XD Outhaul/Cunningham Cleat

Thread starter #1
Hi everyone,
Pre-apologizing in case this is somewhere in the forums already--I couldn't find anything in my searches.

I have a 2006 Laser (Vanguard XD rigging), and the Outhaul/Downhaul cleats are held in by two screws. One of those screws no longer bites when screwed in, and it essentially does nothing at this point.

My question is how would I fix that? I'm thinking drilling out the hole, using a wire brush drill attachment to scrape off any 5200 below deck, re-filling the hole with epoxy+filler, then re-drilling a new hole which would hopefully fit the standard screws. The biggest concern here is that I honestly don't know how the deck is layered there (wood? just fiberglass? metal tap plate? etc.) If anyone who has insight into this could help that would be great.

My old 1976 Laser (24877) had a strip of wood impregnated into the fibreglass, and the screws bit into this. The timber was too far gone for a glue repair, so the fix was to install a 6" hatch cover, and bolt-through with 3/16 bolts, a backing plate, and nylocs. The boat has required this for the cunningham plate, deck cleats, and mainsheet block/hiking strap mount. I mention that as you should consider this when placing the hatch cover; so you can reach the other fittings as well.
This 2004 post supports your idea of epoxy fill: http://sailingforums.com/threads/deck-cleat-screws.1166/#post-7103


Just sailing
I believe there is a chunk of wood there as Tony describes (can someone clarify?). What I've done before with other boats is drill out the hole, then epoxy in some dowel rod with a diameter much larger than the screw. This give you fresh wood to drill into and give the screw something to bite.
I've had this happen on almost every laser I've owned,

if you have an inspection port, you can put a small piece of wood on the inside for the screws to bite on, put some 3200 or marine silicone to seal the screws, I usually put a dab in the hole before putting the screw in

I got some scrap pieces plywood from home depot for free, you want to find 1/2 or 3/4 " ply and it can be a pretty small piece, maybe like 3-4" by 5-6"

it should save you a great deal of time and it will probably last a lot longer than filling/re-tapping the holes,
I just (a few days ago) did this repair on my 2012 Laser; you'd think it would last a little longer! I found no evidence of wood after inspecting the holes and the screws. Since it seems that the deck here is only about 1/2" of fiberglass, I decided against just installing a larger diameter screw.

So, I carefully cleaned out the sealant and loose bits, then inserted a tight bundle of thin wood (I used cherry -- teak or mahogany is better) splints soaked with epoxy into the screw hole. Total length of the bundle was about 3". After letting the epoxy dry 24 hours; I then snipped the bundle at the deck with diagonal cutters and flattened them to deck-level with a sharp knife.

Then I drilled a very small pilot hole and expanded this to suitable size for the screw. I loosely secured the screws using a non-drying butyl sealant, let them sit a few hours, then tightened them to the normal amount. The fix worked very well; now I have tight screws again.