Plugging holes… one by one.

So as everyone knows there are tons of quite large holes in the boat from where all the deck hardware used to be.  I have the majority of them covered with plastic and its 99% effective at keeping all the water out.  That 1% really gets to me though! Little drips here and there when its pouring rain is no good.  So anyhow, the goal for spring and summer is to finish up the deck.  The hard part is done! Yay!! However now, there is a lot of work to do!

One has to start somewhere, so I started with the diesel deck fill.

The first order of business was to repair a crack in the gel coat.  I’m not a big fan of cover up jobs so I ground the whole thing out and filleted some thicked epoxy in its place.  I also filled in all the previous holes with epoxy and while I was at it, epoxied the fiberglass headliner to the fiberglass deck (its all fiberglass here, no core).

After sanding down the epoxy we had a new solid surface to work with.  The next step was to drill new holes for our fasteners.  I then countersunk the fiberglass – this allows for a “pool” of sealant to protect from leaks.

I then got out the tap and die set and threaded each hole for my fasteners.  In this case I am using 10-24 stainless steel machine screws so I threaded the fiberglass with a 10-24 tap.  I don’t expect our diesel deck fill will have too many loads placed on it and need the extra strength of the threaded fiberglass but if your going to do something, why not do it right?

After our fiberglass was threaded I got out the bed-it butyl tape and made a little bed around the bottom of the deck fill and around the head of each fastener.  I tightened everything down until the butyl started to come out of the sides and then stopped.  I will let it sit for a few days and then tighten it down some more and put the nuts and washers on the underside.

UPDATE**  Thank you Weird Guy With A Dog for commenting that butyl is not the best for this application!   I wasn’t thinking at all but butyl would actually be disolved over time if any diesel were to spill – and of course that will happen!   A better sealant for this is silicone which is impervious to to chemicals and I am going to re-bed it using silicone.

One hole down – an unknown number to go…

 


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