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I'm moving some hardware around on the boom (cheek blocks, cleats, etc) and as a result there are a few tapped holes that will be exposed.

I'm wondering if I should fill these or just leave them be. And if its best to fill them what would be the best way to do it?
 

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The tape is not a bad idea. But if the boom is painted the tape may debond the paint after a while making a bigger scar. I would fill them with epoxy, tinted or painted, depending. A short screw in the hole is okay too, but kinda lazy.

My PO loved his little drill. I have thousands of useless holes that I have filled. On the boom and everywhere. They bought the entire bargain table at WM and screwed it to the boat whether they needed it or not.
 

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I'm moving some hardware around on the boom (cheek blocks, cleats, etc) and as a result there are a few tapped holes that will be exposed.

I'm wondering if I should fill these or just leave them be. And if its best to fill them what would be the best way to do it?
Depending upon location and whether or not the holes might ever be needed again one could "fill" them with matching stainless steel set screws treated with TefGel (for future removal) or with matching nylon screws/bolts inserted and then cut off flush with the surface of the spar (removable with a center punch). All of the foregoing available at "Big Box" hardware outlets.

FWIW...
 
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I like the idea of the nylon screws, no worry about electrolysis. Otherwise I would just fill it with what ever I had around. It seems that it is best to close off the hole to keep water out.
 

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I had a couple of holes in my spreader - squeezed in a bit of caulking. My thinking was that it would be easy to remove (a new screw would push the plug in).

I agree with other folk - probably not ideal to leave holes open, and invitation to water or critter penetration. Ans as we all know, if the ocean can get in and start dissolving stuff, it will....
 

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I would fill the holes in the boom. Plastic or nylon screws would be best or I think you can get some plugs (not cork) at the hardware store that will pop into the holes. Unless you have a wood boom, then you might want to use some epoxy.
 

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After enough holes, I worry about structural compromise.

I fill all of my holes with SS allen head set screws coated with anti-seize. Set screws fill the hole with something solid, they're flush so they don't snag anything. If I add hardware later, I can remove the set screws if there's the possibility of using an old hole instead of drilling yet another one.
 

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18 years ago, when my mast anodizing was a mess from the original SS up halls slapping around, I sanded the anodizing off, installed a PVC wiring conduit and drilled a small hole every 4' to insert foam fill into the hole to hold the conduit in place, (too many years of trying to stop the wires from slapping around inside and driving me crazy at night). Then I used a counter sink drill bit and beveled the holes, then used Oatay epoxy putty to fill the hole, then sanded smooth and painted the entire mast. The epoxy putty is the color of aluminum. I love this product and have used it for many decades for various projects. I always keep a tube in the emergency kit, it can be used to make parts, drilled and tapped, it can be applied under water and on a fuel tank while it is leaking. You can find it at Lowes in the plumbing department.

18 years later...no issues!
 

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I like the set screw recommendation the best, but suspect they are harder to find in all required sizes. Next best, IMO, is a round top stainless threaded screw. I would probably be inclined to use a light thread locker, which should create an anti-seize barrier. Tef-gel doesn't really lock threads, does it? That is what I use on a few things aboard, but not really needing thread lock.
 

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Why do anything? What harm do the holes do?
Not much, but:

1 - It's an aesthetic thing, like a nice paint job. It's just the proper thing to do.

2 - I've had them whistle while sailing. And they were out of tune. After a several hours of that I got the roll of masking tape and taped over any hole I found until that irritation stopped.

Not so sure about the set screw idea. Seems like the fill-with-epoxy type fixes are more seaman-like.
 
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