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joelozzy 04-26-2011 08:11 PM

Average Hull Thickness, Islander 28?
I'm wondering if some of you could share the measured hull thickness of your Islander 28's? I haven't cut into the hull yet, but will be replacing all thru-hulls and would like to know in advance of what to expect. Thanks. ~Joel

1976 Islander 28
S/V Optiminium
Auke Bay, AK

hellosailor 04-26-2011 10:24 PM

I remember chewing out a depthsounder to replace it and finding that no, the hull really isn't six feet thick, but I don't recall what it actually was. A half inch, an inch...nothing to worry about. Stick a small ruler in your existing thru-hull, see how much of it is actually used and you'll get a good fast idea.

The real question is how the thru-hulls were installed and bedded. Old 5200 can be just like concrete, you may need a spud wrench and Sawzall to "implode" some of the old fittings.

Paul Comte 04-27-2011 10:36 AM

i28 hull thickness
Out depth sounder had stopped working and its installation had begun leaking. I found hull thickness of 1/2"-5/8" in the flat area just aft of the keel stub, a bit more where the depth sounder was installed under the galley sink. The side of the keel stub where the speed is installed has more material, perhaps 3/4"-1".

I did this project two years ago, you may find this helpful.

You should try to have the outer and inner hull surfaces parallel to provide even clamping of your new thru-hull fitting. You may want to include a scrap of marine plywood and belt sander in your tools for this project.

I found a loose scrap of plywood and a bunch of dried out (and weeping) stuff in the old depth finder original installation. Their installation was NOT a good effort and the transducer nut was not clamping evenly. After removing the hardware, clean the area well. This is a must before you sand anything. Sanding will spread around any oil, grease, soap or waxes so clean first.

After removing the old fitting and cleaning the area, sand about a 6"x6" centered on the existing hole. Then to make a form fitting block, I nailed a piece of scrap 1/2" marine ply (thin nails) to a larger chunk of wood. Then I was able to belt sand (the nails will wear off as you go) the necessary curve to better fit the hull. I tapered the outer edges of the block to help avoid making a hard edge. This would help lay glass down if you decided to add a top skin.

I had a helper run a construction screw through a hole in a block placed outside the hull, into my leveling pad to clamp & hold it in place till the epoxy cured.

I used West System epoxy and filler 403 or 404 to attach the block and coated the cabin side too. I don't remember if I covered it with a layer of glass but it does seem a bit like overkill. My new sender was a bit smaller then the original. The flange on the transducer head was still larger than the hole but I wanted more boat and less sealant....

With the block installed as a backing I was able to mix some very thick epoxy and build up the hole. Messy is OK. If you have to do all this you'll run a hole saw through both the block and the filler.

I used a burr file in a drill but a round or half round file would also work well to chamfer the inside lip of the hole. The chamfer helps hold a bit more sealant where you want it most and will reduce the shearing pressure on the head as you tighten the nut.

I gave the finished hole including the installed block a coat of epoxy. Let this coating cure before you install sealant. Raw epoxy and sealant don't seem to cure well together. Let the epoxy cure before installing with sealant.

I used Boat Life's Life Caulk. I like the way it adheres, cleans up and stays a bit flexible. It also will come apart without resorting the dynamite...

Go sailing.

Paul Comte
Milwaukee, WI

joelozzy 05-02-2011 12:31 AM


Thanks for the advice on replacing thru-hulls. I've decided to replace the OEM water speed & depth transducers with a single smart sensor that does both (Airmar DST800, comes with the Raymarine ST60 Plus tridata). Haven't determined where I'll place it, but I did look at the installation instructions briefly and saw that one of the recommended locations was forward of the keel stub. I'll know more when I remove all the thru-hulls later this week.

The hull thickness was of interest because I read somewhere that it's not necessary to use a backing block if the hull is 1" thick or more. And the OEM waste outlet thru-hull was indeed installed without a backing block! The thru-hull's not been hit hard in 35 years, so not an issue. At any rate, onward & upward. ~Joel

hellosailor 05-02-2011 04:21 PM

Joel, the I28 I sailed on had the thru-hull installed forward in the forward cabin floor actually. The only problem was that the cable had not been properly protected and eventually failed. Since this will be a coax or other "don't walk on me" cable, plan ahead for that, with a cable protector or other way to make sure it isn't walked on for the short run over to the side and under the rest of the furniture. (Wasn't easy snaking it all the way aft, either, but there were no major impediments to that, port side for us.)

joelozzy 05-04-2011 12:34 AM

Thanks 'Hello Sailor' for the information on protecting the wires. I will certainly be sure to do my best protecting those from foot traffic.

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