Repair Tools & Materials

Our test compared filler material for repairing screw holes (from left): silica, neat epoxy, and epoxy with fiberglass cloth.

A Stronger Screwhole Repair

Need to re-use an old screw hole? Stuff it with resin and cloth.

The fastest way to attach light hardware to a cored deck is a self-tapping screw. It is also the fastest way to have hardware rip out of the deck and end up with a wet core and delaminated deck. But how to replace screws that have gotten loose or prevent a wet deck in your future? One method is to drill and over-sized hole, remove some core, fill the enlarged hole with epoxy, and then replace them with small through bolts (see “Spreading the Load” Practical Sailor, August 2016). But what if the backside is inaccessible? Can we create an improved repair by filling and reinstalling a self-tapping fastener, without major surgery? What sealing and filling material is best?

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