Hunter 170 bow deck fitting repair

May 5, 2015
Hunter 25 Madison, WI
Hi fellow Hunter enthusiasts,

Unfortunately, my 170 had a run in with a low branch (can't believe it either).

The bow deck fitting was pulled up and the attachment screws were partially pulled out.

I've ordered a replacement bow attachment plate, but I'm wondering if you have advice on how to deal with mounting it. The existing screws seem to still have purchase.

My initial plan is to:
1. Carefully remove the bent screws/plate
2. Full holes with expoxy (suggestions on brand/type welcome), wait for cure
3. Drill new pilot holes
4. Mount new plate using using new screws (if possible at least one or two sizes larger than last screws).

The problem with the last step is that the existing screws are #14 x "3. I am having difficulty locating a #16 or #18 stainless screw. Any idea another screw size that would fit? I'm fine trying to drill larger holes in the bow plate, I just want to make sure the screw threads are firmly set

There is no real way to get at the back of the mounting area so bolts are out of the question unfortunately.

Any suggestions are appreciated.



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Sep 8, 2014
Catalina 22 Swing Keel San Diego
You are on the right track, just carefully remove and then over-drill the holes by one size (probably 1/4" but could go 5/16"). Careful not to drill too deep, set a drill stop to 90% of the length of the original screw. Any quality epoxy will work, but I wouldn't go buy some for the small amount you'll need. Ask around and see if any friends, neighbors, or dockmates at the marina have some WEST epoxy with mini pumps. I'm pretty sure only 1 pump of resin and hardener will fill all four holes.
If you have to buy your own, order one of WEST system small epoxy repair kits.
Why would you change the size of the screw? go with the original size, #14 x 3". Order the from McMaster Carr if you can't find them locally. Make sure they are 316 stainless and not 304 or 18-8.
McMaster is a little expensive, but they ship fast and you will know exactly what you are getting.
Sep 8, 2014
Catalina 22 Swing Keel San Diego
Pro-Tip... Drilling pilot holes into solid FRP or cured epoxy is NOT like pilot holes for wood. If you wanted to use #8 screws in fiberglass and you pulled out your handy set of pilot drills and selected the #8 pilot drill bit, you would find that as you install screws into those pilot holes they would be really difficult to turn in. Then you'll be tempted to break out a cordless screw gun or impact driver and make the situation much worse when you notice that you are snapping off screws left and right (don't ask me how I know this...)
This happens because FRP has no compression like wood fibers would have as a screw is driven into them. When you pilot drill into FRP or cured epoxy resin you need to select a bit that is larger than what a wood pilot bit is sized at. Then you should always turn the screws in with a hand driver. If the going is too tough, pilot drill one size larger. If you mess up and go too big you can always refill with epoxy.
BTW, before you screw the new fitting down, put a little counter sink on the holes. Kind of no a big deal on your boat because there is no wood core and they are not through bolts, but we also don't want to invite crevice corrosion. Just a dab of sealant will do.
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Sep 8, 2014
Catalina 22 Swing Keel San Diego
Did you ever own a Hunter 170. If not, the construction is different.
Dave; #1, the repair was complete 3 weeks ago.
#2, please re-read both my posts above and understand that they have nothing to do with the construction method of any particular boat, it just general advice on the proper repair and materials required for the type of damage the OP showed in his pictures.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
The construction of that boat is different from fiberglass and knowing and watching the boats being built and certain materials used which may or may not last that long is another factor. I only asked one question. Did you ever own a Hunter 170
Aug 9, 2020
Hunter 170 Burlington, VT
Cross-referencing this post about extensive rudder repair I am wondering if this drill-fill-rescrew repair is still holding after a few seasons? My stem head screws pulled out indicating the wood they are sunk into (inside the hull- UGH) is soft but I am hoping to avoid cutting into the hull to install bolts and backplate.