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Chunk missing from wood daggerboard

rem984

Member
I just picked up an older sunfish, and the old wooden centerboard is missing a chunk about the size of a thumb (about an inch deep, 3" long - probably less) from one of the edges near the bottom. I need to sand and re-varnish the thing anyway, but would I be crazy to try and fill it with a wood filler of some sort, or even to square off the hole and put a new chunk of wood in it, then varnish over the whole thing? Unless I can find a plastic replacement board at a good price, Im trying to keep my costs down - I dont mind doing a little more work though. What do you all think?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I just picked up an older sunfish, and the old wooden centerboard is missing a chunk about the size of a thumb (about an inch deep, 3" long - probably less) from one of the edges near the bottom. I need to sand and re-varnish the thing anyway, but would I be crazy to try and fill it with a wood filler of some sort, or even to square off the hole and put a new chunk of wood in it, then varnish over the whole thing? Unless I can find a plastic replacement board at a good price, Im trying to keep my costs down - I dont mind doing a little more work though. What do you all think?

You definitely can replace the missing chunk. Filler is probably fine, and someone with expertise in this area will undoubtedly weigh in with a couple of recommended techniques for this repair. BB
 
Bondo (The 2 part stuff for Cars) is a really good filler for wood if it is mechanically supported from the other 3 sides. It is usually stronger than most commercial wood fillers. If you want to make the patch stronger put some short wood screws in the hole before covering them with bondo. Make sure you coat it with whatever you are sealing the wood.

Putting another piece of wood in the hole is not bad either. Generally. if you place another piece of wood in the hole and clamp it (for a day) using elmers wood glue the bond will be as strong as the original wood. This process is done quite frequently to fill knot imperfections in plywood or to cover scew holes.
 

DanB

Crabber
You could use car body stuff and you could use stuff for fixing rocking chairs or you could use materials best suited for fixing boats. It all sorta depends on how you view your boat and which you enjoy more, fixing or sailing. Browse the West Marine ( http://www.westmarine.com ) or James Town Distributors ( http://www.jamestowndistributors.com ) web pages for options and tips on making repairs.

Depending on the severity of the gouge I might whittle a piece of hardwood to loosely fit the gap and stain it to match. I’d drill a few 1/16” holes in a staggered line along the broken section and into the wood plug along the mating face. I'd position the dagger board so the damaged edge was facing upward and apply a couple of pieces of tape to dam off the sides of the nicked out space. Dam the ends with tape too. Using a premixed marine wood filler or a filler you make up - I prefer to make my own using epoxy resin and wood flour with maybe a touch of colloidal silica – dribble filler in the drilled holes and work it in with a bent paperclip. Do the same for the wood plug if you are using one. Pour in a 1/8” layer of your filler and drop in the plug or if no plug fill the gouge with filler to above the dagger board’s edge so you have extra to form into matching shape. Let it cure, shape with a fine shaper rasp and sand to the contour of the adjoining edge.
 
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