Fixing the bridle strap complete

Thread starter #1
As you know the strap loop for the bridle broke the first time out on the water. My son and I managed to fix it. It appears that it was only drilled into the deck, no wood behind the screws.... Here are the step we did to fix it. Let me know if it is too long of a post. I ended up using mahogany.

The original problem:
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Ready to start:
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Marked the location in pencil:
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Used the holes from the cover to bi-sect the circle to find the center point:
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Used a hole cutter drill tool for cutting ceiling lights to cut the hole (friend had it :), it worked great. ):
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The hole is cut:
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Used a hacksaw blade and drywall hand saw to cut out the foam under the hole:
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yuck, inside the hole:
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cleaned it up:
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After carefully cutting a slot in the foam to the side, I was able to slide the mahogany block under the holes. The block was low so I needed to us a long dry wall screw to pull up the block to the under side of the deck, while my son screwed in the loop screw. I held the screw with a pair of pliers and pulled straight up.
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Finished product:
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You can see from the picture where the original holes were before the previous owner moved the loop. I have a sinking feeling, the previous owner lost the block and just screwed it into the deck. I'll need to learn how to clean up the deck. But I think it is sea worthy again. I can lift the boat up by the bridle carefully now, not that I am planning on doing that.
Good repair. You have a pre-1972 boat, and I am guessing that the wood back-up block just got punky over time. If you haven't already done so, do the other side as well as it is only a matter of time before it goes.

One if the great improvements in the development of the Sunfish hull was using aluminum back-up plates. I think (?) the builder just glassed in aluminum plates under the bridle eyes, halyard fairlead and cleats, bow handle etc. and then drilled holes through the deck and threaded them in place with a thread tap or self-tapping bolts. They don't rot and one can remove fittings without the fear that the back up plate will fall into the bilge (...been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. ) That said, it is still a good idea to keep one machine screw attached when removing hull hardware in the highly unlikely event that the aluminum back-up place has come un-glassed.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Looks great. Sometimes the screws get moved over so they can screw into a newer piece of the block, but I think your guess is probably more what happened.
Thread starter #4
I didn't do the other side since it seems to be in pretty secure.

At some point in time, I can get in and replace it as well as switch the rudder to the newer style potentially. It isn't on my plan yet.