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bailer area repair

The 1985 Laser I got last week has a crack in the cockpit around the bailer hole. When I roll the boat back and forth, I can see the bailer hole moving up and down independent of the floor of the cockpit. This seems to indicate that the cockpit and the hull have become separated. Any suggestions on how to make this repair?

I'll describe the problem in more detail, and what I did about it. After I removed a plastic bailer device that was leaking, I found that the two holes (cockpit and hull) moved somewhat separately. On close inspection, it appeared that the problem was mostly that there was some broken fiberglass around the cockpit bailer hole. To fix this, first I filled up some gaps that had appeared with thickened epoxy. I used a high density filler (West System). Then I glassed around the bailer hole. I sanded the gelcoat but did not grind it away. A friend suggested that the fiberglass might not adhere to the gelcoat. We will see. So far it has. I used two layers of cloth and epoxy. The epoxy naturally pooled at the bottom side of the bailer hole, so I had to grind out the excess with a small grinding stone rotary tool in a drill. Then I installed the brass bushing. I finished up with silicone caulk inside and out. So far it seems to be adhering. The area seems stable and is completely water tight. Hope that helps.


Bungo Pete


If you run the search link above, you will see what I did with my 1979 Laser which suffered from a similar malady. My approach was certainly more elaborate than yours, John, and I will be interested to know how it holds up. Some pictures of what you did, or at least the finished product would be greatly appreciated by me and other members I'm sure.
Hi Pete-

I read your thread very carefully and decided that I probably did not need the major surgery you performed. But it was a very helpful set of posts. The deciding factor for me was that the holes still lined up. So far I have trailored and sailed the boat a few times with no problems. I want it to last about two years until I upgrade. I picture would not help much. Imagine about 9 sq. inches of fiberglass centered on the cockpit hole.


Bungo Pete


If the holes line up, then you probably took the correct course of action. It most likely means that only the bond between the cockpit drail hole and the hull recess was compromised.

As I undrestand it, the cockpit sole is bonded to the hull three places during manufacture:
1. The "rectum."
2. 2 wads of bondo under the aft corners of the cockpit.
3. A centerline stringer.

I spoke with a "Laser" guy in Texas, and he indicated that if the holes don't line up, then all three are most likely gone, with the centerline stringer holding them apart. I asked why you can't line them up perfectly again and he stated that it is like partially breaking a live tree branch; once it is broken and fibers flexed, everything will never fit perfectly again. It is also exacerbated by freezing and thawing here in the north. In the case of my laser, the sole is a little out of sorts (not noticable to the naked eye) but the hull is ok.

Good luck with your boat.


Capt Tony

New Member
Thank you so much. Your fix makes lots of sense, and if i had to do it again would use that method. FYI, I did the repair before your reply. I planned on using cloth, but when the time came I did not have any, and the store was closed. Since my biggest problem was the hole arond the brass fitting had elongated, I made a dowel of soft wood and placed in in the hole. I glassed it in mixing filler and at the opening inside fairing filler with the West system. I made sure everything was impregnated. THen I let it harden. Came back two days later and ground away excess filler at the bottom of the cockpit and made sure the surface on both sides was flat so the brass fitting would seat properly. Then using a one inch drill re drilled the hole. Thankfully I was able to do it since there is not a lot of clearance for the drill. Then I calked up the brass fitting and repalced it. Going on the water will tell if it holds. It looks good. Thanks, Tony