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Screws into deck pulled out...

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Allowishish, Nov 27, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    33 posts, 12 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Colorado Lake Pueblo
    The dodger on my catalina 27 was screwed into the deck (fiberglass only and not very thick) and has pulled out.

    The area is not accessible from the interior or crawl space, only from the top side.

    My plan is the fill the holes with epoxy then glass in either a piece of hardwood or acrylic... possibly an epoxy block then predrill and re attach the dodger.


    Am I doing this right?

    (I will also re read that section in the sailboat maintenance book)
     


  2. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,406 posts, 294 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    Epoxy alone will actually hold threads reasonably well. No need to epoxy in hardwood and acrylic will not glue in well.
    Over-drilling the holes and filling with epoxy is easy, then drill and tap the holes for the appropriate size stainless machine screw (I'm thinking 3/16"-24 or 1/4"-20?). Slightly thickening with micro-fibers will make it much stronger and the treads should still cut well. As long as the fasteners you use on the dodger don't experiences extreme loads this should be more than adequate.
    If you want to go heavy duty, try to find some G10 rod. Cut short pieces just short of the depth of the deck and epoxy them in. G10 takes and holds threads very well. Be careful cutting it, normal blades do not do well cutting G10.
     


  3. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    33 posts, 12 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Colorado Lake Pueblo
    Is there a preferred epoxy for this type of repair?

    I have some G flex and gorilla glue epoxy but am more than willing to pick up the “right” epoxy.

    Obviously, my primary concern is adhesion to the fiberglass deck.


    Thanks in advance
     


  4. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    What is beneath the deck there? Much space or is something there restricting clearance? I'm wondering if you could put in something like a drop-in anchor embedded in epoxy. Then you can remove your dodger easily by pulling the bolts.
    https://www.boltdepot.com/Anchoring_products.aspx
    [​IMG]
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  5. jibes138

    jibes138

    Joined Jan 27, 2008
    2,717 posts, 82 likes
    ODay 35
    US Beaufort, NC
    Check out the screw thread inserts for plastics section in McMaster Carr. Some you can just drill a little larger hole and press them in place, if it was me I'd put some mold release on a screw and press the inserts in with some epoxy then remove the screw after the epoxy cures. Here's one example, there are several others: https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-threaded-inserts/=1ahslj2
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  6. SEMPERAVANTI41

    SEMPERAVANTI41

    Joined Jun 15, 2012
    311 posts, 15 likes
    Hunter 50 AC
    US Greenport, NY
    Had the same problem with deck screws pulling out on my dodger. Was able to pull down headliner and bolt from below. In your case might want to look at:
    Garelick EEz-In Stainless Steel 1/4-20 Toggler Bolt Anchor
     


  7. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,406 posts, 294 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    If you use any kind of threaded insert make sure it is 316 stainless! If you can't be sure what alloy it is, don't buy it. The link provided by @jibes138 to McMaster Carr shows some good 316 SS inserts. I would go with the 1/4" 20 inserts that require a 7/16" tapped hole. They are 7/16" in height also, so hopefully you have that much deck thickness. To glue those in the G Flex will work perfectly. I don't use any Gorilla Glue products so I can't say how good/bad their epoxy is. If I was using the standard epoxy potting method and cutting threads into cured epoxy, I would use regular WEST system epoxy, slightly thickened with microfibers.
    The method of using stainless inserts will save some time and you won't have to buy more epoxy, the risk you run is that the new bolts could gall into the threads or rust if water were to intrude (yes 316 SS will rust, but very slowly). I would use tef-gel on the threads for sure.
     


  8. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH

    Comparison of gorilla epoxy to 3M.
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  9. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    608 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    The simple epoxy fill, let it cure, and redrill the hole would be the way I'd go also. The issue with the epoxy, if you are just doing this "fix" alone, and don't have syringe to fill the hole completely, is probably to get a dispenser that will neatly and completely do the job.

    QUESTIONS and CAUTIONS
    Was the dodger previously installed with some thing like Lifecaulk, 3M 4200, or the like? Or, was it just screwed in "dry"?
    IF it has some other stuff in the hole, you need to overdrill and then have adhesion directly between the FRP and epoxy. You should cleanout the hole with a little alcohol and a Q-tip (it need to be clean and dry). Then let the epoxy set-up for whatever time to get to full strength.

    BE CAREFUL with the temperature and moisture conditions when you set the epoxy out there in Colorado.

    Question: Was there some event that you can relate to that caused the screw(s) to pull out? IF there is something odd about the dodger attachment, then you may have some reason to do something differently. Do you have a photo that shows what's going on?
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  10. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    33 posts, 12 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Colorado Lake Pueblo
    I believe it was pulled out by either my mother in-law or a friend using the dodger as a handle to pull themselves into the boat.
    It appears to have been dry drilled/screwed into the deck.

    There is no way of getting to the underside or I would overdrill the holes, put a backing plate in place then bolt it back on.


    What about using something like this [​IMG]?

    it pulls out on three sides.
     


  11. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    608 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    I thought the area below isn't accessible?

    I wouldn't be putting an expansion bolt in the boat for a variety of reasons. I know you're not in a salt water environment, but your fiberglass boat isn't drywall.

    What is below the deck in this area? Is there a void below?
     


  12. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,406 posts, 294 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    Those are BAD anywhere on a boat. They are nickel plated and will rust away in a heartbeat.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.
  13. Allowishish

    Allowishish

    Joined Oct 30, 2017
    33 posts, 12 likes
    Catalina c 27
    Long Monday US Colorado Lake Pueblo
    correct, the area below is NOT accessible.
     


  14. sailnoproblem

    sailnoproblem

    Joined Oct 10, 2011
    205 posts, 22 likes
    Tartan 34C
    US Toms River, New Jersey
    Those are great I used them when I installed "T-Tops" on center console boats, when I could not through bolt. Problem is if you take the bolt out, you may not get it back in as the anchor may and probably will drop down.
    I did put epoxy on the ends of the toggle when I inserted them, but never had to remove any of the bolts. So I can't be sure if they were held in place.
     


  15. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    588 posts, 147 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH Littleton, NH
    I was thinking about something like that when I found the drop-in anchor bolts I posted above. I didn't see the toggle bolts in ss. The drop-in anchors come in a nurrelled version too, which is what I'd try to get.
    - Will (Dragonfly)
     


  16. dscribner

    dscribner

    Joined Nov 9, 2008
    1,309 posts, 32 likes
    Lancer 25
    US Biddeford, Maine
    I think the big question is "What are the screws holding?" One could say that the only thing to do is use a 1/2" X 12" stainless through bolt. It'll hold 18 gazzillion metric tons. Ridiculous! Are you holding the bracket or the snaps? Some suggest the use of machine screws for what I would assume is the bracket. This is actually not recommended. If you fill with epoxy, use a tapping screw, like a sheet metal screw, drill the proper sized hole, pump in some silicone then screw the bracket on. The threads are larger and have a more aggressive bite. There are also tri-lobular screws that are designed for plastic but I'm not sure if fiberglass acts like plastic. The thing to keep in mind it that you want to do as little modification to the coaming as possible, just in case you (or the next owner, sorry) ditch the hardware for something new and exciting. Less to repair.
     


  17. jibes138

    jibes138

    Joined Jan 27, 2008
    2,717 posts, 82 likes
    ODay 35
    US Beaufort, NC
    "Fiberglass" is actually called FRP or GRP short for Fiber Reinforced Plastic or Glass Reinforced Plastic. Either way the material is plastic with fibers to give it strength. Use screw thread inserts for plastic for your best shot at success
     


  18. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,013 posts, 398 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Drywall anchors. What’s next, vinyl siding?
     


  19. sailnoproblem

    sailnoproblem

    Joined Oct 10, 2011
    205 posts, 22 likes
    Tartan 34C
    US Toms River, New Jersey
    Will, try FASCO FASTENER at West Marine.
     


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  20. CloudDiver

    CloudDiver

    Joined Sep 8, 2014
    2,406 posts, 294 likes
    Catalina 22 Swing Keel
    US San Diego San Diego
    It's a Dodger... it need to stand up to wind and the occasional lean of body weight by a guest... How many grommets were 'screwed' down before? How big are the grommet holes? Seriously, 1/4" 20 stainless cap screws (bolts) should be the MAX you would need. I'm sure 3/16" will do the job. Over drill the holes but don't penetrate farther than the bottom skin of fiberglass. Measure your depth. Fill will epoxy, let cure. Drill holes to depth and tap for bolt thread size; done. The epoxy WILL hold threads nicely in this application. If they were to tear out again the fix is easy. I recommend microfibers but don't thicken to peanut butter or mayo, only thicken to maple syrup so it still it runs and flows. Blue tape is your friend.
     


    Will Gilmore likes this.

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