Overhead Patching Thin Aluminum

I'ld like to help out a buddy, but I think it may be beyond me.
He has an old Tracker fishing boat that has been worn thin along much of the
front "keel" of the boat from beaching. I've patched a couple holes in the past for him by stacking small tacks one overlapping the last to cover cracks and pin holes in that area. Sometimes I have had to stack a lot of tacks because the metal is worn very thin in a few places.
He really should buy a new boat , but I suspect that this may be the last boat he ever owns. When this one goes he will probably hole up and die.
I've told him to stop beaching his boat because I am tired of patching it, but he is an old disabled vet and if he is fishing alone he really doesn't have much option for launching and loading a lot of places.
He's a good friend and I won't really stop patching it, but if I threaten that I might I hope he'll be more careful at least.
Most of us glitter barge bass boat jockeys put a rubber keel guard on our boats, but the closeness of rivets along the keel strip that takes all the abuse prevents that on his boat. I could probably take a piece of .125 5052 and hammer and roll it into a rough shape to use as a sacrificial cap with short beads every so many inches, but I would be worried first about being able to make the welds as I got down under the front of the boat, and second about it cracking due to flexing near my beads. Flipping the boat upside down would be best for welding, but it would be a lot of work to make it practical and safe to flip.
He doesn't run much rough water locally, but I am afraid he might if I made any "major" perceived improvement. He isn't a speed demon.
Like I said, this may be beyond me. I'm just a hack welder at best. I never really thought about it before though either. I just patched the latest hole and sent him on his way.
He doesn't go out every day, and it's a pretty dry climate most of the year so I am not to worried about water between the cap and the hull causing corrosion over time.
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On 9/29/2012 10:47 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

Bob, I would sure look into using a heavy application of elastomeric paint. It is made for coating metal building roofs. It is very good about adhering. Stands up really well to water. Tough stuff. I had a friend who added some lawn mower type wheels to his John boat so he could handle it alone.
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Good idea.
Lowes carries 3M 5200 marine adhesive/sealant. I have no experience with it, but am thinking of using it in making some solar panels. Everything I have read says it is good stuff.
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On Sun, 30 Sep 2012 08:25:23 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@krl.org"

It is "good stuff" assuming you want a adhesive sealant. In fact the usual argument against using it is that it is extremely difficult to remove something installed using it without damage.
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You can get closed end pop rivets. MSC has them. I could not find any at W.W. Grainger.
Might not be the ticket, but if it will work it would be a lot less work than welding. What are the original rivets like?
Dan
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On 9/30/2012 11:17 AM, snipped-for-privacy@krl.org wrote:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/search.shtml?searchQuery=closed+rivet&op=search&Ntt=closed+rivet&N=0&GlobalSearch=true&sst=All
Shows 31 options at Grainger... McMaster also has them.

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.
I looked at the printed catalog and did not see them. Might just be my eyes.
Dan
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Look up a product called "Splash Zone".
It is used all over the marine industry for sealing leaks in boats, of all sizes.

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wrote:

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The biggest problem is he beaches the boat during launching and loading. Hence why I was considering a scab. The scab could take the abuse.
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