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Author Topic:   Montauk Bow Eye Fix
jay posted 08-12-2002 08:41 PM ET (US)   Profile for jay  
I've got '86 Newport, i.e. Montauk hull with loose bow eye and damage to glass around bow eye hole on hull.

I unscrewed bow eye. Now I have interior lifting ring, stainless double threaded post, and exterior bow eye.

Need proper repair method for glass. Also, threaded post is bent, so where can I get another?

Taylor posted 08-12-2002 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Stop. I think the treaded post is supposed to be bent, at least it was on my Montauk. A little 15 degree crook at the top end in the last inch or so to allow the lifting eye to screw down flush with the inner hull.

Is you threaded rod bent as I described?

On mine boat the bow eye had loosened a little and the small nubs on the back of the eye had worn the glass as the bow eye turned a from side to side.

You can repair with marine-tex if the damage small and not consmetically significant (hidden under the eye), or spectrum gelcoat paste if larger but still only cosmetic. Then 3M 4200 or equiv between the eyes and the hull to keep out water.

How bad is the damage?

Tom W Clark posted 08-12-2002 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The loose bow eye and chipped gel coat is a very common, almost universal feature of most small Whalers that have been around for a while. Do not despair.

As Taylor makes reference to, the bow eye has two little nibs or tits on its backside that are supposed to dig into the hull when first installed at the factory and help prevent subsequent twisting. Unfortunately this will also cause damage if it does get twisted.

Most twisted and damaged bow eyes are caused by loading on the trailer. It is usually a maligned hook on the end of the winch cable/strap that finally twists the eye loose. Severe loading on the winch from poorly set up trailers will compress the lifting eye into the hull and give the bow eye and its shank a bit of looseness which only makes a bow eye more likely to twist.

I believe the shank is supposed to be bent too. I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you.

The thing to do is patch up the gel coat/fiberglass damage and reinstall the bow eye with some good polyurethane or polysulfide caulk like 3M 4200, Sika 231, 3M 101 or BoatLife caulk.

Others have suggested drilling out the hole the shank passes through oversize and filling with epoxy and then redrilling the correct size hole for the shank (all-thread). I do not like this idea because there is no flexibility in the epoxy and it will not compress but rather fracture instead. A good caulk will both seal out moisture, allow some movement and help hold the bow eye in place by virtue of its adhesive qualities.

When you do reinstall the hardware be sure to do as Whaler did and use some Lok-Tite on the threads to help it stay in position.

The help prevent another episode like this be sure you have your trailer set up correctly and are gentle when winching the boat home. Do not think that power loading is the answer. It is possible to break the whole bow eye off if you ram the winch stop while executing this dangerous maneuver.

tlynch posted 08-13-2002 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for tlynch  Send Email to tlynch     
I had the same problem on my Outrage. What I did was take out the bow eye and then cleaned up the area with a grinder. I then wrapped a plastic bag tightly around the bow eye and taped up the threaded post. I used epoxy with filler to build back up the area, shaping it the best I could with my fingers. I then placed the bow eye assembly back in place. I allowed the epoxy to dry, while praying that the assembly would not be permently fixed in place. Luckily once the epoxy dried, it just took a little wiggling to get it loose and it came right out. I then used a rasp to shape the epoxy and then sanded it smooth. I decided not to bother with gel coat for now. What I was left with was a perfect fit for the bow eye. I used some silicon caulk and applied a liberal amount around the hole and reinstalled the boweye. Done.

The bow eye assembly can be bought from your Whaler dealer for roughly $107. Each piece is roughly $35.

Hope this helps,
Todd Lynch

jay posted 08-13-2002 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jay    
Thanks, all the suggestions are a huge help.

The nubs are gone, so I imagine that is how the twisting started.

How do I know if the winch is properly aligned on the trailer to the boat?

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