I'm going to disagree with the numerous recommendations for a wire welder as your on board repair welding system. A wire welder has significant drawbacks compared to a simple stick welder for boat repair. Here's a few points:
1. Wire welders, by their nature, cannot reach into corners and around obstructions like a stick welder can. A welding rod can be bent to reach around obstacles, and it is long enough to reach into places you can't otherwise.
2. It is practical to carry a variety of different welding electrodes for a stick welder, and changing between electrodes takes seconds. Carrying rolls of wire is bulkier, more expensive, and takes a lot longer to change over.
3. A wire welder is more complicated, with feed motor
, jaws, controls, etc. Not sure how well all that might work after a couple years stored in your boat somewhere. Stick has a lot less to give trouble in the marine environment
4. To repeat my earlier post, an on the main engine
based welder can be set up inexpensively. It does not require an additional generator
as a power source, so there is almost no additional storage
space required. It will charge your batteries when you're not welding.
5. 6010/6011 rods are really good for welding thru paint
, rust,etc. There are times doing repair when it is almost impossible to remove all of these contaminants before making a weld. I don't know if wire welders have an equivalent that will do this job as well. Perhaps it is available, I don't know. But for sure the ability to make a good weld thru contaminants is an important virtue for an onboard repair welding system.