Thanks for the replies!
Mintyspilot - the backing plates are already there, if I can't get the holes just right then washers are perfectly adequate. I'm not putting the headliner
back and my boat's increasingly Mad Max look is starting to freak out my husband a little bit - those pretty backing plates allow me to claim the Shabby Chic look.
PAR - that was the idea I came up with last night, and it will work great except when the holes are spread over a curved surface. And then there is the part about getting the hole drilled perpendicular through the guide in the first place.
bill good - very cool! Too much work for the current
project, but I will keep it in mind for the future.
Mi2ndwind - that was how I did my project-from-hell jib
sheet tracks. Hole saws don't work so well on fiberglass
- the teeth are too big, and fiberglass
wears everything out pretty quick, I use a 3/4" drill bit, which makes a big enough hole to easily pick out the wet or rotten core
around the inside of the hole, and also allows the epoxy to extend under the deck giving more compression
strength like bill good's PVC pipe method.
For the jib
sheet tracks I did three boltholes at a time, and my first try was the way you described except I used softwood dowels coated with mold
release wax. Thank goodness I was able to drill out the dowels without enlarging the holes.
My second try I listened to a friend and tried plastic drinking straws. I won't be listening to him any more.
I didn't really want the holes threaded, and after the waxed dowels not working no way was I going to try a waxed bolt. I called the West Epoxy tech support and they said to use slick box tape wrapped around a dowel. It worked! Except for the part that the epoxy makes the tape unstick from itself and start unrolling in the hole.
So NO, I am not going to do it your way again. (What kind of wax did you use?)
Ex-Calif Moderator Person - THAT'S IT! THAT'S THE THING! Someone told me about this device several months ago and I couldn't find it anywhere because I didn't know what it was called - I kept describing it as a portable drill press type object and that gives all the wrong returns in searches - it is a drill GUIDE. I made this post because I finally decided that thing did not exist - and THERE IT IS!!! I just looked it up on McMaster-Carr and they have that exact one for $40 - that's reasonable, tomorrow I'll shop around and see what is out there. Thank you thank you thank you!