a little leak

I have noticed a little leak that seems to be coming from the seat rivets. Any suggestions? The Wenona 18’ has gel coat with minor cracks, and some minor bottom scrapes. Otherwise it’s in good shape.

The boat didn’t leak at all new, but it is now about 10 years old, and is being used “again” after a hiatus.

Can I seal around the rivets? Could the leaks be from the minor gel coat cracks? What would be the best seal?


Maybe the rivet holes in the hull
have become enlarged. The most penetrating sealant I know of would be Seamgrip, the stuff that’s used for sealing tent seams. It penetrates and remains flexible. Its cousin, Aquaseal, can be thinned with Cotol and used similarly.

I wouldn’t think leakage would be constant because the rivets are well above water level. Maybe as a temporarly experiment, you could put flexible tape over the rivets on the outside of the hull and see if the leaking stops.

If sealants don’t “take”, you would have to drill out the rivets and either add some glass to the outside of the existing holes, or move the holes and glass the old apertures. Not a pretty prospect.

Try taping them over, to see what happens.

If it was me and I was absolutely…
sure the water was coming in through the rivits, I would drill them out and put new large head ones back in with a tad of sealant as you rivet it.

Jack L

Rivet leaks
Seat rivets do get loose with age. Aluminum under load does stretch a bit. If the metal was hardened enough to hold its shape you could never set them with a rivet tool cause they would not expand. Drill them out like Jack suggests and replace them. And like he says use the large headed ones that Wenonah uses, not the small headed ones.

Many of mine have come loose with age, but I have never detected a leak at a seat bracket. Like mentioned earlier, the rivets are above the waterline. You can test using a garden hose.


a little leak
Thanks for the suggestions! I will try them all. Our local lake gets pretty windy, and the chop does splash up. If we have 4 adults in, then everyone gets all excited and leans and maybe the water does reach the rivet holes. I just can’t control these enthusiasts! Makes it hard to steer, too … Any suggestions for those problems???

Thanks to all.

Epoxy them to their seats !!!
Jack L

Cognitive dissonance
From the original post mentioning a Wenonah 18 I had my old Wenonah Jensen 18’ in mind. And then there are 4 excited adults out on a windy lake. No leak there - the water is coming in through the big hole in the top of the submarine.

Hope you sort it out & get it fixed. Good suggestions above.

duct tape or
stickers or electrical tape will work over the rivets on the outside of the boat. If you are like me this type of repair will work for a couple seasons until you get around to finding the right rivets and the rivet gun.

Agree w/ Rival51

– Last Updated: Sep-30-13 10:02 AM EST –

If you are submerging the hull 'til it leaks through the seat rivet hole you need to unburden the canoe. Four adults is at least one too many, 40 pounds of potatoes in a twenty pound sack.

You don't need a repair, you need another boat, wither a C-4 or a second C-2 tandem!