The 'pin' in my tiller where the arm of the Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 connects to the tiller has come loose. It appears the force of the tiller drive on the pin acted like a lever and the force on the pin was more than the Epoxy cold hold. An Epoxy field repair lasted a couple hours, but then failed again because the 'hole' in which the pin fits has become enlarged.
My plan is:
1. Drill out the 1/4" hole to 3/4" or so
2. Wet with unthickened epoxy, then fill with thickened, cure
3. drill back to manufacturer defined size and depth (1/4" hold 1/2" deep)
4. Re-epoxy pin into tiller.
My *worry* is:
Am I weakening my tiller with such a large hole drilled and filled with Epoxy? If that 'plug' should ever pop out its a pretty big hole in the tiller... and I have this bad image of myself in rough seas trying to control the boat with only 16" of tiller left.
...and an additional question:
Whats the best way to protect the epoxy from UV? Do I have to paint it or will it take varnish (like the rest of the tiller)?
Thanks for any help/advice,