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Author Topic:   Twisted Bow Eye
Charleston Whaler posted 07-30-2001 04:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for Charleston Whaler   Send Email to Charleston Whaler  
The other day, when cranking my boat up onto the trailer, the hook on the wench strap turned and twisted my bow eye 90 degrees, popping the surrounding fiberglass from the hull. It's not too bad, but looks terrible. I should have no problem turning the eye back and fixing the fiberglass, eventually, but my questions are (1) will (limited) water seepage (there is probably a 1/2 inch hole) damage the hull; and (2) is this a common problem and how can I ensure it won't happen again?
Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
You might want to rmove it and see why it twisted. Might have stripped a thread, broken? How old is the hull? If it is not too difficult I would look deeper, the glass it in. Might want to epoxy it?
where2 posted 07-30-2001 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Since it was an unspecified hull, I'll guess it's like the eye on my 15' Sport. The eyes are held on by threaded bronze (or stainless?) rod that runs from the interior lifting eye to the exterior winch/tow eye. To remove this, unscrew the interior eye. If necessary, replace any parts that are corroded, and seal the mating points to the hull to prevent water intrusion that may cause corrosion down the road. Removing it will allow you to patch the gelcoat easily.
I broke my bow cleat off in my hand one night trying to adjust the boat on the lift. I know that rod was bronze, and Whaler was happy enough to sell me another...
Tom W Clark posted 07-31-2001 01:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The twisted bow eye is a very common problem. Like most bow or transom eyes, the Whaler bow eye is cast with two little "tits" on either side which are supposed to dig into the fiberglass and prevent rotation. The problem is that when enough force is applied to overpower the hold, the "tits" will break free taking some gelcoat and maybe some fiberglass with it.

I suggest you remove the bow eye and repair the gelcoat immediately. Mostly I say this because you will feel better about it and it's not a difficult repair. It will take as much time and effort to do it now as to do it next winter, so just do it. I do not think you need to worry about water working into the hull so long as you do repair it some time in the near future.

If you figure out a way to prevent this from ever happening again, let me know.

Charleston Whaler posted 07-31-2001 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Charleston Whaler  Send Email to Charleston Whaler     
Thanks for the input and insights. By the way, I have a 1971 13' Sport, so the hull's pretty old, but has recently been re-gelcoated and is in great shape. The eye is the kind that bolts through the hull and screws onto the lift eye inside the boat. I guess my first step is to take this apart, use epoxy to hold them together/in place once I replace them, then repair the hull. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
L A posted 07-31-2001 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for L A  Send Email to L A     
I had the same problem when towing my 13 on a fishing trip, bow eye pulled out and the glass and gelcoat had to be repaired. The original type eye is available at West Marine for about 5 bucks, like Tom said it's cast zinc and chrome plated. I did see where Attwood now makes that type eye out of stainless steel, they call it an anchor tie-off, but I haven't been able to find one anywhere. You might think of buying a piece of stainless steel allthread to replace the galvanized allthread that comes with the new eye.
Charleston Whaler posted 07-31-2001 01:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Charleston Whaler  Send Email to Charleston Whaler     
Does everyone agree with Tom that (if the hole is as small as I stated, and given where it is located) I shouldn't have to worry about water working its way into the hull? I plan to fix soon, but not before I go out a couple more times!
Bigshot posted 07-31-2001 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Just want a temp fix? Put a little silicon around it. Then you just pull it out when you are ready to fix it.
Arch Autenreith posted 08-02-2001 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I had the same problem on the Montauk. After patching I ground off both 'tits', drilled, tapped and screwed in a single 1/4 inch ss bolt leaving about 1/2 or so sticking out. You need to drill a 1/4 inch to accept the new stud of course. It would now have to pull away from the bow that far to twist.
commodore posted 08-03-2001 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for commodore  Send Email to commodore     
We towed our 15' and 17'Whalers behind our 38' Bertram. The twisting eye was known to cause problems in that usage. The fix ($150.00+/-) was to have a local fabricating shop make up a stainless "Vee" shaped plate that matched the angle of the hull at the eye, then drill that assembly, insert and weld the ring to it. The dimensions are approx. 2"x2". Put a large ss washer on the inside before threading on the lifting ring, and you'll never be "twistin again"!
grogden posted 08-08-2001 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for grogden  Send Email to grogden     
how big a deal is a slightly loose bow eye?I can twist mine a little either way but it will stay straight when winching onto the trailer.There is a slight crack in the gelcoat next to it which i was going tocover with a little ding repair resin.Is this o.k. or should I take the thing off and go through the whole procedure?

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