Repair Cockpit Aluminum Trim

abgates

Member
I just bought a 1982 Sunfish that is in great shape. But it had been sailed in salt water and was then in storage for many years. The mainsheet hook and aluminum cockpit trim appear to have been touching and both got badly corroded. I was able to clean up the mainsheet hook but the aluminum trim has completely worn away below it and one piece has popped loose from the rivet hole in the fiberglass. The hole in the fiberglass is intact. What would be the best way to go about repairing this? I hesitate to replace the entire trim piece because the rest is fine and I don't want to drill out all those rivets and possibly cause further damage. Could I get a 6" - 10" piece of the trim and patch this spot? Could I fit the new trim over the worn areas of the corroded trim? Or would I need to cleanly remove the old areas up to solid trim? What tool would I use to cut the new and old trim? I have a Dremel if that would work. Thanks!
 

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Years ago, I bought a $9 Harbor Freight hand grinder that came with a cutting wheel. 'Works fine, but my go-to cutting wheel is on a bench-mounted grinder.

Scraps can be mailed to you by others here, but you'll need to drill two new holes--maybe one other... Start drilling on the aluminum trim using a tiny drill bit--and work upwards to 1/8".
 
I would drill out both left and right rivets. I would cut and file the material so you have a 1/4 inch or so of trim on the inside part after the rivet holes. I would then reattach with new rivets in the existing holes. Having a section of trim missing under the hook is fine. You don't hike from that section. Someone here can give you the correct rivet size and material.
 
I would drill out both left and right rivets. I would cut and file the material so you have a 1/4 inch or so of trim on the inside part after the rivet holes. I would then reattach with new rivets in the existing holes. Having a section of trim missing under the hook is fine. You don't hike from that section. Someone here can give you the correct rivet size and material.
Good advice. Thanks!
 

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