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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Cutting through hole
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Thread: Cutting through hole Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-08-2008 08:18 AM
NautiG Thanks for all the input. I'm understandably trepidacious about cutting a hole in my boat. Especially so, since I've never done so before. I'll let you know how it goes.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
http://nautib.blogspot.com
01-07-2008 08:55 PM
hellosailor Scott, odds are oyu have a lightweight filler in the deck, if anything. I think a standard 1/4" portable drill shouldn't have any trouble--since you are starting with a brand new sharp hole saw. As long as you don't bear down hard on the drill, it will slowly eat its way through without any risk of burnout. It can be hard to see your centering mark past a saw that size, so if you start a pilot hole with a regular bit, that should also help ensure the big hole is in the right place.

Assuming the deck is cored--remember, you want to chew out some of the coring material around the hole, refill it with epoxy, and let that set up then redrill/sand as necessary for a good fit.
01-07-2008 08:42 PM
JohnRPollard The hole saw is the way to go. I described the process a few weeks ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Jason,

In case you missed it, there is a wide ranging, on-going thread ( http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/39011-cabin-heater-ideas.html ) that discusses pros and cons of various cabin heaters. Some discussion of solid fuel heaters there.

As for your question "3- how do you cut a hole in the deck?" First you procure the correct size hole saw (the kind that plumbers use, that have a smaller drill bit as a pilot -- our Dickinson required a 3" hole for its chimney) and a powerful drill. After measuring all dimensions carefully, make a small pilot hole from the inside out. Then go up on deck and use the small pilot hole to guide the pilot bit for the hole saw.

Initially, run the drill in REVERSE. This will prevent the teeth of the hole saw from binding up and or chipping away harshly at your gel coat. Run the drill in reverse until you have cut through the layer of gel coat and begun penetrating the fibreglass. Then you can switch the drill over to the normal forward setting and begin cutting more aggressively. Let the saw and drill do the work and don't rush it.

So that's how you cut the hole in your deck. If you want more help/advice with installation, etc, I would suggest that you post the questions in the Gear & Maintenance forum... Good luck to you.
If you have other questions, fire away. I installed a P9000 last spring and still remember the process fairly well...
01-07-2008 08:36 PM
shantijwk Or you will burn out the drill. Also try a pilot hole one size smaller than the pilot bit in the hole saw
01-07-2008 08:19 PM
soulesailor Yeah, it's wicked easy. An underpowered drill will probably just take longer.
01-07-2008 08:15 PM
sailingdog Not all that hard... you will want a corded drill or a very powerful cordless unit though.
01-07-2008 08:14 PM
NautiG Thanks. Sounds like a good technique. It's quite a large hole for a hole saw, and I'm sure it's going to be quite a pain.
01-07-2008 08:12 PM
NautiG How hard is it to cut through fiberglass? I've used drill hole saws for cutting doorknob holes and such, but a three inch hole is quite large. I've done the procedure I describe above for cutting larger holes.

Also, my portable drill is probably underpowered if the material is hard. But I'm at a marina, and could probably borrow a cord drill.
01-07-2008 08:10 PM
soulesailor One word of caution: when you start boring your hole it is likely the hole boring bit will grab the material (your cabintop in this case) and jump out of control, skidding along the deck and making a mess. To avoid this start drilling, slowly, and at a slight angle to your cabintop. This way only a small portion of the bit is cutting. Slowly revolve the bit around a full revolution until you have gone all the way around. Then you can drill more vertically, although you may still find it easier to keep it at a slight angle.
01-07-2008 08:05 PM
camaraderie Hole saw!
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