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Old 18-08-2013, 19:37   #1
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10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

Hatch in cockpit floor - PO cut a hole prior to transmission replacement in order to be certain the shaft was going the right direction.

Replacement of the tranny obviated the need for the hole. This is a weight bearing surface exactly where every person boarding the boat steps. The cut out is only 1/4 wide.

How do I put the hatch and the disc back together? It seems like I need to layup glass several inches on either side but is there a glue or filler than can span 1/4 inch and bear weight?
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Old 18-08-2013, 21:00   #2
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

The proper way to do it would be to grind a taper in the deck and the cut out piece then laminate enough layers of glass and resin, grind it flush and then paint or gel coat. Lay a couple of resin/ glass glass layers over the side

If you hot melt glue a couple of stringers to the underside to hold the piece then back the cut with duct tape, you could foll the cut with epoxy thickened with West 404 filler. It would probably hold for a while. Might even be a permanent fix if you laminated glass and epoxy over the back.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:03   #3
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

Tape the underside of the hole with white Duck tape, epoxy won't stick to it. Use West System or other epoxy with structural filler to thicken to peanut butter consistency and epoxy in the cut out. Next grind out a shallow bullseye that is roughly twice the diameter of the original hole, tear pieces of chopped strand mat fiberglass into three progressively larger bullseyes and epoxy them into the bulls eye defect. Now the defect should be approximately flush. Sand and fair with polyester filler such as Adtech P14. Paint or gelcoat as appropriate to match surface.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:16   #4
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

Buy an aluminum Freeman or similar inspection hatch, cut to size and install it. "when life gives you lemons... make lemonade"!
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Old 19-08-2013, 11:07   #5
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If you use epoxy just remember epoxy sticks to fiberglass but fiberglass doesn't stick to epoxy. So if you fill then laminate you must wet out the cloth with epoxy
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Old 19-08-2013, 11:15   #6
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

I would lay up a patch of the OEM resin type, several inches greater in diameter with a similar thickness (and core if any) on a sheet of waxed plexiglas. Taper both the deck and plug to fit flush... But just a wee bit lower. Bond with thickened epoxy, but be careful not to over do it with too much epoxy. After cure, fair, then coat with gel coat or whatever your current top coat is. If gel coat, you might be able to replicate the non-skid pattern by taking a mold off another section with silicone, then impressing it into the wet gel coat. REMEMBER YOUR PARTING COMPOUND!
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Old 19-08-2013, 12:41   #7
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

general rule of thumb I follow is 12x the thickness of the glass for the taper. 1/4"thick = 3" taper. chemical wash after grinding before layup.
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Old 19-08-2013, 13:29   #8
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Buy an aluminum Freeman or similar inspection hatch, cut to size and install it. "when life gives you lemons... make lemonade"!
Yeah, that would be my favoured approach as well .
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Old 22-08-2013, 18:55   #9
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

I often read "oh careful the advice of strangers" and yet EVERY time CF comes through with The f flipping' amazing advice.

I gain greater insight out of CF than just about any other boat related source.
Drinks are on the house cruisers !! THANK YOU !
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Old 23-08-2013, 00:19   #10
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Re: 10 inch circle cut in fiberglass deck - how to fix??

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I often read "oh careful the advice of strangers" and yet EVERY time CF comes through with The f flipping' amazing advice.

I gain greater insight out of CF than just about any other boat related source.
Drinks are on the house cruisers !! THANK YOU !
I would suggest waiting until you see the results of any advice followed .

and sharing some pics would be of interest..........
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