Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Solomons, MD
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Stern Tube Flange to Hull Gap Filler?
I pulled the bronze stern tube from my hull in order to make replacing the cutlass bearing easier. The cutlass bearing was extremely worn and I was getting lots of vibration. Age of whatever the sealant was and vibration made pulling the tube fairly easy.
The shaft does not exit the hull at a 90 degree angle. There is an inverted "V" shaped gap between the forward sloping keel wall and the bronze tube mounting flange. This was filled using some sort of pinkish colored filler that was rounded then covered with a thin layer of fiberglass. I immedietly noticed that this putty was full of cracks. Digging at it, pebble sized junks were just falling out. Again it appears age and vibration had done it's damage. I have since removed most of the old putty.
Now I'm not sure how to go about repairing it. I attempted to keep most of the fiberglass skin intact. My plan was to use it as a form and fill in the space with epoxy putty. However, it has become apparent that I can't get down to clean glass without using a grinder. I can't reach the hull surface with the grinder without cutting out the remnants of the fiberglass skin (destroying my form).
I think I've pretty much decided to grind the whole mess (left over putty and skin) down to the hull. But then I've got to come up with a way to make a temporary form to hold the epoxy putty while it hardens. Another idea I'm toying with would be to epoxy a block of wood to the hull, shape it, then cover with fiberglass cloth.
Any ideas? Suggestions?