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Rebedding bow pulpit Oday 25

Jul 29, 2021
oday 25 Eagle Mountain Lake
On my 25, the bow pulpit moves quite a bit, a lot more than I think it should. The bolts are tight, deck is sound but I wouldn't want to rely on holding on if I fell over. I did notice that someone put silicone on it to stop leaking. Last night there was some rain and today I could see water near the nuts underneath. So I know I got to get all the silicone off and use something better to bed it in with. Some form of buytl tape should work.

A couple questions:
(1) Can (should?) I cut the liner out around the 3 aft holes to be able to get in and put some sort of better size bolt and backing plate or is this a bad idea?
(2) For the forward holes, the plate is about 3" in diameter, is it worth it to put a bigger plate thicker and bigger on all the holes?



Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I was quite surprised to find that the primary winches on my O’Day 322 had no backing plates…just washers (and not big ones). I added backing plates when I pulled the winches off to service them. One of them is accessed from the aft berth, where there is a hard liner. There is a 4” hole in the liner allowing access to the nuts under the winch, and there is a cover over the hole. You could do that to get better access.

But, I do think you are probably ok with washers and the other small backing plates that are there.

I would rebed with butyl tape, and if you think that there is any core damage/rot under any of these fittings, you need to do something about that. I had a void under a midship cleat, and I filled it with West Systems Six10 thickened epoxy in an applicator. Once it cured, I re-drilled the holes and all was well.

Good luck with your project.

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Jul 29, 2021
oday 25 Eagle Mountain Lake
Thank you sir! This 40 year old boat is in pretty good condition, with just a couple minor issues. I plan to sail the rest of the year and learn and when it gets cold here in December start the repairs. Rebel all the topside items, clean and polish the boat to remove the oxidation, make the inside more homey for the wife, and oh yeah, a radio or maybe just a Bluetooth speaker

Ward H

Nov 7, 2011
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
You can get extra thick washers. Similar to fender washers but much thicker so they don't bend. Don't remember the name but I think I found them at McMaster Carr.
If the deck is solid I'd just go with the thick washers.
For the access for the bolts shown in the first photo, I enlarged those access holes so I could install the oversized washers. I found plastic plugs at the local Ace that fit the holes to dress them up when finished.
Jul 5, 2011
Oday 28 Madison, CT
Thicker washers good idea, but diameter increase first and foremost, even if you have to buzz off the edges a bit so they don't overlap.
Sep 24, 2018
O'Day 25 Chicago
I rebedded most of my deck fittings over the winter. As Tally Ho pointed out, the backing plates on the O'Day's are lacking to say the least. If your deck is rotted by the bow you will not feel it when walking or pushing on it from above. Try to scrape out some wood from one of the bolt holes to see if its good.

My typical process for rebedding without a second person went like this
  1. Remove the screw/bolt
    1. Try using an impact driver alone
    2. Put some light upward force using a autobody panel remover, small crowbar, paint scraper, etc. This helps keep the nut from spinning on the other side
    3. If the nut still spins then attach some vice grips to it
  2. Remove old sealant using a knife, scraper etc. For tougher jobs and to clean up fastener threads my tool of choice was a paint/varnish wheel
    1. 1628171724200.png
  3. Counter sink the hole. This ensures your butyl is coming in contact with clean fiberglass and not old sealant. This also allows for more surface area for the butyl to seal with. Do increase the amount of butyl a bit to fill the larger gap. In some cases I skipped step two and only did step three because it's still making a seal. Rebedding all the fittings took way longer than expected
  4. Clean the sealing surface. I put some acetone in a spray bottle and wiped the area with a paper towel. Most solvents and alcohol work and evaporate very quickly which speeds things up. I've also used butyl in a pinch to remove fiberglass dust
  5. Put new butyl under the fastener head and around the threads that will touch your sealing surface(s)
  6. Tighten the nut by hand followed by a quick blast or two with the impact driver. The bolt or screw shouldn't turn much which helps keep the butyl in tact. Don't over do it with the impact driver. Even the cheaper ones can cause damage to wood and fiberglass if you overtighten it. You of course tighten these fasteners by hand if you can't get an impact driver in there
I would recommend Bolt Depot for fasteners including thicker washers. In most cases I used a flange bolt with a standard thickness fender washer. @dlochner Advised that the rounded edge of the washer should face the fiberglass to lessend the chance of it digging in. I often used non stainless hardware on the backside for backing washers and nuts and bolts. The reason being is that A, I'm in freshwater and B, If a fastener is leaking, the rust is often a good indicator. For heavy duty applications such as my outboard mount, I used square washers made for Unistrut. They're 1/4" thick, have a galvenized or zinc coating and will without a doubt last longer than the boat. The other non stainless fastener will most likely outlast the boat or bedding material

Two other areas to check on the 25 and probably a few other O'day models
  • My boat has a storage compartment for the anchor rode/line. The bottom of it is made of wood and your line will be wet when you pull it up. The wood on mine is totally shot but it doesn't appear to have any affect on other parts of the boat so it's a low priority repair. Also, if you have a anchor locker that drains above your bow eye, do an inspection of the wood behind the bow eye. If you ever need a tow in heavy seas, this is the attachment point that you want to use. I lost a winch in a storm last week (not all tow captains are created equally)
  • Check your chainplates and bulkheads. These chainplates are common leak spots and can cause the bulkhead to rot. If left unrepaired the chainplates can be ripped through the deck and down goes your mast
  • The cockpit drain spills water on your lower gudgeon (rudder bracket). Mine was torn in two, almost three pieces in that storm before things got ugly. When replacing it yesterday I discovered that there was no sealant of any type used. As a result the wood in that area of the transom has become waterlogged.
Jul 29, 2021
oday 25 Eagle Mountain Lake
Thank @Project_Mayhem. I’ll keep this for a reference. I’m pretty handy, built race cars and was a machinist in another life and now I’m in construction and familiar with unistrut assembly. All great ideas here. I did notice today that the port toerail looks like it’s been caked on with some silicone. Most of the boat is in good shape, hopefully there isn’t too much damage
Sep 24, 2018
O'Day 25 Chicago
I did notice today that the port toerail looks like it’s been caked on with some silicone
O'Day used silicone to seal most things. Unfortunately we've discovered that most silicone sealants fail rather quickly on boats
Jul 29, 2021
oday 25 Eagle Mountain Lake
Well, I’ll let you know how it goes soon, probably start that one in a week or so, even if it’s just exploratory surgery to find the way ahead