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You know those jobs.....

by Ianfs » 09 Jul 2018, 11:47

on boats that you think, oh yes, that's an easy fix it'll only take me about half an hour, so you volunteer your services to a friend, then you wish you hadn't, well this was one of those. Fortunately it actually turned out ok and looks great, but could have been a disaster. :shock:
The story goes like this. You may or may not have seen the video where we collected my friends new boat (new to him) from Swanwick. Well, the survey turned up some bits which were sorted but there are some small non essential jobs to be done.
One of them looked simple, just screwing back in some screws which had pulled out of the cockpit door hinges. You can see the damaged part in the first picture. It turns out the doors are hollow, quite well made, sorry I dont have a photo of the inside but the glassing and bi axial mat used was to a high standard, but typically of nearly all modern GRP boats the doors were just screwed in with simple self tapping screws straight into the 4mm thick gel and glass structure. Screwing the screws back in was not actually an option simply that the holes were bigger that the screw threads now. Plus on the other door the screws were about to pull out as well.
The original screws were long enough to stick though the door glass by about 4mm, I had some marine ply at home so I thought oh thats easy I'll cut some small oblong pieces and resin them in. Then I thought the better route might be to get some small M4 bolts with counter sunk heads. However as you can see from two other photos with my camera upside down in the fender lockers, where the hinges were attached to the boat, that option was only good if you were 2ft tall with tiny hands, because I couldn't see a way of bolting the doors onto the hinges without taking the hinges off the sides of the fender lockers first. :mrgreen:
So back to plan A and glassing in the fillets. I seem to remember fibre glassing was a lot easier and less messy when I was younger and I didn't get as many bubbles either. I started by using glass fibre tape, it stuck ok but bubbled off in small area's. Then used some matt and that worked much better and provided a great finish. I managed to let the resin run into the holes ready for drilling out to size.

This is where it could have gone disastrously wrong. When it was all dry, if I didn't drill the holes out in exactly the right position (you all know what happens when you drill a hole in a slippery surface, if the drill bit doesn't bite it might slip off to one side. As there is no give in gel coat and not much in fibre glass if the holes are out the door could crack. :o
So very slowly and gingerly I started the drill off, first few done and gaining confidence I (and I expect you've all been here) started to press harder and speed up. Then a little voice in my head said.....slowwwww down! :lol:
Long story short and to my absolute amazement, the went back perfectly, I could feel the screws bite into the wood and all was well, better than when they were originally fitted.....thank goodness. And just for good measure I had some Maguiars oxidiser cut and some of their wax, so took off all the scuff marks etc. and gave them a wax coat, its certainly great stuff to use. :)

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Doors 4.jpg
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Doors 3.jpg
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Doors 1.jpg
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Doors 2.jpg
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by sprocker » 09 Jul 2018, 12:51

Good job Ian, I know from personal experience these small spaces on boats can be a nightmare!

One method for getting nuts/washers/backing plates into tight places, that may work for you in future.......

Take a length of reasonably stiff wire (I use 1mm lighting cable stripped of the plastic sheathe) and feed it through the hole into the locker to a place where you can then see enough to feed it through the nut/washer/backing plate.

Bend over the wire so the nut/washer/backing plate won't fall off.

Spread a film of sealant on the face of the nut/washer/backing plate that will be in contact with the fibreglass.

Pull the wire through from the outside until the nut comes up against the inside wall.

Pull the wire right out, which should leave the nut adhered to the inside wall.

Screw your bolt in from the outside.

This method has worked for me many times in hard to reach places where nut & bolt must be used.
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by Ianfs » 09 Jul 2018, 13:57

That is an amazing trick Sprocker and one I'll remember, thank you. :)

I had thought of trying to set the nuts somehow i.e. resin them in place or with sealer but then I was trying to work out how to unscrew them if the resin or sealer let go whilst unscrewing them for some reason e.g. hinge broke or door repair and there wasn't enough screw showing to cut it off. I suppose the answer would be to drill the head off, do you think?

Certainly a great tip though.
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by sprocker » 09 Jul 2018, 21:14

I would think drilling the head off would be the only way if that happened Ian. A spanner on the head should stop it spinning with the drill.
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by Ianfs » 10 Jul 2018, 05:27

Sounds like a plan. How are you getting on with your boat, I bet it's amazing.
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by Ianfs » 11 Jul 2018, 12:44

Does anyone know how to easily remove a padlock. We have searched through the keys and there is no key to this lock. The previous owner says it was in the bunch and the broker (chocolate teapot) has shrugged his shoulders. I've looked online and seen on YouTube a method using a drinks can, tried it but to no avail. The shaft is hardened steel and we think it maybe hard for bolt cutters, so the only thing I can think of is a Dremel.

Any other idea's please?

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by ian h » 11 Jul 2018, 20:23

Bolt cutters will do the job. you need a long handle pair. We used them for opening shipping containers at work. the bolts were thicker than that padlock.

I have a set here at home but not down Southampton for a week if you can wait you more than welcome to borrow them
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by Ianfs » 11 Jul 2018, 20:26

That's a kind offer Ian. I fear that we may have taken a Dremel to it tomorrow but I'll bear it in mind.
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by ColinR » 12 Jul 2018, 10:41

If using a dremel or angle grinder make sure you cover surrounding gel coat as the sparks will leave little burns which will have small metal bits in. These will rust and leave marks.

I was warned about this when cutting off a trailer lock. If difficult to cover smear grease over exposed parts so that you can wash off later.
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by Ianfs » 12 Jul 2018, 11:26

Sparks were a concern I had Colin. I'm hoping the large dust sheets will do the job of keeping the filings off the plastic. :D
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