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Old 07-12-2018, 12:29 AM   #1
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Fixing thru-deck screw leaks

So to preface, this is for a friend's sailboat I agreed to help them with.

This is a lovely, well maintained classic Pearson Renegade. The cockpit grab-rails leak through the base, and through the securing screw penetrations. I don't have a website to link pics to, though I have them.

What is the Bristol way to fix this? I am tempted to remove the screws and rails, re-assemble everything with 5200 fast.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:10 AM   #2
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I would do them just like what is shown on Compass Marineís website. Pbase.com has a very through description of how to do it along with photos. It is an involved process but it works.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:25 AM   #3
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Squirt epoxy in the hole, then drive the screw. The epoxy holds better to fiberglass, wood, etc., than the screw. And epoxy bonds well to the screw. It also keeps water from weeping down the screw threads. The only drawback is later the screws are difficult to remove. I use a small impact wrench to remove epoxied screws.

I been doing it this way for about 50 years and can't remember a failure on any of my boats or boats I worked on.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:21 PM   #4
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I definitely would not use 5200. Either epoxy as Lepke mentioned or 4200 or uv4000.

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Old 07-12-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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Thank you all. I see the issue now. I think this is the link comodave meant, on using tape and countersinking:

https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:28 PM   #6
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I wipe the screw threads with Vaseline before I set them in epoxy. Worst case a soldering iron to the screw head frees it up.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:08 PM   #7
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Here's a drawing I made some time ago of what I do:
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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That is the way to do it.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:17 PM   #9
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I am guessing the “washer” qualified in the drawing refers to butyl tape or...?
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilitas View Post
I am guessing the ďwasherĒ qualified in the drawing refers to butyl tape or...?
Yes - your sealer of choice.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:19 PM   #11
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Buytl tape is the way to go if you are through bolting.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:41 PM   #12
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Yup butyl tape.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:47 PM   #13
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A lot of people love butyl tape. I hate it, and use 3M 4000 UV instead.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:16 AM   #14
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+1 for Butyl tape...
I've used the Compass Marine stuff as well as others and do like the one CM sells much better.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:44 AM   #15
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Another vote for butyl tape and Compass Marine. It remains soft tacky and flexible and I think that those are great qualities for a bonding/waterproofing agent. Especially on a sailboat where stresses and twisting can come from any and all directions. My brother uses it on his sailboat. He replaced 12 portlights and used butyl tape and has never had any issues. I have resealed my Pilothouse hatches and center windshield panel with it and could not be happier.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:36 AM   #16
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Iíve been using butyl tape for a while now on several boats. I think it is great to use when you want a sealant in an application where you donít need/want an adhesive.

My last use was for sealing a holding tank vent fitting a couple months ago. One advantage it has over adhesive sealants such as 3M 4000, 4200, or 5200 is that it is really cheap and you donít have to worry about the unused portion curing. On the vent, I would have spent 20$ on a 3 oz tube of 3M 4000 and then tossed it. (Yeah, I did read the thread on storing open tubes.) I have a lifetime supply of butyl tape on the boat that never goes back and is always available to use when needed. That lifetime supply cost me less then two 3oz tubes of 3M 4000 years ago. It also isnít messy like 4000 and its like. Maybe Iím just clumsy but I always make a mess with that stuff.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:23 PM   #17
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I just replaced 11 portholes and bedded the new ones with butyl tape. I donít use caulk on anything that is through bolted. If I am screwing something then I use caulk because I cannot get enough pressure on butyl to get proper squeeze out without stripping the screw threads out in the fiberglass. Especially on something like handrail stanchions where people lean against the rail and the stanchion base wiggles a bit. With caulking you will break the seal, with butyl it just stretches a bit and still seals. I also like Compass Marines butyl.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:54 PM   #18
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Just to be sure: the grab rails are attached to FRP and not teak? If tank itís a different process. If FRP, the Compass Marine method is the way to go.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:10 PM   #19
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I guess I fall into the 5200 camp.

Rails are through bolted with a washer on the bottom.

I remove the bolts, gob some 5200 fast Cure in the hole, and re-assemble.

Never had one leak afterward.

The 5200 does not ďglueĒ the bolt to twisting motion so you can still remove them.

This is relatively quick, Itís easy, you can do it in the rain, and it works.

I see no downside.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:01 PM   #20
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Interesting discussion. I'm going to try butyl on a replacement stantion I have to install.

To the OP: do you know whether there is coring in that area? Hopefully not but if so be prepared for more work.
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