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Old 03-25-2019, 06:56 AM   #1
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Ideas to fix this transom door

I'd love some input on how to fix this door. I've thought of many ways with my limited experience (I have done a bit of woodwork over the years, but zero fiberglass.) I'll list some to get the party started, and my thoughts on each. Pictures attached.
  1. Replace the entire thing: Not choosing this option now. I want to get the boat usable and presentable, then perfect it as a second phase. Not sure it needs replacing anyway.
  2. Long board pushed inside with holes drilled in the board for filler to grip. Some epoxy or structural foam or other filler poured inside. Fiberglass the top and then long screws that grip the board that is encased in filler.
  3. 1/4 plywood wrapped in glass, placed one by one in hole building up to base of where hinge was, then fiberglass over top. Long screws that grip multiple layers of the board/glass.

Other/better/easier ideas?

First picture is one hinge (both are basically the same condition). Some of the wood was rotten by the hinge. With a screwdriver, I removed all the rotten wood, and have reached solid and dried it out. The second picture shows the hinge dry fit for reference.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:21 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. b. First off, find the source of the water (leak) that caused the rot in the first place and repair that. IF the leak was caused by poor bedding of the hinge, any repair should/will address that problem, so you're good to go, in that respect.


MY suggestion would be a combination of #'s 2 & 3. Put board inside with thickened epoxy buttered on, smooth out the cavity so your pieces of 1/4" ply will sit plumb, seal repair with very light cloth (2 or 4 oz.), sand and paint and bed the hinge with either butyl tape or Dolphinite (you WILL want to remove the hinge at some point).
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:50 AM   #3
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Ours was bad but not quite that bad. Yikes! I ground the glass back and as RT suggested we glass in new wood. Before we did that hinge, we repaired the other hinge so we had a reference. The hardest part though was getting the repaired hinge to line up with its mate so the door closed as it should. Though trial and error and using plastic shines we were finally able to get it right. I must have redone the mortise 1/2 dozen times.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:12 AM   #4
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Looks like the screws were not bedded well and water leaked in over time and rotted the underlying wood.


If you are sure you are down to dry, solid wood, then I would just fill the whole cavity with thickened epoxy. It will take a lot, but should be quick and easy. Get the West System Six10 tubes and squirt it in. Bed the hinge into the new epoxy, drill screw holes, squirt some sealant in and screw down tight. Fair up any remaining cracks with Marine Tex or similar.


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Old 03-25-2019, 08:32 AM   #5
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Here's a picture of the upper hinge repair we did first. I can't find the lower but will continue to look. I used an angle grinder to cut back the glass. We then filled the existing holes and built up the area with cloth and then formed the mortise. We wanted to cut back far enough into the frame so the hinges could support the weight. They had already failed once. The door weighs over 50lbs. Once I started, it wasn't that bad. We're hull #120 so our door construction maybe different but hopefully this will help.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:05 AM   #6
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Larry M, looks very professional
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Larry M, looks very professional
Thanks. It’s amazing what a pro can do with a spray gun. It’s above my pay grade.

Fiberglass it easy if you start with good bones. You make a mistake, grind it out and start over.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Looks like the screws were not bedded well and water leaked in over time and rotted the underlying wood.


If you are sure you are down to dry, solid wood, then I would just fill the whole cavity with thickened epoxy. It will take a lot, but should be quick and easy. Get the West System Six10 tubes and squirt it in. Bed the hinge into the new epoxy, drill screw holes, squirt some sealant in and screw down tight. Fair up any remaining cracks with Marine Tex or similar.


David
I like this idea, it's simple. Is it strong enough, anyone see any downsides? I don't think I need to cut out any fiberglass, as it's giving me a good shape/form to work with. I'd only cut out the old if it was structurally unfit, or displaced from where it should be.

Edit: Specific questions:

Will it hold hinge screws as well or better than wood (that is glassed for protection)?

Will it expand or contract too much?

Will it soak in water, or reject appropriately?

I really like the idea of less wood.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Here's a picture of the upper hinge repair we did first. I can't find the lower but will continue to look.

We're hull #120 so our door construction maybe different but hopefully this will help.
Very helpful, as always... thanks!
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:30 AM   #10
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See answers below in bold.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bridaus View Post
I like this idea, it's simple. Is it strong enough, anyone see any downsides? I don't think I need to cut out any fiberglass, as it's giving me a good shape/form to work with. I'd only cut out the old if it was structurally unfit, or displaced from where it should be.

Edit: Specific questions:

Will it hold hinge screws as well or better than wood (that is glassed for protection)? I would use long screws that will go through the epoxy layer and then into the underlying wood. But even if it were only screwed into the epoxy, the adhesion strength of epoxy to wood should hold it fine.

Will it expand or contract too much? The underlying wood will expand if it gets wet more than the epoxy, but if water doesn't get inside, the bond between the two will remain strong.

Will it soak in water, or reject appropriately? Epoxy absorbs very little water. But you should separately seal the wood screws so water doesn't wick down into the wood.

I really like the idea of less wood.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:33 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. b. MY opinion only: Re: Post #8.



ONE downside to filling the void with epoxy will be when you get around to doing a proper, IMO, repair. You will be dealing with a "gob" of material that will be extremely difficult to remove. You may have to excavate way more of the area to do any work what-so-ever. That being said, I am unfamiliar with WS 6ten and IF the technique DOES work, your job is done.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. b. MY opinion only: Re: Post #8.



ONE downside to filling the void with epoxy will be when you get around to doing a proper, IMO, repair. You will be dealing with a "gob" of material that will be extremely difficult to remove. You may have to excavate way more of the area to do any work what-so-ever. That being said, I am unfamiliar with WS 6ten and IF the technique DOES work, your job is done.
Fair statement. It's unlikely that I'd need to go in from this direction again, if I ever needed to replace any other wood/part of the door, I would take the teak off the inside, and cut into the door there because the teak goes back over that after, so easier to have a less perfectly finished surface. The important parts of the door are the outside, the top rail, the hinges and outside form (to fit in the transom) and the inside teak. For this application I'm just looking for a strong hinge mount that does not negatively affect the rest of the door.

PS: Will bed the hinge with butyl as you suggested, and I believe the water was from the hinge as I dug into it the wood got more and more solid.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:49 PM   #13
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Lol
Just finished the job. You can contact me for more info

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The pics are definitely incomplete. But the result is a perfectly renewed door

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Old 03-29-2019, 07:37 PM   #14
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The boarding gates on our Solo/Selene have a similar construction, but there's no wood. There are stainless plates glassed into the door, the hinges are attached with 10-24 machine screws. Well, the OEM screws were chinese metric of some sort, I converted them all.

The plates in the doors were deteriorating, so I ground them out, leaving enough substrate to support new plates that were a bit wider since the OEM plates weren't wide enough, screws missed the plate. I used glass mat and West system, then drilled and tapped new holes. The hinges on the hull side did not need new plates, but needed some cosmetic work, so I removed the hinges to enable that cosmetic work, then drilled out the old metric taps and inserted new heli-coils. Tedious. but the hinges are rock solid, and they will never rot.

One thing to keep in mind for epoxy work is that a helicoil in cured epoxy substrate does a pretty good job of providing a secure anchor point. IMO it would be stronger than using a screw in wood. One of the screw holes in the hull missed the plate, I over drilled it, filled with thickened epoxy and installed a helicoil insert. Worked great.

Finish is 2-part poly, since I used epoxy I did not gelcoat. I'm with Larry spraying gelcoat. It's art.

Photos of progression.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:55 AM   #15
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Update: West Six10 is awesome. Now working on how to finish the surface below the hinge.
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Old 04-08-2019, 04:44 PM   #16
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Hi, possibly only semantics or splitting hairs, but whenever applying epoxy or polyester resins, be sure to wet out the surfaces with a squeegee or something such, so as to prevent incomplete contact. Just globbing a bunch of resin into a hole does not assure good adhesion. In a former life, I worked on many other people's boats/problems. Quite often the problem was simply that the repair didn't stick because it was not properly applied. For example, one time, a repair had failed in a fish hold because the saw-dust/resin mixture was dumped into a hole that had a layer of sawdust on the bottom that was created when the hole was opened up to repair the cracked/broken skin. A simple vacuum job and wetting down the surfaces (in addition to the structural repair) would have sufficed - as that is exactly what was done to repair it - with no subsequent failures.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:00 PM   #17
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I didn't wet it (darn), but I did vacuum the heck out of it, and make sure the surface had a lot of holes/angles to bite into. So far it looks great. My next task is how to prepare the surface, right now I just have a yellowish white epoxy surface hard as a rock. I love this stuff.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:17 PM   #18
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My door is not busted out yet but where it’s screwed in, the fiberglass is thin and screws have stripped out the glass. I added these deck plates when I mounted my davits. I was able to get backing plates in and thru bolt it with nuts and lock washers . My next project is to add another deck plate next to door on the hinge side and add backing plates,thru bolts, washers and nuts. When the door is open guests have a tendency to lean on the door and pull the screws out. The door stays loose.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #19
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Epoxy worked pretty well, although when I drilled out the holes, I picked too small a bit, and a couple of screws made a real loud "crack"going in. I assume the epoxy split. I'll have to redo that, but for a temporary repair it worked excellent.

PS: Not all stainless is the same, thought I bought quality from local marine store, head of screw just twisted right off.... ugh.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:10 PM   #20
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PS: Not all stainless is the same, thought I bought quality from local marine store, head of screw just twisted right off.... ugh.
Had the same issue with many #8 and #6 SS screws I bought at Ace. Finally had to find higher quality on-line.
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