Deck Hardware Installation

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Postby Guest » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:18 pm

I'm planning to install a cabin top winch this season. Is there anything I need to know before drilling through the cabin top? For example, do I just drill through into a backing plate and bolt the winch on? I thought i had heard of drilling oversize holes, filling with epoxy and then drilling correct sized holes in oder to seal the deck. Is a process like this necessary or should I just drill and bolt?


Postby Guest » Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:11 pm

Depends on how long you want it to last. The "right" way to do it is to either drill oversize holes through the OUTER SKIN ONLY, then remove the core and replace with epoxy or drill the right size hole and then use a tool to remove the core surrounding the hole then fill with epoxy. Once it has cured and is level with the outer skin (may take a few iterations as the epoxy is absorbed by the surrouding core), drill correct size holes, apply sealant and bolt on the winch.

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:02 pm

The existing hardware on your boat was pretty much just installed that way. There may be some beef up under the primary winches, though I doubt it, but most fittings on the boat are simply sealed with bedding caulk. You could spend a lot of time on the new winch mount, or you could just carefully caulk around the holes and spend your time fixing some of the more potentially damaging vulnerabilities like the chain plate openings and the stanchions.

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:30 am

We put a cabintop jib winch on and just drilled it through the existing core. By the time it exits the rig, turns around the block at the base and turning block and has 3 wraps around it it has minimal load.

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:22 am

For attaching a winch, there is certainly there is the issue of mechanical strength. I suspect that one could just quickly drill holes through the deck and run bolts through it and there would be enough strength to to the job.

The greater issue is not strength, but water penetration. If water pentrates through these holes drilled all over the boat, it can/will get sucked into the core causing all sorts of problems. So the fast way to seal these holes is to bed them with 3M 5200 or 4200 caulk or equivalent. This procedure probably works pretty good.

However, the procedure recommended by Chris Morlan is the proper way to do the job. Unfortunately builders and owners don't do it this way because it is time consuming. So if you want to protect your investment, it might be worthwhile to check all the penetrations through the deck skin to see if the core has been properly sealed. If not, then follow Chris's recommendation.
Terry Burke

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:01 pm

My boat is a '94, been moored and raced every year. There have been numerous maintenance issues each year, from worn gugeons, to worn out gooseneck, rotted tiller, and yes... soaked core, especially at the chainplates. What I do is borrow a friends moisture meter each season and check around all the fittings, as well as all over the hull. Most places are OK and I deal with the problems as they come up. Its a pain to clean out the core and fill, but it hasn't been a major problem. 5200 is a pretty permanent solution, not easy for instance to later replace a bent stanchion. I use softer stuff like boat-life, works OK.

Mechanically, a cabin top winch secured with six 1/4-20 bolts and oversize washers isn't going anywhere, beefed up core or not. Nevertheless, I would recommend a 1/2" or so mounting base to spread the load evenly and give you a good place to put the sealer without smearing it all over the winch bottom. I used a piece of high density plastic, cut from one of those white cutting boards. You can pattern cut it with a slight taper using a dovetail router bit. Stands up to UV very well.

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:11 pm

Thanks everyone for your feedback and suggestions. I'm much more comfortable now with the thought of drilling. See you out there.


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