Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mandeville, LA
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Epoxy is a wonderful thing, but it is not a cure all. Is there any damage to the laminate? If so, how bad? If you could post a few photos, that would be helpful.
Travelers spread the load across a great deal of fasteners and so there is really not a huge amount of load on any single fastener, which is why you often see travelers installed with large fender washers rather backing plates. Another consideration is that backing plates are designed to spread loads, not substitute for weakness in the laminate.
A laminate structure that is damaged can create a weakness in a large area on the boat. If that is the case, then you must fix it. Simply filling with epoxy and installing a backing plate may not be sufficient. Again, photos would help here.
As far as epoxy goes, while all epoxies have their devoted fans, you'll get the same amount of strength from any quality epoxy. Personally, I like West System.
The strength and characteristics that make epoxy suitable for a wide range of applications does not come from the brand of the epoxy. Rather, it comes from what's used to thicken it. Epoxy by itself, while hard, is very brittle, and would be completely unacceptable for your application.
Generally, thickeners run a range from easily sanded (for fairing purposes, i.e. microballoons) to structural filler (for this sort of application, i.e. colloidal silica). I suggest filling all of the old holes with epoxy thickened to the consistency of ketchup and redrilling for new fasteners - after repairing any structural damage.
If you want to install a backing plate, go for it. It certainly won't hurt. But don't rely on it.
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Last edited by NOLAsailing; 08-07-2008 at 10:20 AM.