How do I rebed deck fittings?

Thread starter #1
Throughout this summer I've been getting some water coming out the drainplug after the boat has been in the water for a few days. It seemed that there was more water after weekends when it rained, therefore I had a sneaking suspicion that the deck fittings were leaking. I have a mod 2 and after a few hours of horrible work I was able to get the storage insert out and check out the front of the boat. It was indeed wet in there and the plywood reinforcement was wet. Not good. I had just sprayed the boat down and it does appear that water is coming in through just about every screw hole in the deck. What is the proper way to rebed these things so that they don't leak? I'm most concerned about taking them out and losing strength in the screws. Do you need to epoxy the holes and re drill?
Unless there is damage, they should retighten as before and seal correctly. Be sure to remove all old sealant. Do not tighten completely when you reinstall the hardware as it will just squeeze out the new sealant. Let it dry for a few hours then retighten. I would avoid epoxy and such if you can as it will make any future work 10x harder. If possible, leave the insert from the cuddy out and let everything dry.
Thread starter #3
Thanks for the reply. Is the area that the shroud fittings screw into reinforced in some way? That is really the one that scares me since it has to take so much force. I did leave the insert out and now I'm contemplating whether or not to fit some type of hatch in it's place. Taking that thing out was a major PITA. There was about a pound of silicone holding it in. I want to be able to access that area and make sure it is staying dry after I make the repairs. Also considering covering the exposed plywood with epoxy once it dries out. Thoughts?
Sorry, not sure how the chainplates are reinforced. If it were me, I would loosen them enough to pull away from the deck and see if I could reseal from there in the event there is a backing plate of some kind. The way the boat is made, I wouldn't think there would be.

Be sure to completely dry the wood before applying any epoxy.
Rebed fittings

IMO the best way to rebed fittings is to:
  1. Apply masking tape around the fittings then remove them and thoroughly clean around and in the holes
  2. If there's any moisture let the area thoroughly dry. If there's any rot, remove it. This is also a good time to check for backing plates and add them if they make sense.
  3. Re-drill the holes slightly oversize and fill them with thickened epoxy. It's best to use a waxed paper covered piece of cardboard (or your new backing plate) taped to the underside of the hole so it has a bottom. Filling is easiest with a syringe trimmed to the right size to dispense the epoxy. West Systems makes kits for small repairs that work great for this.
  4. After the epoxy has cured re-position the fitting in the masking tape delineated area and drill the proper size mounting holes.
  5. Remove the fitting and countersink the holes so the sides are chamfered. Use a bigger drill to do this if you don't have a countersink.
  6. Fill the countersunk area "proud" with sealant. I prefer BoatLife LifeSeal.
  7. Re-attach the fitting with it's proper size screws and make the fitting snug, not tight.
  8. Allow the sealant to cure 24 hours then tighten the fitting securely
By countersinking each hole then applying sealant and letting it cure you create a gasket of sorts that will prevent future water intrusion. Leaving the surface flush tends to extrude the sealant.
LifeSeal works well because it's removeable, cures under water, and doesn't deteriorate. Don't use 3M 5200 to seal unless you're confident the leak is fixed and you never want to remove the fitting. That's what they use to bond decks to hulls when they make the boats.
West Systems has several inexpensive booklets that are an excellent reference for maintenance and repair of fiberglass boats.
Thread starter #6
thanks bherrick, what you describe is what I had in mind because it would seem to me the thin surfaces we are screwing into would not hold up well to multiple removals and retightening. Do you happen to know if the chainplates have backing plates or are reinforced in any way? Just wondering if I need to do anything different with them.
Chainplate backer

Can't help you there Prig. The one time I crawled into the cuddy of my MK 1 to install a new shock cord for the hiking straps I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I didn't take the time to do any inspection. Gotta find a small 10 year old to crawl around in there!
"Chainplate backer"

prig0026, I have spent a significant amount of time studying several sailboat plans and in all cases the "Chainplate" mounting points are reinforced. My mod-2 is still new in terms of usage so all I have done so far for maint is check the tightness of the screws.

My guess is those screws are quite long and penetrate into wooden receivers (which should be glued on) The pulling forces on those little screws must be tremendous, I can't see how they would stay in otherwise.

bherrick, your explanation for rebedding is text book, this is exactly the method described by the pros' for installing deck fitting. Thickened Epoxy is a must for strength. Eventually every boat will need this type of maintenance; your description of the procedure makes an excellent reference.

Keep on Sailing
shroud/chain plate reinforcement

hello, i had recently converted my shrouds to quick release. when i removed the scews to attatch the wire keeper i noticed that the screws were actually tapped into an alum plate glassed into the boat i am pretty sure this is stock. i have a 97 model. i hope this helps-dave
Thanks dave, this info is going straight into my Maint manual, pronto. This makes a whole lot more sense than wood, I can now tighten my screws with greater confidence.