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Old 17-06-2020, 14:59   #1
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Repair cabin top screw holes

Ahoy,
I have removed my very old dodger an dodger frame. I intend to install a totally new dodger and frame next spring. I want to repair the holes left from the old fasteners along my cabin top. I really want the new frame to be set in a hard surface. A very knowledgeable person said forget the West epoxy system and use the more friendly marine text application. What is everyone's opinion out there?
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Old 17-06-2020, 15:12   #2
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Not sure what you mean by marine text? Can you give more information?

If you do go the epoxy way, I have found that with filler, it can pop out (years later) with cracks around the edges. Very annoying! A little bit of glass is needed to stabilise the surface.
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Old 17-06-2020, 15:16   #3
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

I use West Systems with 404 high density filler added. It's never failed.
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Old 17-06-2020, 15:20   #4
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Probably auto-correct. It's Marine-Tex.
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Old 18-06-2020, 03:40   #5
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

both methods work well but like all repairs good prep leads to a better, longer lasting result. I prefer to overdrill each old hole, chamfer any cracked outer gelcoat (which usually stands a little proud of the surrounding surface). Need to see clean, glass, no old sealant. I then inject thickened epoxy since I have it sitting on the shelf. (Always messy loading the syringe cause if it's thick enough to not run, it doesn't pour into the syringe.) This will give a very solid repair that is durable. I find the challenge is when the old holes will be cosmetically noticeable and therefore gelcoat is required as a final surface. The white Marine Tex Putty may save you some work if color is close enough. With epoxy you have to wait a few days, then hit the outer surface with a dremel tool or countersink to remove the outer mm. of epoxy. Clean with water, then acetone to remove any amine blush to ensure good adhesion of the polyester gelcoat to the epoxy repair.
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Old 18-06-2020, 05:11   #6
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Maybe a picture here would be helpful of what you want or why the old mount didn't work. Would think the old dodger frame would have been set on a hard surface. Do you need a repair or a pad for the new hardware?
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Old 18-06-2020, 06:01   #7
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Marine Tex (epoxy with filler) works well for small repairs, although it is frightfully expensive. I vote for Flatswings procedure with Lepke's materials.
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Old 18-06-2020, 06:40   #8
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Cat. Anthony, do you intend to mount the new dodger in the same exact spots, reusing the repaired holes? If this is the case, there is a better procedure. Warby 12 hints at it.


Drill the holes up to about 3/8", clear out some core with a bent nail (or better, modified roofing nail), blow out the dust, and fill the hole first with unthickened epoxy and then by poking in small (1/2" x 1") strips of fiberglass cloth. Poke in as many as it will hold, and then top off with epoxy. This will make a strong reinforced plug that will not crack or pull out. Much stronger than thickened epoxy, which is full of bubbles.
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Old 18-06-2020, 10:08   #9
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

I fill small holes with gelcoat, because it hardens fast and is easy to sand. Then I spot paint with Interlux Perfection to match. The key is to bevel the surface edge, generally to 45 deg. Leaving a sharp 90 deg edge will eventually show a circular crack.
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Old 18-06-2020, 11:37   #10
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Marine Tex is totally fine. Wipe the hole with acetone. Dab the Marine Tex in, wipe with a paper towel, and stick a piece of clear tape over it. Pull off the tape a day later, and chances are you won’t need to sand or otherwise mess with it. New dodger is probably going to cover the entire area anyway.

Or.....you can take a 10-minute job and turn it into a 2-week ordeal ��.
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Old 18-06-2020, 14:58   #11
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

I will start by apologizing: I am doing this on my phone rather than my computer and as such no doubt transcription errors will creep in. When I get back to my computer I can make edits to any egregious faults but it's nearly impossible for me to do on my phone. That said:

We had a somewhat similar instance in our Morgan 46. however, it was replacement of handrails. New handrails were obtained in exactly the same size but not necessarily the same hole patterns.

additionally, there was some crazing and other small surface damage from a prior installation which had not done a chamfered edge meaning that the number 14 screw that held them down caused the fiberglass to expand and craze.

add to that the Marine ply core under the deck and we faced a slightly different problem in terms of how to deal with the hole.

Our solution was to use a forstner bit to very carefully and cleanly make a 3/8 inch hole into the deck to the point of the depths of the screws' previous penetration.

Because we had a wood substrate, and what would be a very clean flush surface, we used hardwood dowels and waterproof glue to reset that point. While we wait, because we are off the boat currently, to attach our new rails, which will involve drilling new holes to take up the solid portion of the number 14 wood screws we will use to adhere the new handrails, we have placed tape over the chiseled and flush dowel cut-offs.

the new screw holes will also be considerably chamfered to allow a very secure seal. Our seal compound will be teak decking systems' product - SIS-440. We have found it to be absolutely awesome in working with it, and as well its longevity. As it's made by a company that specifically does teak decking to fiberglass decks, it figures that it would probably be pretty good.
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Old 18-06-2020, 15:20   #12
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Depends, will the holes be covered by the new dodger? If so, I would likely just fill with white Marine Tex using a plastic syringe to inject it in there to seal it up.. (assuming the fiberglass/gel is white now.) I'm reluctant to make tiny holes big to make a "better fill".
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Old 18-06-2020, 15:46   #13
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdeuel View Post
Marine Tex is totally fine. Wipe the hole with acetone. Dab the Marine Tex in, wipe with a paper towel, and stick a piece of clear tape over it. Pull off the tape a day later, and chances are you wont need to sand or otherwise mess with it. New dodger is probably going to cover the entire area anyway.

Or.....you can take a 10-minute job and turn it into a 2-week ordeal ��.
+1 what nobody mentioned yet is that MarineTex is UV stabilized and the rest is not. And its just thickened epoxy.
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Old 18-06-2020, 18:40   #14
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Try patch paste. It worked really well for me to repair some nasty chunks in the gel coat from an anchor. They make it in plenty of shades of white.
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Old 18-06-2020, 23:51   #15
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Re: Repair cabin top screw holes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Depends, will the holes be covered by the new dodger? If so, I would likely just fill with white Marine Tex using a plastic syringe to inject it in there to seal it up.. (assuming the fiberglass/gel is white now.) I'm reluctant to make tiny holes big to make a "better fill".
Yes, if it's going to be covered, doesn't matter! I constantly quote myself that saying, "perfect is the enemy of good". I know it makes sense but I never know when to apply it!

Anyway, these cracks appeared in our hole repairs from a removed traveller. Chamfered, epoxy filler (fairing filler, not the hard stuff) and 2 pot poly paint. Took three years to appear. I think it boils down to the size of the holes at the end of the day. Smaller is better, I think.
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