank boat lets you enjoy the mank without the fear of destroying your new boat.
I second Ian's comments, fix it yourself. I just did my first weld this year on my burn. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but really is pretty easy. My crack was pretty significant ~6" center hull under the seat, and has held up great. Couple of the suggestions that I got that were key to success on the first attemp were:
1) Start slow and don't get the gun too hut. I used the Harbor Frieght welder (~$80) and had the setting on 5.
2) Best if the welding rod is about 2" longer than the crack.
3) keep the gun moving, ovals between the rod and the boat worked well.
The links provided by Ian have lots of great information. Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk through it. 3oh3 9three1 8756 - Lucas
A bit more food for thought, if you have no interest in learning to weld or just don't want to take the time to do it (like me)... it only cost me $80 to have my boat welded by Boulder Boat Works. They repaired a 4" crack in the nose, a handle in the stearn, and cleaned up a bunch of scrapes around the coaming.
Don't be scared of learning to weld. Its not that hard, and you have the cheat sheet from folks who have done it before.
Learning to weld will pay big dividends in the long run. Also, boulder boat works won't fix all cracks. I took a boat up there before I learned to weld, and they said that they couldn't do it. That was my inspriation to learn to weld... that and not wanting to drop a grand on a creek boat every time I cracked a boat.
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