Filling 3/8" hole in hull. Boat in the water. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Filling 3/8" hole in hull. Boat in the water.

So I was drilling out a broken bolt on an engine mount, and wouldn’t you know – I now have 3/8” hole in the hull. Who knew that the thick fiberglass cradle wasn’t anything like as thick as it looked!

The boat is in the water, and a wooden plug is keeping the boat dry. For now….

How do I fix the hole? Can I use Marine Tex or Rapid Tex? If so, can I just fill the hole by pushing the stuff into the hole? Can I even do this with the boat in the water if I scuba down to the hole? Obviously, I would leave the plug in place until the epoxy is dry. I certainly couldn’t do this from inside because the force of the jet of water when the plug is removed would blow out any epoxy substances introduced to the hole.

But I’m betting I have to haul, and soon. So how do I fix the hole when on the hard? Is there an online reference somewhere where I can read about the necessary techniques? Or perhaps one of you kind readers could describe the procedure for me.

Thanks, and why did this have to happen on Memorial Day weekend when the yard is closed until Tuesday for the haul?
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post #2 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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You can keep the wood plug there, if it is making its job. If the hole is in good shape the plug will keep it closed. If you haul out read the article of Don Casey:

Fiberglass Repair by Don Casey
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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Here's what ya do, first get your drill and a hammer, then find the hole you drilled, place your thumb over the hole, then smack it as hard as you can with the hammer, with your good hand throw the drill overboard as far as you can.

good luck, Hope that helps

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post #4 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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There are epoxies developed for the offshore drilling rigs that are available to us. They were specifically designed to be applied underwater and achieve a molecular bond as well as mechanical bond. If you decide to repair in the water do a google search to locate this type of epoxy. If you haul, bevel the edges of the hole to allow for a few layers of glass on the outside. Fair, barrier coat, bottom paint.

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post #5 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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If your not on the boat 24/7, I would suggest a bolt.

~ 5/16" with a washer gasketed with butyl tape. Push it in from outside and put a nut on it. If you use the nut to push the plug inside, you'll hardly leak a drop. This would probably be safe for a season. I have seen plugs like this serve in 500,000 chemical storage tanks for years... which is a little frightening (the gasket material varies with the chemical).

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post #6 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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It's really going to be difficult to do a proper repair in the water. Maybe if you can apply some sort of a seal from the outside, you can do something, but it is going to be difficult to get the area clean and dry. As roline noted above, you need to bevel the edges and lay in layers of glass fabric to build up the thickness. Just applying epoxy to plug the existing hole is not the way to go. I would plan on hauling soon to fix this right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
Here's what ya do, first get your drill and a hammer, then find the hole you drilled, place your thumb over the hole, then smack it as hard as you can with the hammer, with your good hand throw the drill overboard as far as you can.

good luck, Hope that helps
It helped a lot. I looked around the site, and found there was a way to ignore you.
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post #8 of 24 Old 05-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
~ 5/16" with a washer gasketed with butyl tape. Push it in from outside and put a nut on it. If you use the nut to push the plug inside, you'll hardly leak a drop. This would probably be safe for a season. I have seen plugs like this serve in 500,000 chemical storage tanks for years... which is a little frightening (the gasket material varies with the chemical).
I like this idea a lot. I think this, combined with some underwater-curing marine epoxy, and I'll have a way to get through the season without hauling. And then after the fall haul, I'll go the Don Casey fiberglass repair way.

Of course, I've been wrong before. Like yesterday, when I didn't think about the drill actually going beyond the cradle to the hull, and beyond again....

Thanks, everyone. Well, almost everyone!
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You might try to apply the underwater epoxy on the wood plug. This way you will be able to stay on water till next season.
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-24-2009
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It helped a lot. I looked around the site, and found there was a way to ignore you.
See, and it could've been years before you figued that function out


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