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  How should I repair old screw holes?

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Author Topic:   How should I repair old screw holes?
roger8918 posted 04-21-2002 05:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for roger8918   Send Email to roger8918  
I recently removed my VRO oil reservoir to replace the old battery box it was in. Instead of using the strap with some cleats to hold it down, much to my surprise, I found that the box was screwed directly to the floor. Well no be deal if it was done right. When I removed the screws and pulled the box up I found holes from the previous installation that were left completely open. What is the best way to repair these holes? I have read the West System repair manual but I donít see an area that covers screw holes that have wood backing. Iím I missing something and does anyone have experience with this type of condition? Also, should I be concerned with water saturation in this area and how can it be checked for?

Attached is a link to some photos of the condition. They are the last two in the series.
http://smegl.com/photo/thumb.asp?cfoto=photo/2002_04_21_Whaler

whalernut posted 04-21-2002 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I belive shallow ones you can use silicone, I use clear, for deaper ones people were suggesting Poltsolfide Caulkking, much stronger as Silicone will break up eventually. Also, you can use Epoxy, that is the best way if done right. Jack.
lhg posted 04-21-2002 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If the holes are not weeping any water, they are probably not wet. But to be sure, I would drill them out slightly larger and see if the the wood drillings are wet. If dry, I would fill them with white MarineTex. If they are going to be re-covered by the battery box installation, I would simply fill them flush, and sand and polish. If they will show, re-drill out the suface of the cured MarineTex and then apply gelcoat, sand etc.
roger8918 posted 04-21-2002 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for roger8918  Send Email to roger8918     
lhg, Just drill them out and fill? Is there any problem with the patch backing out? I noticed in the West System repair manual for a patch with foam under the repair they suggest creating a void with a bent nail to keep the patch from backing out. I donít think that would work going into wood.
lhg posted 04-21-2002 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If there was no wood, you could just use paste gelcoat to make the repair. MarineTex (which is an epoxy, I understand) also bonds to wood like steel, so there is no problem. The bent nail routine is not necessary, and not even recommended when fastenings are being used where there is no backing, as you can "pop" the glass/foam bond with any withdrawl force. As a matter of fact, MarineTex is a preferred method of re-seating rail base screws which are stripped out of the wood backing. This method was first recommended to me by a Whaler Dealership. I have used it, and it REALLY works.

I should also say that that I am not a fan of the West System methods. Although there is nothing wrong with the products, I don't think they are appropriate for Whalers, and the product is difficult and messy to use, with all those "medical" style tools they also sell. Seems like a little "overkill", unless you're dealing with major structural damage.

JFM posted 04-22-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Roger, drill those holes over a hair. Buy a West System's repair kit ( comes with 5 small packets). Use the syringe to fill in holes up to where gel starts. When dry, put matching gel over and wet sand to about 1000. It should look like new. Regards, Jay
JFM posted 04-22-2002 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Sorry Larry, I like the syringe to avoid the mess, and it works great. Jay
ratherwhalering posted 04-22-2002 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I just finished the same type of repair. I cleaned with acetone, drilled out the hole, then let it dry for a few weeks (I had water intrusion, but not too bad) I then ground the "mouth" of the hole with a wide oval grinding bit to eliminate gelcoat chips. I used marine-tex white to fill the hole (in retrospect, I should have tinted the marine tex a little to approximate the gelcoat color), using a toothpick to push the marinetex into the body of the hole. When dry, I used the same grinding bit to countersink the marinetex, heated the marinetex with a hair dryer, wiped with water (as per the West Marine audio interview on this site), then used acetone to clean the surrounding gel coat. I finished with Spectrum gel coat paste, desert tan, and a plastic trowel. Wow that stuff air dries fast! Looks perfect so far, but I have yet to finish and sand/buff.
ratherwhalering posted 04-23-2002 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
update: The holes are all sanded and buffed and look great. There is a slight color difference in the gel coat, probably due to oxidation.

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