I have two questions about rebedding parts on the deck and was hoping those with more experience than I wouldn't mind chiming in here. There's a ton of threads on this topic, but an understanding of the terminology and basic steps are often assumed.
Potting a hole - is this basically pouring unthickened resin in the hole to seal it from any type of possible water penetration? If yes, do you generally drill the hole larger to allow for the thickness of the cured epoxy?
No, potting a hole is a bit more than that. It is removing the core from the area around the fastener hole, and then coating the void with unthickened epoxy, to coat the fiberglass and core material, and then filling the void with thickened epoxy.
The two reasons for doing this are simple. First, you want to protect the core from water intrusion, which coating it and filling the void with thickened epoxy will do. Second, it will help strengthen the laminate against the compressive forces created when you tighten the bolts down.
Most core materials are not all that high in compressive strength—thickened epoxy has a pretty high compressive strength...so it makes much more sense to have thickened epoxy there to support the loads.
Countersinking - a process that seems to be highly recommended. From what I understand, it's simply taking a countersink bit and grinding away a very slight bevel around the surface of the hole. Do you do this even if there's a plate between the bolt head and the fibrglass (i.e. Chainplate)?
Yes, since the void created by the countersinking will allow the sealant to form a natural "o-ring" and help create a long lasting, flexible and durable seal.
BTW, here is Maine Sail's website page on sealing the core
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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