Hi Arclight, I re-bedded my tracks this year and learned a lot. You don't say why you are doing yours so I may include info not relevant to your situation. I did mine because they leaked ... to put it mildly. My decks are balsa, and the combo of the leaking jib
sheet track bolts and leaking screws in the teak deck
made mush out of the balsa. Since it would be a year or two until I have time re-core the deck
under the jib
sheet tracks I did what roverhi said. If you are not clear on his concept
, it was explained by DRSandbo and svHyLite in this thread: Backing Plates
First I drilled a 3/4" hole down to the inside GRP skin. This pic also shows the penetration of a screw for the teak deck
into the core, and you can see how wet the core is.
This is the same hole after removing the wet core around the hole - wet balsa comes out very easily.
Even if you have foam core, remove it a little bit from under the outer skin like roverhi described so the epoxy plug
extends under the outer skin. If you do fill the holes with epoxy
, I have found that epoxy makes tape come unstuck, and cleaning
around the bolt hole on the underside of the deck with acetone and using Gorilla Tape to cover the hole works best. This is the countersink that roverhi also mentioned.
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As soon as you have a hole in your deck it will start raining. I used corks to plug the holes (got these from McMaster-Carr).
5200 should be forbidden on any boat! Everything on a boat is a maintenance
item, and 5200 is a PIA to remove. Suppose you made a mistake mounting your tracks and had to remove them to fix it ... you would be Hating 5200. BoatLife Life Caulk is polysulfide, which is great for bedding deck hardware
. For this application though I recommend BoatLife Life Seal, which is for joints subject to structural movement. It adheres to fiberglass
, metal including aluminum
, wood, nylon, plastics...
VERY important that all surfaces are clean clean clean. I ream out all bolt holes with a round metal brush of the same diameter and suck the dust out with a shop vac. The metal brush also roughens the bolt hole a bit giving a better surface for the sealant
to stick. These metal brushes
are also great for cleaning
the old sealant out of the bolt holes in your deck hardware
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All surfaces are wiped with acetone until clean, and I wash the bolts with a toothbrush and Simple Green to remove the dirt and oils from manufacturing, and rinse them with acetone after they are dry. Insulate the SS bolts from the aluminum
track using Tef-Gel or plastic sleeves. When you re-mount the tracks, have someone outside to hold the bolts still with a screwdriver while you tighten the nuts inside. Also, you might want to leave the headliner
off for a while until you are sure there are no leaks