Installing new deck hardware for a dummy. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

Ok, so I want to install new clutches. Like some cam cleats and maybe some spinlock to run lines to the cockpit for single handing. There are already some installed but mine are bigger and newer

Do I just drill new holes where I want my new cleats?

What do I do to fill in the old holes?

What kind of caulk do you recommend?

Does in look bad to have old filled in holes on the deck?

Do I need bolts from a marine store or are hardware store bolts and washers good?

I'm just not a handyman. I'd better start learning obviously.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

Check out some of the videos at Maine Sails web page. He has a lot of good tips on how to install a fitting so it doesn't leak including the correct use of backing plates.

Re-Bedding Deck Hardware Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

Why wouldn't you put the new hardware over where the old hardware was? This is the easiest way to avoid unsightly repaired holes. Even if both holes don't align, at least re-use one. The old holes you aren't using should be filled with epoxy.

There's a specific way to overbore, fill with epoxy, then countersink holes for bolts to minimise the chances of moisture penetration into the core.

You need quality stainless steel hardware and the marine store isn't the only place you can buy it, but my local chandler (not West Marine) is the most reasonable and convenient place to buy it.

Lots of sealants will work, but I find butyl tape to be the easiest, least messy approach.

For backing plates I like to use stainless steel plate where it can be seen. Once you have the hang of it, it's not as difficult to work as people make out.

The one for the 4-way clutch :



This was made out of s/s plate, cut up with a jigsaw with HSS blade, drilled with tungsten carbide tipped drills, then sanded with increasing grit paper, down to 1000 grit. All stuff anyone can do at home.
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Last edited by MarkSF; 03-30-2013 at 02:11 AM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

Hi,

Use marine stainless steel for your fixings. If you are installing in new areas make sure you have easy access to the inside of your deck. You might have to put some access hatches at the inside to facilitate this.

If you put your new hardware where the old was installed you might get away with filling the old drill holes simply with epoxy, otherwise you'll have to do some gelcoat repairs.

This is not as daunting, as it sounds, particularly if you -like myself- have white gelcoat. Here you can buy white premixed gelcoat filler that does not need covering to fully harden. I find it really easy to use (and I've only started doing this kind of work this winter). Filler in other colours is available here but I've got no experience with it.

This is what I use:


Plastic Padding Gelcoat Filler. Other makes are available

You'll need : Gloves, an appropriate facemask, goggles, gelcoat filler, a hobby knife or a drill with a countersink attachment, acetone, white paper towel, masking tape (don't go cheap with that, you'll regret when you'll try to take it off later), a bucket of water with some dishsoap, wet sanding paper of 240, 320, 400, 600, 800 and 1200 grit. If its still cold outside you'll also need a hairdryer.

Wear gloves, goggles and an appropriate facemask/respirator. Make sure you work in a well ventilated area. The chemicals you are going to use are nasty.

1. Scrape the existing hole a bit bigger with a hobby knife or use a countersink drill. Make sure that you've removed any loose/cracked gelcoat and any existing caulk and give the new filler a larger surface to adhere to.

2. Clean with acetone inside and around the hole.

3. Put some masking tape behind the hole and around the hole. The masking tape should be close to the margins of the hole and wide enough around it to avoid putting gelcoat with your putty knife where its not supposed to go.

4. Mix your gelcoat filler as per manufacturer's instructions. Don't prep too much at a time, it will start to harden within 10-20 minutes pending the temperature you're working in.

5. Fill the hole with gelcoat using a flexible putty knife. Make sure that you fill higher than the surrounding surface. You can clean your putty knife once you are done with acetone.

6. The filler needs a temperature of at least 10 degrees centigrades for the filler to harden. If it is still cold, I use a hairdryer over the filled holes for a couple of minutes to kickstart the chemical reaction.

7. Once the gelcoat filler has completely hardened (I wait until the next day), remove the masking tape and start wet sanding. For small holes I never use a sanding block but simply tear off a strip of sandpaper and fold it so it is small (an inch squared) and a bit more rigid. You very quickly get a feeling for how to sand just with a small piece of sandpaper under your index finger. Before you sand, wet the paper in water with a bit of dish soap and wash it out again should it start to clog. Start sanding with 240 grit only over the filled hole til its kind of level with the surface. Continue to wet sand the filled hole and the margin around it stepwise with 320,400,600,800 and 1200 grit.

Then polish and wax.

It really is not difficult at all
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Ok, so I want to install new clutches. Like some cam cleats and maybe some spinlock to run lines to the cockpit for single handing. There are already some installed but mine are bigger and newer

Do I just drill new holes where I want my new cleats?

What do I do to fill in the old holes?

What kind of caulk do you recommend?

Does in look bad to have old filled in holes on the deck?

Do I need bolts from a marine store or are hardware store bolts and washers good?

I'm just not a handyman. I'd better start learning obviously.
NO, do not just drill holes and install with hardware store hardware.

First understand the problem you're trying to solve. Boat decks (except for very small boats) have what's called cored fiberglass. Basically your deck is a fiberglass, wood, fiberglass sandwich. When water gets into the wood core it doesn't dry out, and rot is the result. This hurts the integrity of the deck and can literally create soft spots. It can also kill the resale value of the boat.

So all the trouble you're going through is not to prevent a leak on your head in the cabin, that's not terribly important, it's to prevent serious internal damage to the core of the boat.

So, as others have said there are multiple steps that get taken to solve this. The first thing is that you drill out the hole you need and then, with an allen wrench or some other tool you scrape the wood away from the hole.

Then you fill the hole with a high quality epoxy or other similar filler. I recommend just getting some West System Epoxy, which your local marine store will almost surely have. It's not cheap, but its really useful stuff for a whole range of boat work and DIY at home. The point to this is that you've completely sealed the hole from the core, even if water gets in it shouldn't penetrate and soak into the wood core.

FinallySailing's guide is good and I highly recommend the link katsailor posted.

Next you buy the hardware. Hardware store hardware is 18-8 stainless steel at best which isn't well suited to salt water. You need to find Marine Grade Stainless steel or, more specifically, 316 grade.

I highly recommend McMaster-Carr for stainless hardware as it's probably easier and cheaper than the store (unless you really just need a couple). Search for screw/nut/washer and filter for 316 stainless steel. They'll have every possible size you want. McMaster is geared towards businesses and have a policy of not telling you the shipping cost up front but for an order of screws and hardware it's going to be $5-$10 (my small orders are always $5).

As for sealing, you'll see tons of options out there. First thing, do not use 3M 5200 and avoid 4200 as well. They are high strength adhesives and more or less glue the hardware to the deck. This may seem good until you want to remove them. Also, because it's cured, the seal isn't flexible and can break. This is especially true with loaded deck hardware like cleats.

The consensus around here is to use a stuff called Butyl Tape. It's a roll of grey goo the consistency of chewing gum. It's cheap, easy to work with and never cures or hardens so it's still flexible, and can still maintain a seal years or decades later.

Here are some links: Hardware at Mcmaster.com
McMaster-Carr

Repeat of katsailor's link (showing the use of Butyl Tape). Also the sailnet thread on the subject.
Re-Bedding Deck Hardware Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

Link to MainSails website to buy Butyl Tape (I've bought from here and highly reccomend it. You may see "Butyl Tape" elsewhere but it varies quite a lot, this is the right stuff for marine use:
Need Butyl Tape ?? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

I also like butyl. I bought it directly from Maine Sail's website, though I understand that you can sometimes find it in RV stores. If you can't get butyl then LifeCaulk or LifeSeal (for plastic hardware) works nicely and is available everywhere.

I always try to reuse existing holes if possible. I think a boat looks terrible when it has a million drilled and filled holes. Every one of those is also a potential area for a leak. If a new piece of hardware has a different hole pattern then I do my best to line it up with the old and to cover up any of the old holes. On my current boat there are a total of two patched holes that are visible, and they still bug me.

I use 3/16" aluminum for backing plates, but my backing plates are all hidden inside access panels.

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-30-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

"On my current boat there are a total of two patched holes that are visible"

Must be some hardware you can mount there!
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-27-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post


Does anyone ever make teak covers (or some other kind of cover for these plates and bolts. I have a few in my cabin. Or do most people just leave them as is?

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post #9 of 16 Old 04-27-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

INstead of stainless backing plaates you can use either aluminum or G10. Both are cheaper and easier to cut and drill.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-27-2013
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Re: Installing new deck hardware for a dummy.

I don't think anyone covers these. I think they look good, part of the boat vibe.
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