Narrowboat welding

  1. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    Hi.
    To cut a long story short, I am restoring an old narrowboat and need to do quite a lot of repairs and new fabrication welding. I intend to do as much of this as possible whilst the boat is on the water. I will only be welding the top half of the boat as the hull work will be done when I take the boat out for its inspection etc.
    I'm new to welding although I did quite a bit when I was an apprentice toolmaker, mind you that was 35 years ago.
    Can anyone give me hints and tips please especially around the safety aspect?
    Also, can MIG welders be run successfully off a generator?
    Many thanks Dan
     
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  3. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Location:
    Northamptonhire
    Can't beat some Arc/Stick welding!

    Did some repairs on a friends boat which was good experience.

    What sort of welding jobs need doing? Pictures are always helpful
     
  4. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

    Messages:
    20,152
    Location:
    Hull UK
    You will need a large generator 8kva plus
     
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  5. Justme

    Justme Member

    Messages:
    2,874
    Location:
    Pwllheli Wales
    Wind will be your enemy.
     
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  6. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Location:
    Northamptonhire
    You could use flux core wire without gas, But not something I would choose by choice! Dragging a MIG welder around compared to a inverter Arc Welder, I know what I would pick
     
    jerrytug likes this.
  7. AdrianH Member

    Messages:
    1,721
    Location:
    On an Island
    A quick question that may be of help to @transit01

    I was under the impression from some posts on here in 2018, that any hull repairs now could not be just plated over, but if a section was bad that the section cut out and replaced, i.e. a complete patch?

    Now i am wondering if this is correct or not as I just did a search and realise some boat yards are still, plating or over plating?

    Adrian
     
  8. jerrytug

    jerrytug Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    516
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Not a direct answer but hopefully helpful:

    I have a big steel barge. The plating is too thick to weld with a MIG running from 13A 240ac mains, the boatyard supply.
    The gas would blow away in the wind, or you could make boxes to try and reduce the breeze but very awkward doing that..

    So I am learning to stick weld for work on the boat, even though I am handy with a MIG, it has too many negatives for your sort of work.

    Thousands of NB's have been plated over, it's fine if it's done right. In my opinion, anyway..
    The trouble is that NB's are often lined with lots of insulation, battens, sheet materials, built in furniture, plumbing and wiring, none of it designed to easily come out for access to the steel. So a little job might mean loads of messing about with soggy MDF panels and other horrors..
    cutting out is technically best in an ideal world of course, but at the end of the day it's just a box that floats down a canal..
     
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  9. jerrytug

    jerrytug Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    516
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    What boat is it anyway, how old, is it rivetted at all?
     
  10. Shedendman

    Shedendman Member

    Messages:
    3,784
    east sussex
    No curry and Guinness then:whistle:
     
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  11. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,550
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    I'd be looking for something like this for the job.
    74551_7926630.JPG
     
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  12. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
  13. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    It's a 47' Colecraft boat 1973. Not riveted as not old enough but is old enough to be built correctly. For example its hull was 1/4 plate (6.35 millimetre) when built and when measured last week it was 6.1 millimetres so not bad loss for a 46 year old boat.
     
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  14. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    Hi
    Looked at that and its interesting. My boats a bit big for that kind of operation and it doesn't need work to that extent. The work I'm doing is building a new top side for it. Steel in places for things like the doors and windows and the rest is wood as I'm restoring the original mahogany frame
     
  15. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    I'll post some pictures as I do the work. Hopefully I wont electrocute myself in the process
     
  16. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    Hi.
    As jerrytud said, over plating isn't the strictly correct way as it traps the bad steel behind the new but there is the argument that it is just a steel box floating on the water. Most of it comes down to money i'm afraid because its about what the value of the boat is. If a boat has been over plated, its considered to be less valuable. For example, my boat was built in 1973 from 1/4 plate (6.35 millimetres) for the base plate and is now after 46 years, still 6.1 millimetres thick. Now newer boats are made from 10 mm plate so in peoples minds, the newer boats must be better because the steel is thicker. Not true but in reality my boat is valued less. The fact that my boat was built correctly and had correct and long lasting paint protection isn't recognised because people think 6.1 mm is way too thin.
    Any way, if a boats hull needs repairs it has to come out of the water so as its out one might as well cut the dab steel out and fit new, why leave the old plate insitu.
     
  17. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    Hi.
    I'm in a total quandary as to what welder to buy. So after days of research that has as many positives as it does negatives, today I'm just going to buy a MIG welder and see what happens. I cant choose which one as the options are endless but I've decided to get this one. https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/mig151en-turbo-no-gas-mig-welder/

    Reason being is its cheap enough to replace if it's not the right long term choice and it appears to be able to do what I want. As I am not welding the hull, all the work I am doing is with 3 and 4 mm steel top side so it seams to me to be a good place to start. I have to work on my boat on the water as boatyard costs aren't affordable for me so all I'm interested in is being able to do a good quality job for a reasonably affordable price.
    As long as I don't get electrocuted I'll end up with a great quality boat that I've done all the work myself. I have been quoted more than the cost of the welder for just one days welding from a contractor so I simply can't afford that.
     
  18. Wozzaaah

    Wozzaaah The wizard of woz Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,433
    Wiltshire, UK
    That machine is far too small.
    You will be doing long runs, the thermal cutout will be forever kicking in. You’ll drown in tea waiting for the machine to cool down so you can carry on.
    A decent inverter stick welder will run all day without breaking a sweat.
     
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  19. Rig Pig

    Rig Pig Member

    Messages:
    3,550
    Location:
    Narrwich! U.K.
    I think you will need a more powerful machine, to seam weld 4mm steel that is going to be on maximum and it hasn't got the duty cycle for that.
     
    Wozzaaah likes this.
  20. transit01 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Milton Keynes United Kingdom
    Having done yet more research this morning you and Rig Pig advice has done the trick. I simply cant afford to buy a suitable MIG welder so ARC it is. All I have to do now is find one. The price ranges are crazy from like £70 upwards.
    How does this one look to you guys?
    https://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/Welding-Supplies/Stick-Welder-Cros-Arc-160.html
     
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