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Old 03-08-2016, 17:38   #1
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How much for re-bedding hardware?

I had a survey done on a boat we are hoping to purchase that found moisture in the deck around all fittings. No core damage, but all fittings need to be re-bedded. How do I put a price on this to ask for a credit? I'd rather do it myself so I know it's done correctly...

This is a 41 foot boat, if that helps. Not sure exactly how many fittings total.
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Old 03-08-2016, 18:14   #2
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

That is a more difficult question than ; should you buy this boat? Lots more info needed.
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Old 03-08-2016, 18:25   #3
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

You'll need to count fittings, figure how much time per item to be re-bedded and then how much you think your work is worth per hour.

Some might take longer than others but make a reasonable guess-estimate.

This is the kind of thing that you have to just come up with a number. Realize if the number is too high it can kill the deal, but its probably a lot of hours of work.
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Old 03-08-2016, 18:35   #4
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

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Originally Posted by Hard A Lee View Post
I had a survey done on a boat we are hoping to purchase that found moisture in the deck around all fittings. No core damage, but all fittings need to be re-bedded. How do I put a price on this to ask for a credit? I'd rather do it myself so I know it's done correctly...

This is a 41 foot boat, if that helps. Not sure exactly how many fittings total.
Oh my, does this bring back memories!

I pulled every piece of hardware off my Cruising CAL 35 TWICE during my ownership. The first time takes quite a long time, the second can be quite quick actually.

If the moisture is only directly around the bases the it may be possible to over drill the holes and remove most, if not all of the moisture very quickly. However, this will depend on the type of core used. If it is plywood (as my Cruising CAL 35 was) water has a tendency to wick in all sorts of direction and cause many problems. I ended up having to remove about half of the core in the coach roof (traveler was the culprit), both of the side decks (chainplates were the culprit) and the deck in the chainlocker (windlass was the culprit).

All of these areas passed the "thump" test by the surveyor but when I started working on them I kept finding problems which had to be addressed.

Now, you did not say if you were doing the work yourself or having it done, in either case we can approximate the hours/cost.

For each bolt. I would pull the bolt and overdrill the hole about 1/4" larger (i.e. 1/8" extra all around) and examine the core which came up. If it was clean then put a piece of gorilla tape (yes, a specific brand which has worked well for me, no association to me) over the hole from below and fill with West Systems epoxy slightly thickened with 404 fiber filler (no association with West Systems either just like the products). Keep the hole filled until the epoxy gels so that it keeps wicking into the deck. Redrill the hole the next day, use a countersink bit to put a slight camphor on the hole and rebed with your favorite sealant, I happen to like polysulfide but there are multiple arguments for various choices.

If there is any indication of discoloration or especially moisture, take a 1" diameter hole saw with a piece of steel rod replacing the center drill bit and drill through the BACK side of the deck to remove what is probably a thin skin on the back side of the deck and then remove the core. Be careful to watch for fiberglass again from the hole saw and STOP immediately. Use a screwdriver to pry the piece of core out. If the edges of the core are clean then fill with high strength putty and put a couple of layers of glass over the bottom OR get a piece of G10 premade fiberglass sheet which is the thickness of the core, use the same hole saw to make the replacement piece and epoxy into place with thickened epoxy. Then put a layer or two if glass over it, if the backing plate covers it all, then no need to paint.

Basically this provides a compression load capability for the component, often as the deck compressed when the bolt was tightened the moisture gets in.

The 1" hole seems like a lot, however, it is 1/2" away from the bolt center, the backing plate should be at least that big for anything which might bear load (almost everything through the deck).

With a bit of care, the fairing is not too difficult.

At any rate, what is the time factor... For a 35 footer the first time took about 6 months of weekends one winter. The second time took a couple of weekends to rebed (no new drilling, cleaning, etc).

I would estimate 15min/hole for the epoxy work for areas where the core is not damaged AFTER removing the fitting in question. Removing the fitting itself from the deck can be instant or a religious experience depending on the sealant used and your willingness to damage the deck trying to get the component off. Installing a fitting back on the deck after everything is ready is probably 15 min/hole again.

So, for the CAL 35 I think there were probably around 1000 holes in the deck, or about 250 hours, or 50 days or 25 weekends...

Now, if you are the type who needs to redesign pieces along the way (new backing plates and the like) that definitely adds to the effort.

Now, if paying a professional, they are going to pull it up, clean it up, and recaulk without doing the above. That is probably about 15 min per bolt through the deck. So in that case the 1000 bolts would be 250 hours at $40/hr (definitely low side labor cost) so about 10,000 dollars. Note, I am including every lifeline base mount, winches, etc. Remember getting large items like winches and windlasses off the deck can be pretty tricky due to the large surface area for the sealant to hold to the deck.

This is part of normal maintenance on an older boat, done in bits and pieces as it needs done it is not a horrible job, but catching up the first time can be a bear.

Oh, another trick I have used for wet core is to pull the fitting, put a blob of polysulfide on the deck to seal the hole but not down into the hole much, and then put a dehumidifier in the area below and wait a couple of months. This can work if the boat is going on the hard for the winter or you are having the decks painted.

Good luck with the new boat, hopefully the above is not too discouraging, depending on the age of the vessel and value it may be well worth it. When I purchased the Cruising CAL 35, the surveyor offered that it would take a bout 800 hours of labor to bring the boat back to what she should be, I am sure I spent every one of those hours and then some.

You could also go to a local yard for an estimate with pictures from above deck and below deck. It is often trying to get to the bolts which can take lots of time.

Sincerely

David


BTW, the new boat has needed re-bedding all of the fittings too, however, the deck is solid (no core) in all of the high load areas or is marine grade mahogany plywood which seems far less likely to have moisture migration. But, I am pulling every bolt, over drilling, filling with epoxy, and then re-bedding.
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Old 03-08-2016, 18:36   #5
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

In a perfect world two people working together, remove the nut inside the cabin, remove the bolt and fitting, clean the fitting, install some water barrier around the bolt and reassemble.


Then reality happens. The Genoa track bolts are probably behind cabinets. If a significant amount of water came in, there may be water damage and mold to be fixed. Also one cannot rebed one bolt on a four bolt plate- all must be rebedded.

The odds are there is some core damage around the bolt. That should be fixed.

The "perfect world" scenario is 10 minutes per bolt.

The reality scenario WILL HAPPEN the odds are if you go into the cabin, you cannot see the nots that must be removed. That is a sue sign some cabinetry may need to be removed.
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Old 03-08-2016, 18:37   #6
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

It's a really time consuming tedious job. Hard to remove old sealant. This is the holy grail of rebedding hardware: Re-Bedding Deck Hardware With Bed-It Butyl Tape Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 03-08-2016, 19:47   #7
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

I don't understand how there can be "moisture in the deck" but no "core damage", where's the moisture if not in the core of the deck ?
I can usually only do 2 or 3 chainplates a day the first time because my hands cramp up trying to dig out all the wet crap sealants previous owners have used.
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Old 03-08-2016, 20:58   #8
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

If there's moisture, & there is, then there will be core damage. Which tends to allow water migration, resulting in...
And if you've not done the job several times before, it's going to take quite a while. Even if there's no damage that needs fixing. Plus, some of it's a 2 person gig. So to look at things realistically, have a couple of professional bids done, to include a bit of time for unanticipated issues, & use the bids for negotiations. Just as you would with a car or house purchase, where you had the professional inspection report & job bids in hand.
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Old 04-08-2016, 08:37   #9
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Thanks for all the replies. That's some very useful information. I'm going to talk to a few yards and get an idea from them and then use the 15 minutes per hole number for my own time. Then I'll go from there.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:02   #10
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

You really should figure on at least 2-4x that 15min figure. Particularly if you want to put in a high strength annulus into the deck/core around each bolt. Whether you use resin/thickened resin, or a solid material like G10. And it's wisest to install them this way.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:58   #11
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard A Lee View Post
I had a survey done on a boat we are hoping to purchase that found moisture in the deck around all fittings. No core damage, but all fittings need to be re-bedded. How do I put a price on this to ask for a credit? I'd rather do it myself so I know it's done correctly...

This is a 41 foot boat, if that helps. Not sure exactly how many fittings total.
This is like asking, how much to repair the engine in my car?

Answer, it depends. I would never talk dollars on a job like this without inspecting first. How many fittings? How easy are they to access? Dry out core or seal in water? Rebed or resin pot? Could range from, "Here's a tube of 5200 for $15 (what I as the owner would be willing to compensate if the selling price was correct) to several thousand dollars.

Basically, it's a time and materials kind of job.

PS, any professional marine service provider will "do it right" if you are willing to pay for a job "done right". If you are only willing to pay for a job "done cheap" that is what you are most likely to get.
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Old 04-08-2016, 14:57   #12
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Read the compass marine link posted above. It is excellent, and I just rebedded all of the hardware on my boat using this method. It is not hard to do, and my boat is now completely dry!


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Old 11-08-2016, 09:26   #13
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
I don't understand how there can be "moisture in the deck" but no "core damage", where's the moisture if not in the core of the deck ?
I can usually only do 2 or 3 chainplates a day the first time because my hands cramp up trying to dig out all the wet crap sealants previous owners have used.
Almost every boat that is exposed to the elements has some moisture ingress in her decks after only a few years.

If the core is not rotted, and the substrates not delaminated, there is no core damage, it is just wet. A wet core with no rot or delamination can be safely sailed forever, as long as the source of moisture ingress (and especially moisture and oxygen exposure) is eliminated.

Rebedding fittings attached to a wet but sound core is common practice.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:58   #14
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Perhaps it is "common practice" to rebed a fitting onto sound but wet core.


However, in my limited experience as an amateur rebuilder of my own vessels, every time I have dug out the old wet material the smell is horrible which I have always suspected is the source of many musty boat smells when the boat is sealed up for extended periods of time.


In addition my thought has always been that the continued rotting of the core material (for those materials which will rot - balsa, plywood, etc) that the materials structural integrity is slowly decaying. I also worry that the stainless bolts going through a wet deck with no oxygen is a great place for crevice corrosion, so sealing in moisture and sealing out oxygen might not be the best practice.


Having had to eventually replace significant portions of deck core on various vessels where the wet core had been sealed up and allowed to continue to rot I have never been comfortable with that approach.


It probably depends on if the vessel/owner is a "use it up and throw it away at some point in time" or "owning a vessel for the long haul". I owned my previous vessel for 19 years and I expect to own the current vessel for at least that long and so the "value" to me of doing what makes me feel I have done a good job as a steward of the vessel gives me pleasure.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:11   #15
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Re: How much for re-bedding hardware?

Time and material. It's all about the boat. Some hardware is near impossible to get at, some is easy. Ditto for the core repair.
Make a list, estimate difficulty of each item as a 1, 2 or 3. 3 being most difficult. Figure maybe 2 hours for a 1, and 4+ hours for a 3 maybe. So a dozen fittings, for R&R only .....maybe $2400 or more.
Chainplates? Much more.
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