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Old 04-03-2015, 20:08   #1
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Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

I have 4 holes topside on the cabin top that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.

My first thought was to install deck plates, but I cannot find any that fit the smaller cutout sizes (3) 3" and a 3 1/2". I do not want to make them any larger as I'm not sure if I'm going to use all or any of them yet and I really want to start with a clean slate on this refit.

My next thought was to just glass them up as a permanent fix because I really just want her to be watertight in all the rains while I continue the cabin refit over the next couple months. (Tired of having to manually pump out a full bilge every time it rains/snows) Alas, 3 of the holes do not provide adequate access below deck to put a proper fiberglass backing. Is there a good way to back a fiberglass fill from the top? Most of the videos I've watched on YouTube say to just use gorilla or duct tape as a backing if you don't have below deck access. Would this be sufficient or is there a better way to do it? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. I'm hoping to get this done this weekend.

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Old 05-03-2015, 02:12   #2
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidkangaroo View Post
I have 4 holes topside on the cabin top that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.

My first thought was to install deck plates, but I cannot find any that fit the smaller cutout sizes (3) 3" and a 3 1/2". I do not want to make them any larger as I'm not sure if I'm going to use all or any of them yet and I really want to start with a clean slate on this refit.

My next thought was to just glass them up as a permanent fix because I really just want her to be watertight in all the rains while I continue the cabin refit over the next couple months. (Tired of having to manually pump out a full bilge every time it rains/snows) Alas, 3 of the holes do not provide adequate access below deck to put a proper fiberglass backing. Is there a good way to back a fiberglass fill from the top? Most of the videos I've watched on YouTube say to just use gorilla or duct tape as a backing if you don't have below deck access. Would this be sufficient or is there a better way to do it? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas. I'm hoping to get this done this weekend.

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if there is a void behind the hole about 1" deep and you can make the hole slightly oblong ie 3x4".

you can then make a backing plate 4x5" and insert into the apature with epoxy glue,turn it 90 degrees,and with a 1mm fishing line through a hole drilled in the center to hold it in place until the glue sets.

cut off the fishing line once glue sets.

if you can also scallop out the edges around the hole so you can also apply a layer of cloth and resin for extra strength before filling and fairing the outer surface and gel coat.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:27   #3
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

video here,a bit more involved,but the technique is the same


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Old 05-03-2015, 06:49   #4
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

Without photos I'm only guessing. Sounds like what i had when i removed the flue for a gas heater. I just got an 8mm thick plexiglass disk cut 30mm oversize and screwed it down and bedded in sealant. It has been there 4 years and if I put the heater back in I can. Cost about $5.

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Old 05-03-2015, 11:19   #5
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

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video here,a bit more involved,but the technique is the same


Atoll You have it right. I did many a repair and that would be my suggestion. Also they can search Gougeon Bros. West System fiberglass for any advise as to repairing the out surface in staggered layers.
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Old 05-03-2015, 16:33   #6
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
if there is a void behind the hole about 1" deep and you can make the hole slightly oblong ie 3x4".

you can then make a backing plate 4x5" and insert into the apature with epoxy glue,turn it 90 degrees,and with a 1mm fishing line through a hole drilled in the center to hold it in place until the glue sets.

cut off the fishing line once glue sets.

if you can also scallop out the edges around the hole so you can also apply a layer of cloth and resin for extra strength before filling and fairing the outer surface and gel coat.
Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for! I have access to one of the holes from below deck so that will not be a problem and the 3 other holes all have 2-3" beneath them.

I tried to get onto her to get some pics today, but it is hailing right now (guess I will have to pump the bilge again in the morning). I will be using this method this weekend to fill the holes and will post some pics when the project is completed. Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:32   #7
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

If you take a piece of plastic such as a lid from a food container and make a small hole to attach a piece of string thru it in the center, tie a knot to keep it from pulling thru.
Now just bend the lid until it slips into the hole, let the plastic lid snap back into shape and now you have a backing plate inserted in the hole.
You can suspend the string between two boards or something to keep the lid tight on the hole, then lay the wetted out glass mat over the hole let it cure, it's plugged.
Good temporary patching, thin and waterproof till you can properly repair the hole.


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Old 08-03-2015, 12:11   #8
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

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Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
If you take a piece of plastic such as a lid from a food container and make a small hole to attach a piece of string thru it in the center, tie a knot to keep it from pulling thru.
Now just bend the lid until it slips into the hole, let the plastic lid snap back into shape and now you have a backing plate inserted in the hole.
You can suspend the string between two boards or something to keep the lid tight on the hole, then lay the wetted out glass mat over the hole let it cure, it's plugged.
Good temporary patching, thin and waterproof till you can properly repair the hole.


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I usually do this with a wet layup already on the plastic disc. Instant inner skin.
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Old 10-03-2015, 00:41   #9
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Re: Topside Hole Fiberglass Repair w/o Below Deck Access

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I usually do this with a wet layup already on the plastic disc. Instant inner skin.

Those extra lids do come in handy for some things.👍


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