Good to see that you're "staying in the fight" on this project
Sorry that you haven't gotten it fixed as yet though. And yep, you're right about it being interesting to see all of the brains & brainpower involved in solving this one.
- I think it may have been mentioned already. But 99%+ of your boat was likely built with Polyester resin.
And the smell which you may be able to detect when you drill it, is due to a tiny fraction of it remaining in a semi-cured state (often for decades). It's the same smell which is very distinctive in new, freshly built, fiberglass
- Buy, or borrow a Borescope, & look down into the holes to determine whether or not there's a metal plate in there. Or possibly a G10 one. And if it's metal, with a bit of expertise, it's possible to tell whether it's aluminum
Also, while using said tool, it'd be worth measuring the thickness of the plate if possible.
- Ez-Outs aside. Try soaking the broken bolts with penetrating oil
(Kroil), or a mix of Transmission
Fluid (ATF) & Acetone, several times a day.
Then, gently, at a slow rate of speed (RPM's) drill the broken bits with a Left Handed drill bit.
As many times, it acts much like an Ez-Out, with the reverse threading & rotation of the bit being enough to break things free. And spin them out.
As a KISS fix, to create a new, solid mounting "pad", you could:
- Sand/grind off all of the gelcoat/coatings on the fiberglass around the mast
step. Including the raised up area for the padeye. So that the whole surface is relatively flat.
- Get a big piece of G10 or Aluminum
plate, 3/8"-1/2" thick, & cut it so that it covers most of the built in fiberglass pad that's integral to the mast
- Cut a hole in it big enough to allow the mast to fit through it, & still properly seat itself on the step.
- Bond, glass, & bolt said plate to the pad. Including bonding all of the fasteners in place, which will help to hold this plate in place.
And on the glassing bit. Make sure to allow space for proper bond line width, with each subsequent layer of securing reinforcement material (cloth).
- Before or after bonding said plate in place, tap it for bolts for the padeye, or a new tang.
- Attach tang/padeye, & you should be done.
Keep in mind too, that if you prefer, & this likely is a better option. When I mentioned fabricating a metal tang in the shape of an inverted "T". You can make such a tang out of Aluminum. As plenty of boats have Aluminum chainplates.
So that in addition to using bonded bolts to secure it. You can bond it in place, with epoxy
, as well. And even glass it in place, along with that. Including overtop of it's fasteners.
Just make sure to draw some good diagrams of it's construction. So that later on, if you, or her next owner needs to do some work on this hardware
& assembly, there are good notes & pics, describing it.
The only catch being, that if you're bonding Aluminum, you have to properly prepare it. Via acid etching, followed by alodyning it. But it's not a big deal. Nor is it anywhere near as hazardous as it sounds. And they make kits with all of the components & instructions which you need in order to do this.
Plus, they're easy to find online/download, & or (probably) watch on YouTube.
Also, any & all of the above techniques can be used in conjunction with my earlier posted suggestions.
BTW, based on the size of the metal fitting on the end of the Panting Rod. I'm highly doubting that it's a fitting which sees huge amounts of load. Otherwise, you'd have a true Tie Rod, made from proper rigging hardware
Plus which, unlike a conventional rig, you don't have a dozen shrouds & stays trying to push the spar, down through your keel
. Ergo, the vertical loads from the spar are tiny by comparison.
That said. Again, & not to be harsh: However, as I said before, it surely would help us to make better educated guesses on some of these loads (& proper fixes), if the spec's (dimensions & brands) of the various components were posted. As with them, it gets easier to take a stab at the loads which everything sees via a bit of math.
Ditto on my earlier request to see what the upper end of the rod connects to, & in what manner. Plus it'd also be helpful to know what rigging
items are bolted to the deck
in the vicinity of the mast's deck
collar. Near where the upper end of the rod's connected.
Too, it's worth getting real world numbers on what sort of vertical pulling loads, various sizes of bonded in place bolts can handle. Likely both via online sources, & by contacting WEST System directly. As for certain, they'll have that information at hand, quite readily.
Including; bolt diameter, annulus size, substrata being bonded into, etc.
Anyway, keep at it, and... Good Luck!