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Deck Repair: Holes, Flanges, and Gouges Oh my!

McBreezie

New Member
I am in the process of restoring a 1979 Sunfish for my 11 year old daughter. I have several questions, and yes many have been answered in other threads. But ,I sweat the small stuff. I spent 5 minutes debating if a colon is the correct punctuation in the title of this thread: or should it be a semi colon? Subordinating clause, West System, Poly Aunt Esther, oh no! My mind is sailing away! Pop the GUY!

Did I mention I need specific instructions or I lose focus and then things go off the rails sideways?

So here is my situation: The boat was air tested for leaks, There are two areas blowing bubbles- leaking. The first leak is on the starboard side just aft of the bow on the deck joint. The second area is under the splash guard, due the fastener holes.
For the deck joint I cleaned it out and sanded, grinded away the loose soft material. My plan is to use West System and wet the area down then pack in a proper amount of Peanut Butter like West System Epoxy. I will then clamp the area with wood strips to help even out pressure. Once complete I will remove all temp fasteners and sand to fit the chrome rub rail.
What do I need to look out for here?

I have cleaned out and sanded the holes. I put an inspection port just aft of the splash guard, so I do have access to the inside of the hull. However there is foam glued to the deck beneath the splash guard holes. I plan on riveting the splash guard to the deck. Do I tape the holes on the inside, and slather the Peanut Butter? What about the holes I cannot reach from the inside? Do I just use the foam block as the “stopper”? Or…. can I….. HELP!

The last two questions if you have made it this far….. I have a gouge taken out of the port quarter. Can I peanut butter it ( yes I am fond of peanut butter, most butters actually), or do I need to use some cloth too?

Finally- What is the size and thread pitch of the Deck Drain hole on the Starboard side. I am looking for thread pitch and diameter. The more information the better. I cannot spend $50 on plug!! If you have a link to a plug,screw, anything that will work i would appreciate it!

Thanks for all your help!
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Congratulations on your new boat! You forgot to tell us her name.

1. Good job on the air leak test, you found a leak most folks miss, up by the bow. Wear protective gear, gloves, to prevent potential resin sensitivities. You can pack in thickened epoxy (or Aunt Polly) or get a syringe from West Marine or Jamestown Distributors and inject thickened epoxy into the seam. Light clamping afterwords, not too much or you'll squeeze the epoxy right back out. While you have the thickened epoxy out check the old trim fastener holes and fill in the ones that look chowdered up. Redrill the rivet hole when the trim gets back on, and check the underside of the trim carefully for metal burrs, tops of the new rivets as well. Use aluminum rivets, do not use stainless or I will hunt you down. And be careful for razor sharp epoxy remnants when the clamps come off.

Sidebar: Have you ever used thickened epoxy dispensed from a caulk cartridge? (THIXO FLEX or FLEXPOXY?) Try it some time.

2. For the coaming rivet holes I have epoxied little caps of thick fiberglass cloth over the top of the old rivet holes and re drilled new rivet holes. Tape the ones you can on the inside and cap the outer ones that are over the foam XPS flotation/structural block or use the foam as the stopper. If the old holes are real bad you can offset the new holes 3/4 inch or so and see if anyone notices as they ride by on a galloping horse...

3. Yes. No.

4. Someone here will have a deck drain plug. Cheaper than schlepping around to look for one that doesn't really fit. Meanwhile shape a cork to fit :)

You're welcome. Carry on, we'll be in the area all day.

Insert random Skipper photo below...

C0C4FCAA-6B29-472A-9DF9-AED20E3D7FD0.jpeg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Colon is correct. ;)

"Grinded" should be "ground".

The "rub rail" is aluminum, readily deformable, and I would place it in a vault until it is time to reinstall it. :eek:

The drain on the deck is 1/2-inch diameter. Hardware stores carry them as "set screws". Stainless is ~$5. Nylon,(which would better IMHO), may be available in a Google search.

As to kids' operating this Sunfish--attaching the splash guard with rivets makes less sense than using sheet metal screws. ('Cause you'll be doing this repair again). :confused:
 

McBreezie

New Member
Congratulations on your new boat! You forgot to tell us her name.

1. Good job on the air leak test, you found a leak most folks miss, up by the bow. Wear protective gear, gloves, to prevent potential resin sensitivities. You can pack in thickened epoxy (or Aunt Polly) or get a syringe from West Marine or Jamestown Distributors and inject thickened epoxy into the seam. Light clamping afterwords, not too much or you'll squeeze the epoxy right back out. While you have the thickened epoxy out check the old trim fastener holes and fill in the ones that look chowdered up. Redrill the rivet hole when the trim gets back on, and check the underside of the trim carefully for metal burrs, tops of the new rivets as well. Use aluminum rivets, do not use stainless or I will hunt you down. And be careful for razor sharp epoxy remnants when the clamps come off.

Sidebar: Have you ever used thickened epoxy dispensed from a caulk cartridge? (THIXO FLEX or FLEXPOXY?) Try it some time.

2. For the coaming rivet holes I have epoxied little caps of thick fiberglass cloth over the top of the old rivet holes and re drilled new rivet holes. Tape the ones you can on the inside and cap the outer ones that are over the foam XPS flotation/structural block or use the foam as the stopper. If the old holes are real bad you can offset the new holes 3/4 inch or so and see if anyone notices as they ride by on a galloping horse...

3. Yes. No.

4. Someone here will have a deck drain plug. Cheaper than schlepping around to look for one that doesn't really fit. Meanwhile shape a cork to fit :)

You're welcome. Carry on, we'll be in the area all day.

Insert random Skipper photo below...

View attachment 40922
Thank you for your help! I have used west system once or twice before- so I should not make as many mistakes! I may give Thixo a go. I love the galloping horse reference- trying to recall the other 3 life helpers. Thanks for your help- much appreciated.

the boats name- Matilda
 

McBreezie

New Member
Colon is correct. ;)

"Grinded" should be "ground".

The "rub rail" is aluminum, readily deformable, and I would place it in a vault until it is time to reinstall it. :eek:

The drain on the deck is 1/2-inch diameter. Hardware stores carry them as "set screws". Stainless is ~$5. Nylon,(which would better IMHO), may be available in a Google search.

As to kids' operating this Sunfish--attaching the splash guard with rivets makes less sense than using sheet metal screws. ('Cause you'll be doing this repair again). :confused:
Thanks for your help! I already have the rivets for splash guard- when I drill them out for next repair I will replace with screws. Thanks again! Oh and I love the grammar confirm. I did not have to pull out my Strunk and White!
 
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