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Author Topic:   Bow eye problem
BabySitter posted 02-22-2004 09:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for BabySitter   Send Email to BabySitter  
I've tried a search on this but no luck ... just discovered,today,to my dismay,that the internal bow eye on my 18 Outrage has crushed (slightly) the fiberglass surrounding the base of the eye so that the surface of the base contacting the boat in about 1/16" lower than the surrounding area. There is one small crack in the gel coat otherwise the area has just bent in with the eye. I suspect I have inflicted this damage by winching the boat that last 2 or 3 inches onto the trailer. This looks like it is going to be a pretty nasty repair ... digging out foam, cutting out the affected area, re-glassing, matching gel coat, etc. Any advice on do's and/or don'ts.


hooter posted 02-23-2004 11:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
If the eye wobbles around, indicating some slack, you prob'ly do have a problem worthy o' fixin'. If the eye is still tight, you might consider doin' nothin'. You'll get used to the appearance and it ain't likely to affect your use o' the boat one iota. And you also might consider backin' down the trailer into the water another 12 inches to load that puppy and/or greezin' or replacin' your keel rollers. Yankin' her up a set of froze rollers or some dry trailer bunks mebbe ain't a good long-term habit.
BabySitter posted 02-23-2004 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for BabySitter  Send Email to BabySitter     
Yep - I'm planning to do a better job of getting all the way up to the bow roller before tightening her down ... greasing the keel rollers is a good idea - didn't look at that. There does not seem to be any slack but the damage to the surrounding gel coat is a little worse than I thought. It looks like the winch strap is pulling the eye down at an angle so that has caused the top side of the inner eye to dig into the gel coat and has caused a split in that area.

Is it solid between those eyes or a foam filled cavity ?

j abrams posted 02-24-2004 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for j abrams  Send Email to j abrams     
I had the same problem with my 1971 21' outrage. I remvoved the eye and repaired the fractured glass. Fabricated a flat stainless plate to conform to the hull shape, drilled hole to receive bow eye.

The bow eye on the outrage had two tits; one on top and one on the bottom. These were designed to draw into the glass and help to prevent twisting. I dimpled the stainless steel to accept these tits. I applied a good sealant around the stainless and drew it tight to the hull with the bow eye. If the tits are in their proper place your problem will be solved. I also used a larger washer on the inside of the hull for added strength.

This repair was made about 5 years ago and the eye is still secure.

BabySitter posted 02-24-2004 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for BabySitter  Send Email to BabySitter     
JA, sounds like your damage was around the bow eye - did you have any crushing underneath the corresponding inner eye? How much larger than the eye did you make the washer for the inside ?
j abrams posted 02-25-2004 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for j abrams  Send Email to j abrams     
I should have read your post more carefully. I didn't realize the damage was on the inside. If the damage is not that bad I wouldn't be to concerned about it. I can almost garantee that eye will not pull through. My suggestion would be to expoxy the damaged area and use a larger flat washer or two. I'm not sure what size washer I used. I know the center hole fit the eye, it was the flat that was increased in size. Probably 1 1/2" against the glass and a second washer about 1". When I tightened the eye in the large flat washer bent to conformed to the inside of the hull.


JayR posted 02-25-2004 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I drag my hull upon the sand 20 to 100 yards all the time. It put tremendous strain on the bow eye. To prevent damage and to keep it from pulling through and behaving like a missile through the rear window of my truck, I fashioned a backing plate on the interior side. It is a 4"x4" s/s plate. It distributes the load over a larger area.

You may save yourself a ton of work making something similar and sealing the backside with a quality sealant.

JayR posted 02-25-2004 08:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Pics available if interested.
rehenderson posted 02-25-2004 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for rehenderson  Send Email to rehenderson     
I think the problem might subside if you quit hanging the entire hull by the eyelet for quick cleaning. Effective, but it looks like a mullet on a stringer and is sure to end very badly.
BabySitter posted 02-26-2004 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for BabySitter  Send Email to BabySitter     
Well you have to admit that it's the easiest way to get at that old bottom paint!
andygere posted 02-26-2004 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Babysitter, it sounds like you may need to adjust the winch stand on your trailer so the strap is pulling on the bow eye dead-on instead of at an angle. Also I'm wondering if the eye had worked loose at some time (before you owned the boat?), caused the damage and was later tightened up.

JayR, do you beach launch your Whaler off of Race Point?

JayR posted 02-27-2004 05:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Andy, yes, from Race Point. Familiar with it?
BabySitter posted 02-27-2004 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for BabySitter  Send Email to BabySitter     
Andy, I looked the boat over carefully and don't believe it was like this when I got it. This particular boat had spent most of its prior life in dry stack storage and was used infrequently - not much, if any winching onto a trailer. The winch strap does approach the eye at a slight angle - would seem best to have the strap pull along the same plane as the eye connecting rod when the boat is right up to the bow roller ? Jay - I like the concept but maybe a smaller stainless disc with a relieved edge to sort of duplicate the radius on the shoulder of the eye bolt ?
andygere posted 02-27-2004 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Jay R,
I used to run my old CJ-5 on the sand at both Race Point and Nauset Beach, living in Eastham and Orleans for about 12 summers in my youth. Fished blues and stipers in the surf, and from my trusty 1972 sport 13. I always wanted to launch her off the beach at Race Point, because I thought it was such a rugged, classic way to get to the fish. I never did, but once had to retrieve her off the beach on the bayside in N. Truro when my lower unit froze in neutral during a tank switch. With a tilt trailer behind the CJ-5, I was amazed how easy it was to winch the 13 on right off the sand. The only boats I remember seeing surf launched up there were Whalers, but I may have selective memory. Good times...

Your repair plan looks sound, I wouldn't put it off and let the problem get worse.

JayR posted 02-28-2004 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
There was a time Whalers and tin boats were all that were utilized on the sand. Now, you would be amazed at what gets launched there. However, with the exception of the Whalers, not too many boats do it in that manner for close to 30 years as my 16' 7" has.

Most get worn out in a short time and get replaced.

Take a walk on that beach and the only older hulls that you will see are Whalers. That in itself, says a lot!

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