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Old 12-04-2011, 18:55   #1
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T-track Install Problem - Help!

Gotta bit of a problem here.

I decided to install 3 ft of t-track on the coachroof of my little sailboat so that I could have more options with the jib sheeting. After drilling the holes and installing 1/4" bolts, fender waqshers, and nut, I realized the interior has a molded-in headliner. I thought I was bolting to the underside of the roof, but there's about a 1/8" airspace between the two. When I tried to tighten down the nut the headliner started cracking.


The only options I can see are:

1. Use a hole saw to enlarge the holes in the headliner so that I can bring the washers and nuts up to the underside of the roof, or

2. Cut and finish a wide strip of teak or mahogany to act as a backing plate. But then there's still that empty space.

3. Rip'em out, and fill the holes with very thick epoxy (so it doesn't just drip down on to the underside of the headliner), sell the d@#& project boat, and save up for 3 years to get one is less of a project.

Any suggestions, short of kerosine and a match?
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Old 12-04-2011, 19:05   #2
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

You can buy plastic plugs in various diamaters. Buy the plugs in a suitable diameter like that of the fender washers. Use a hole saw to cut the liner to the proper diameter, install the track, cut off the bolts flush with the nuts and press in the plugs. You might try McMaster Carr for a supplier. These plugs are used in a lot of stuff to hide fasteners under a plastic liner.
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Old 12-04-2011, 19:08   #3
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

Great Idea!

Panic subsiding...


Thanks roverhi.
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Old 12-04-2011, 19:21   #4
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

Plastic plugs are a fine idea. If you can't find ones you like, consider a 1 1/2" wide of 1/4" thick piece of Starboard or varnished teak. Can look quite "yachty".

If using plugs, consider going to a smaller washer so you can use a smaller hole saw. Unless the underside of the deck is really flimsy (maybe cored) they won't pull through. The force on a 20ft boat's genoa just isn't that high.

Carl
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Old 13-04-2011, 14:42   #5
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

Put tape over the holes on the under side. Mix up some fairly runny epoxy, like honey at about 70 degrees, thickened with the equivalent of West Systems 404 and 403, not 406. The 404 is a high density filler, the 403 is milled cotton and the 406 is fumed silica. The silica will inhibit the epoxy from flowing well. The plan is to fill the area between the two glass skins with the epoxy which will allow you to tighten up the bolts. Using either a caulk tube or a syringe you can inject the epoxy into this space.
Depending upon the slope of the area where you are working the epoxy may want to run downhill . You can put a little in and let it run a little and harden and this will create a dam to stop the second application. You want to fill an area about 1 1/2" in diameter. Then red rill for your fasteners and bed your rail.
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Old 13-04-2011, 14:51   #6
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

The plugs would be a good way to go. Paint them white with some plastic spray paint. Most can be bought at an auto parts supply store. Kinda like these:
Flush Mount Plastic Sheet Metal Hole Plugs
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Old 13-04-2011, 20:43   #7
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

I drilled the headliner with a 1" hole saw, the washers just fit and the nuts snugged up great. Just need to buy the plugs and I'm all set.

Now, on to other things. Trying to be ready to launch on my day off, Monday. Still have to paint bottom where bunks are, paint bootstripe, apply name and Reg. #'s, install new halyards and a couple of cleats on the coachroof...

And still work my day job 9 hrs a day.

Oh, yeah... and learn 6 songs on bass for church this Sunday.
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Old 13-04-2011, 22:13   #8
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Re: T-track Install Problem - Help!

Good resolve! Just what I would have done, as well.
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