Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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opencage
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Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby opencage » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:33 am

To repair a loose bow eye, after filling [the original hole] with WEST System epoxy, and after adding some fiberglass reinforcement on the inboard side:

Q1: how do you drill out the hole again?

Q2: how do you keep the correct angle?

Q3: do you just keep a steady hand?

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:19 am

What I did:

--first, enlarge the hole,

--then re-insert the eye bolt from the outside,

--then pour fiberglass resin down the shaft filling the hole and locking in the eye bolt;

--once the resin cures to hard, fill and dress the end of the hole around the bolt end with white Marine Tex;

--then screw back on the inside eye.

If you have filled the hole first then get some long drill bits. Start with the smallest and drill through the best you can by eye. If it comes out where it should then just enlarge the hole to the proper size. If you miss, just refill that hole and try again.

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opencage
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby opencage » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:30 am

Thanks for the response.

I'd like to the bow and lifting eye could be removed relatively easily in the future if needed.

With the long drill bits and correct angle, I was thinking of just making a jig for my drill for going through the filled hole.

Tomtep
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby Tomtep » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:07 pm

When I made this repair, I got a piece of aluminum tube the same diameter as the hole I would need.

I cleaned the aluminum tube really well.

To the tube I applied two coats of wax, followed by two coats of Poly-vinyl Alcohol (PVA).

I inserted the tube through the damaged hole at the correct angle I needed. Then I braced the tube to stay in place.

I filled-in the gap or space around the tube with West System 610 [a thickened epoxy adhesive].

After the West System 610 cured and hardened, several hammer blows on the end of the aluminum tube loosened the tube.

The tube was pulled out.

Once the tube was removed, there remained a perfectly-sized hole at the correct angle.

I chose aluminum tube in case I was not able to remove it, as drilling out the tubing would be easier than to drill out a solid rod.

The drill will follow the tube as a guide.

If you can follow my advice, my experience may help.

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:01 pm

As for getting out [the bow eye and its threaded rod sometime in the future after a repair has been made with the method that suggests the threaded rod should be fixed in place with adhesives] I think just a sharp blow will remove it.

The bolt shaft is really smooth with nothing to anchor it.

My problem was that the eye bolt was all sorts of loose where it passed through the hull. It seemed to me that if not totally tight it worked itself even looser over time.

The more [the bow eye] moved the more the surrounding fiberglass wore.

I wanted [the bow eye] locked-in as solidly as I could get it.

After seven years the [bow eye shows no] signs of looseness.

Tomtep
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby Tomtep » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:37 am

I agree; if [a bow eye is] not [threaded in place to be] totally tight, [the bow eye] will work itself loose through use.

jimh
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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby jimh » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:25 pm

I recommend use of caution in following the advice above regarding attempting to hammer out of the hull any sort of long rod that has intentionally been fixed in place with a strong adhesive like a strong epoxy or a strong marine grade adhesive. The material strength of the rod and the adhesive bond of the rod to the hull materials will be greater than the strength of the hull materials. Repeated hammering of the rod to gain its removal will likely result in tearing away parts of the hull, unless the adhesive used to hold the rod in place was really not a strong adhesive at all.

In the method of repair suggested above using a tube to form a new hole, the tube is cleaned, waxed, and coated with PVA for the purpose of preventing the tube from becoming strongly bonded to the hull for the specific purpose that it can be removed after the epoxy resin cures around it without forming an adhesive bond the the tube.

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Re: Repairing Loose Bow Eye

Postby opencage » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:44 am

Tomtep wrote:When I made this repair, I got a piece of aluminum tube the same diameter as the hole I would need.

I cleaned the aluminum tube really well.

To the tube I applied two coats of wax, followed by two coats of Poly-vinyl Alcohol (PVA).

I inserted the tube through the damaged hole at the correct angle I needed. Then I braced the tube to stay in place.

I filled-in the gap or space around the tube with West System 610 [a thickened epoxy adhesive].

After the West System 610 cured and hardened, several hammer blows on the end of the aluminum tube loosened the tube.

The tube was pulled out.

Once the tube was removed, there remained a perfectly-sized hole at the correct angle.

I chose aluminum tube in case I was not able to remove it, as drilling out the tubing would be easier than to drill out a solid rod.

The drill will follow the tube as a guide.

If you can follow my advice, my experience may help.


Thanks, I think this is the general way I'll end up going.

I found this Epoxyworks article on epoxy release agents: https://www.epoxyworks.com/index.php/what-you-can-do-if-you-dont-want-epoxy-to-stick/ with a section specifically about hardware. When tomtep mentioned "two coats of wax" I wasn't totally sure what kind, my first thought was boat wax which could still work. This article suggests automotive paste wax and PVA, similar to tomtep.

Based on this article, I'm guessing/hoping the "hammer blows" described are closer to taps.

I found a hollow 3-foot-long, 1/2" outer diameter aluminum tube at Home Depot for $10. I'm getting my replacement eyes and threaded studs from Specialty Marine which are 1/2" so this work. As mentioned by the others, I want this to be as tight as possible.

Thanks all for your help! I'll report how it goes.