Subject: Maintenance Help Request
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 12:41:55 -0500
I have an old Mark I GRP Wayfarer, #2550. The horse slide on the
transom has come loose. Whatever the screws hold onto has
deteriorated. And whatever that is seems unaccessable. Do you
or anybody you know have any ideas on how to proceed at this
point? Thanks for any help you can provide.
Falls Church, VA
I presume you're talking about the traveller here. I think I recall buying a kind of nut and bolt arrangement designed to reestablish a grip on an oversized hole in fibreglass where you can work only from one side. Check with a good hardware store and then get the item in stainless if possible.
A simple alternative would be to go to a bridle instead of the traveller. In its simplest form, the bridle is a piece of (quarter inch?) rope onto which you thread the mainsheet block that was on your traveller. Centre the block by doubling the rope (hold both the ends of the rope in one hand and let the block "fall" to the bottom of the loop) and then keep the block centred by tying the doubles rope into a overhand knot as near the block as is reasonably possible. Put an eyestrap on or near each upper corner fo the transom (or at each end of the platform now trying to hold your traveller) and then tie the loose ends of your rope into the eye straps such that the block is centred between the eyestraps. Since you are not racing, just stretch the rope fairly tight and you have a perfectly serviceable traveller replacement. (For something more elaborate that you probably won't want but whose illustrations will give you the idea of what is supposed to happen, check http://www.angelfire.com/de2/WIT/98Bridle.htm)
Uncle Al (W3854)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 8:34 PM
Subject: Re: Maintenance Help Request
Here are a couple of ideas to ponder as it appears that the backing FRP
mat in the area of the original screws has deteriorated to the extent
that there isn't any grip left.
1. For a test take one hole and try drilling straight through a hole
large enough for a #10 - 32 round head machine screw. Insert something
from above, i.e., wire, etc., to locate the hole and inset upward a long
screw with a washer beneath the head from below. If there's insufficient
clearance for the washer then skip it. If this works you can set the
screws in place by filling the holes with epoxy first (it may be hard to
use a screw drive from below). After the epoxy has set you can place the
horse over the crews and fasten down with nuts from above. Cut off the
excess screw and file smooth. Before doing this check to see that the
traveler will clear the nuts.
2. Epoxy makes an excellent repair material for wood and FRP. In this
case use a "thickened" epoxy as it's stronger and will be easier to work
with. Thickened epoxy has finely ground glass fiber mixed into it until
it has a consistence is like that of peanut butter. I'd send you a small
amount except that it is a "white powder". Know what I mean? If you
can't obtain a small amount from someone who works with it regularly
you'll need to go to a boating store.
Drill out the old screw holes so that all the ragged and loose material
has been removed. The size of the hole should be a little larger (or
more) than the screw anyway. If you drill all the way through just put
some kind of temporary stopper material, tape, chewing gum, etc.,
underneath to hold the epoxy in place. Fill in the holes with the epoxy.
This may take a couple of applications--wait about one hour between to
allow the first to begin setting up before applying the second. After
this has setup re drill the holes for the new screws. Since the epoxy
tends to be hard and brittle be sure to use the proper size pilot hole
and soap the screws well.
I also see that Uncle Al has given you some other suggestion.
Good luck---DICK Harrington