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Author Topic:   Screw Holes
tightloops posted 03-15-2001 07:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for tightloops   Send Email to tightloops  
What are some good ways to fill old holes from screws, etc...I'd rather not use west system if there is an easier way...I have about twenty screw holes from a railing that I am taking off and want to seal them up...all above waterline withing the deck area...Thanks--Dan
Dick E posted 03-15-2001 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
Use 3M's 5200
Can get it at most local marine supply dealers
Tom W Clark posted 03-16-2001 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
If you are trying to eliminate screw holes visually, then you need to use a gelcoat patch past repair. It is really quite simple. Mix up some color matched gelcoat patch paste and trowel it into the hole. The original Boston Whaler Owner's Manual recommended using acetone on the patched area to set up a capilary action that would draw the gel coat into the hair line cracks. After it is set up (you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to accelerate the curing) I recommend you scrape it down nearly flush with a carbide scraper or steel edge scraper, then sand with 220 through 400, then rub out with rubbing compond and it should look good as new.
lhg posted 03-16-2001 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Where I have repaired screw holes with the plywood backing underneath, I have first dropped in some waterproof wood glue, then driven in a wood dowel with a nail set, leaving an 1/8" indentation, then gelcoating as Tom mentions.

I have had, on occasion, to fill holes in the non-skid floor areas. For those, I simply used a countersink to bevel out the screw hole, then put in the same size 1/2" long SS screw in a caulking bed, screwed down flush with the surface. Usually looks like it was meant to be there, and better than any gelcoat work I could do on the non-skid.

Tom W Clark posted 03-16-2001 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
lhg is right about preparing the hole. It is best if there is something solid at the base of the hole unless the hole is very small.

There is a way to patch a small hole in the non-skid. After preparing the hole and and topping it off with gelcoat patch paste, wait for the paste to set up enough so it's set but can still be shaved down. At this point what I have done is to take my wood scraper (I'm talking about a small flat piece of steel woodworkers use to put a very smooth surface on a piece of wood. It is less than a sixteenth inch thick.) and using one of its square corners, I "trench" out the gelcoat patch paste between the "tits" of the non-skid. If you look closely at the non-skid you will see it forms valleys running in three directions, essentially making each "tit" six sided. By scraping down each valley in all three directions over the entire repair area, you can make it look virtually invisible.

Georgian Bay Boater posted 03-16-2001 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Georgian Bay Boater  Send Email to Georgian Bay Boater     
Good day Tom,
In regards to the simple repair you mentioned for screw holes, would this method be sufficent for below waterline repairs as well ?

Thanks in advance.


Tom W Clark posted 03-16-2001 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I don't see why not. I've done it many times on the transom when I've replaced transducers or moved the pitot tube. In this instance I would squeeze some 3M 5200 or 4200 or Sika 231,241,240 into the hole to serve as a base and insure it is waterproof.
triblet posted 03-16-2001 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I've used screws to plug old transducer
mounts too, except that I've used 101 rather
than 4200 or 5200. With 101, you can still
get the screw out, and you can put the boat
in the water immediately (water makes 101
set up).


Tom W Clark posted 03-16-2001 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Any polyurethane caulk will suffice as well as a polysulfide like 3M 101. As Chuck has pointed out above, you can pretty much "caulk-and-go" when you use a polyurethane or polysulfide. They both cure by means of contact with water, be it moisture in the air or actually getting wet. There are even silicone sealants that cure by water. G.E.'s 1700 series is one example.
jimh posted 03-16-2001 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the holes are in sight (and I think the ones we are talking about here would be), I would opt for the epoxy or gelcoat filler.

You can get a $20 repair kit from West with about five sets of foil packets of epoxy and hardener. That, thickened with some fillers also in the kit, would be plenty to fill 20 holes.

Tint the epoxy to match the gelcoat. The filler itself lends an off-white shade to the mixture.

You will have a strong, structural repair, and a waterproof cap. You can touch it up with some gelcoat if the color match is too noticeable.

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