When your aluminum or fiberglass Jon boat springs a leak, should you reach for the flex seal or something different? In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons and find out if flex seal works on a Jon boat.
I have to admit, I love those late-night infomercials, and flex seal has some of the best! Take a look at this short 2-minute flex seal video and then we can get into answering the question, does flex seal actually works on a Jon boat.
Watch The Flex Seal Video Now:
Pretty compelling video isn’t it! Well, maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. Let’s find out just how great this product works in the real world.
Does Flex Seal Work On Jon Boats?
So, does flex seal work on jon boats? Flex seal does work as a temporary fix for small leaks in a jon boat. However, it should not be used as a permanent solution for a leaking boat.
Here’s How I Use Flex Tape On My Boat
While I would never use a flex seal product as a long-term solution, it does have merit as a temporary or emergency fix.
Common Causes Of A Boat Sinking
Three common causes of a boat sinking (usually bigger than a jon boat) are:
- A Thru-Hull Port Fails
- A Seacock or Hose Breaks
- A Hatch Seal Fails
If a thru-hull port, a seacock or a hatch seal fails it will allow water instant access to the inner hull of your boat. It would not take long for more water to pour into your hull than your bilge pumps can extract. This could lead to your bilge pumps failing and your boat sinking!
For this reason, I keep the flex tape, rescue tape and emergency plug on my boat all of the times.
If a seacock or hose breaks, I would use rescue tape to seal off the leaking hose, or bend the hose with a kink and then wrap it with rescue tape to restrict the flow of water.
If a thru-hull break occurs, I could use the flex tape or emergency plug to fill the void in the side of the boat again to reduce the flow of water into the boat until I can get to safety.
If a hatch seal breaks, It may require a combination of all three. I would try to fill the hatch with the emergency plug depending on the size of the hatch, then I would hold it in place with rescue tape and then seal the edges with the flex tape.
If the hatch is larger than the emergency plug allows, then I would look for another item on board that may be able to cover the hatch and seal it over the opening with the flex tape and rescue tape.
Sure, it is not a long-term fix, but anything you can do to reduce the flow of water into the hull of your boat during an emergency situation gives you precious time to get your boat and its crew to safety.
You can look for a sandbar or a shoreline where you can beach your boat and get help assuming you are too far away from being able to get your boat out of the water on a lift or trailer.
BONUS TIP: Want to know what else is in my emergency kit? survival ditch bag for a boat
What Should I Use To Fix A Leaky Jon Boat?
The correct way to fix a leaking Jon boat is with an epoxy. There are plenty of different epoxies on the market that you can use to fix your aluminum Jon boat.
Typically when an aluminum Jon boat springs a leak, it is around one of the rivets.
Fixing A Jon Boat Leak:
- Find the source(s) of the leak
Before you can make the repair, you have to find the leaks in your boat. Put your boat on a trailer or lift so the boat will be dry for your visual inspection. Start by looking all over your boat for possible leak locations and run your fingers over the boat hull feeling for any imperfections that may be associated with a soft spot.
If you cannot find the leaks through a visual inspection, try filling your aluminum Jon boat with water while it is on the trailer or a lift. Then you should be able to look under the boat and find any areas that are leaking.
Just remember that water runs to the lowest point. Ever so often, where you see the water is not the origination point. With this said, no need to overthink it. Just mark the areas where you find leaks, drain the boat and let it dry before making the repairs.
- Clean and dry the area surrounding the leak
Using a scrub brush and a degreaser, clean the areas around the leak to make certain all dirt and debris are removed from the area you want to repair. Clean the inside and outside and then wipe it dry.
You don’t have to do this, but I like to wipe it down with 90% rubbing alcohol as a prep for the epoxy.
- Apply the epoxy on the leaks
Fix your boat hull from the outside first. Apply your epoxy to the outside of the hull where you marked your leaks. You do the outside first to use the power of the water pressure.
When you fix the outside, water will put pressure on the outside making it easier for the epoxy to prevent water from getting into the cracks and seams you are filling with epoxy.
After sealing the exterior of the boat hull, then move to seal from the inside. This gives you a good two-sided fix.
If for some reason, you cannot seal the leak from the outside, fixing the leak in your jon boat only from the inside can work too, but it could result in the epoxy repair not holding as long as if you sealed boat sides of your boat hull.
- Let the epoxy dry and setup
This may be obvious, but epoxies have a curing time before they should be exposed to water. Follow the instructions, and let your epoxy fully cure before moving to the next step.
- Look for more leaks
There is a good chance you may have missed a few leaks. As a result, launch your boat and check for any remaining leaks. If you find leaks, start the process over until you have fixed the leaks in your jon boat.
More Proof That Flex Seal Should Not Be A Permanent Jon Boat Fix
I don’t want to harp on this topic too much, but I also LOVE videos where DIY’ers try to repeat the things they have seen in infomercials, and several YouTubers and even a news channel tried to reproduce the results by Flex Seal on a boat.
Watch This Video Now! The Untold Truth of Flex Tape
You may want to know a little more about the company behind flex seal, etc. So I pulled up a little background information and this is what I found…
The Back Story on Flex Seal
Flex Seal Products is the name of the company and they make a series of adhesive bonding products focused around the concept of liquid rubber.
Three of their popular products, Flex Shot (alternative to a caulk gun), Flex Tape (waterproof tape) and Flex Glue (a fix all adhesive), are actively pitched through infomercials on tv and social media.
The company is owned by brothers, Phil and Alan Swift. Phil is the guy you see serving as the brand’s TV spokesperson.
So, does flex seal work on Jon boats? Yes, flex seal does work on Jon boats, but only as a temporary or emergency fix. Never rely on flex seal for a meaningful repair. There is no excuse for fixing a boat in the correct way.
If you fix your Jon boat with the proper repair techniques, you should expect to get many years of service out of your boat!