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Eyebolt holes in the stem

Posted by Sandy 
Eyebolt holes in the stem
November 26, 2016 06:28PM
I'm trying to finish repairs on this boat. It's almost ten years old and this is the first real maintenance so I can't complain. Poked a hole in it a month ago. That hole is now ready for final patching. I glassed the outside of the boat a week ago. Now the inside.

But I discovered an area of wet wood at the base of the stem where my trailer hitch eye bolt goes. I know better than this but didn't do it anyway 9-1/2 years ago when I first built this relatively flat bottomed lake boat.

It's not a good idea to drill any holes through fiberglass, through wood and then on out to the other side in any area that ever gets wet.................without drilling it out way too big at first, filling the big hole with putty and then walking away. Then come back the next day and drill your 5/8" inch eye bolt hole in the middle of a 1" inch epoxy putty plug. Then you won't get wet wood.

I know better. I have done this the right way many times before. But didn't on this boat and now I'm paying the price. So I ground off some fiberglass. Drilled the hole out to 1" inch wide and now I have to wait 2 - 3 days for it to dry. I'll leave an electric fan heater on it for a day or two. Then I'll do it right.

Still. After nearly ten years this boat is still in very good shape. It wouldn't have needed much work at all if I hadn't crashed the front end into the corner of my trailer, under power with a 20hp Merc. Maintenance once every ten years isn't a bad record.

Anyway. Drill those eyebolt holes out way too big. Fill the big hole with putty. Then re-drill again with a smaller bit. Then you won't get wet wood.

...also, for what it's worth about eyebolt holes in the stem, I like to put them way down low so the boat jumps up onto the trailer roller by itself. I like to load my boat by winding the winch handle, without having to walk around to the back of the trailer to bust a gut lifting the front end of the boat up onto the roller.

But if you do that you'll have a wet hole. That needs to be built the right way.
Re: Eyebolt holes in the stem
November 29, 2016 10:29PM
This is a area to consider using 3M 5200 instead of epoxy. It has more inherent flexibility than epoxy and is perfect for this type of application - anything going through the hull, for that matter. Rob Anderson
Re: Eyebolt holes in the stem
November 30, 2016 12:05AM
5200 is a good idea.

I drilled a 1" hole and filled it solid with epoxy putty. I'll drill a 5/8" inch hole in the plastic plug soon, for the eye bolt. 5200 is a good idea too. When I put the bolt in I'll bed it in that stuff, inside the plastic lined hole.

No wood will be exposed or involved, and completely water proof too.
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