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bow u-bolt issue (trailer tie down)

Apr 12, 2016
42
Macgregor Venture 222 Waconia
In a recent storm my Macgregor 22 banged against the dock. The u-bolt nuts (on the bow) got crushed into the bow. I looked inside and can’t access it to see how it is secured in the inside. Thus the u-bolt is pretty loose, and the fiberglass is degraded (crushed) behind the nuts (that are in the outside). Should I just epoxy behind the nuts to build it back up? In some ways it doesn’t seem crucial for trailering, I can’t image the boat shifting back on the bunks even if it weren’t tied down on the front.
 

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Jan 22, 2008
8,050
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
In a recent storm my Macgregor 22 banged against the dock. The u-bolt nuts (on the bow) got crushed into the bow. I looked inside and can’t access it to see how it is secured in the inside. Thus the u-bolt is pretty loose, and the fiberglass is degraded (crushed) behind the nuts (that are in the outside). Should I just epoxy behind the nuts to build it back up? In some ways it doesn’t seem crucial for trailering, I can’t image the boat shifting back on the bunks even if it weren’t tied down on the front.
And no fender washers behind those nuts? Might have saved your bacon.
 
Feb 8, 2017
103
MacGregor MacGregor 25 Baltimore
From time to time, I trail a Mac25, which is similar to yours, just bigger and heavier. When I pull the boat out of the water, in addition to the cable, I ALWAYS add an extra line between the bow cleat and the bar in the front of the trailer. Years ago, I was pulling the boat out during a really low tide, and had to winch the boat a ways up the boards, which started pulling the bow eye out. To repair it, I had to cut a hole in the fiberglass liner to gain access to the compromised area. I put a couple big honkin’ washers on the bow eye bolts and set the whole thing in Marine Tex. It also gives you access to the bow light wiring. I finished it off with a nice piece of teak that I routed, which covers the hole. Easy to access now if necessary, and it looks good. That was over 20 years ago and still no problems. I probably wouldn’t need to use the additional line, but I believe it to be cheap insurance. BTW, you are taking a major chance not securing both fore and aft when you trailer. One only had to cruise some comical and tragic YouTube videos to see some unfortunate souls who didn’t...
 

Cmackg

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May 5, 2018
35
Macgregor 25 Home
My u-bolt pulled out of the bow on my Mac 25, so I rebuilt the whole deal. It was sporty getting it back on the trailer and off the ramp, and I ended up leaving it there until I could repair it, refloat it, and get it back on the trailer. To fix the bolt I had to cut the fiberglass false bulkhead at the end of the v-berth to get to it, but once I did, everything was (smooth) to work on. The bolt was "secured" to a block of wood that was epoxied in to the bow -- so there's a 2 inch hole maybe where this wood had rotted out over time. I drilled/hacked.etc as much of that wood out as I could, then filled the whole void with epoxy stiffened with colloid filler. Once that had set hard,I came back, re-drilled the holes, placed a piece of u-shaped aluminum bracket on the inside, washers, bolts, etc. Stronger now that it was before. Someday I'll glue the cut up piece of fiberglass back to the false bulkhead.
 

Cmackg

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May 5, 2018
35
Macgregor 25 Home
Yeah. The last owner had installed an anchor rode port, so rain can come in, so feel like it needs to be closed off better long term.
 
Sep 25, 2008
923
Macgregor & Island Packet VENTURE 25 & IP-38 NORTH EAST, MD
Cut the liner to gain access to the bow eye. Fill the holes with epoxy, glass in a reinforcement on the inside (wood or metal), redrill the holes and reinstall the bow eye. Make it strong, as someday you may need to winch the boat on the trailer and you want the bow eye to be strong. Made a nice wood panel to cover up the access hole. It also makes a nice anchor rode locker in there.
 
Apr 12, 2016
42
Macgregor Venture 222 Waconia
Thanks cmackg. Yeah it’s weird that the vberth has to be cut to take care of the u bolt. There must have been a couple of nuts that were tightened behind the rotten wood block?
 

Cmackg

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May 5, 2018
35
Macgregor 25 Home
Yep, one fell off, the other was very loose. I cut a hole in the fiberglass much like the one in the picture above. I think we all figured out the same basic approach to the repair. Clean the hole, fill with epoxy, redrill, add something more serious as a backer plate.
 
Jun 3, 2004
1,863
Macgregor 25 So. Cal.
You also need to address the push side(the outside) because without something to keep the nuts from pushing through. My boat uses a metal strip that the nuts tighten against rather than fiberglass and spread the load. I think you can see it in the picture of the replacement part.