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Rub Rail Fastener Screw Issues

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by cleanslate, May 8, 2019.

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  1. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Unfortunately I have many loose/stripped out rub rail screws that I have inherited from previous owners that no longer grab when you try to tighten them. Some of the screws are oversized in hopes of them holding, but the when you do rub a piling the screw is just a hair to big and digs into the wood piling pulling on it and loosening it up again. This is also where my hull to deck joint is, 1981 Ocean.
    All of these loose screws also cause leaks into the boat, which is really not a good thing.

    I'm planning on removing much of the S/S cove base rub rail and filling in all of the screw holes with something, but I don't know what? West system would fill them in for sure , but when you drill and run a screw through West system the screw cracks the epoxy and you have the same problem again, I find because it's to hard and has no flex or give like wood.

    My question is, how to go about filling in all the screw holes for a new proper size screw to work and match the S/S rub rail with out cracking the filler? I want some thing that acts like wood, with some give.

    And , No I can not get behind the rub rail from the interior with new wood to hold to...

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks
  2. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    What size screws? Maybe go to a larger screw size, more robust SS rub rail?
    Otherwise look at glassing over the outer cap to give the screws something to “bite”.
  3. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Fill all of the screw holes with epoxy and offset the ss rubrail to drill new holes for fastening. Of course the same problem will occur over time because Ocean did not fiberglass the inside before fastening the cap/rail. the last ocean I looked at you could see the screws protruding thru the fiberglass without being bonded or sealed with fiberglass on the inside. Hard to fix that situation.
  4. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    This exactly what I was going tell you to do. You would have to reshape the rub rail where it does a bend but if your carefull you can bend it while still on the boat before removing all the screws. Other wise you could make a jig from plywood and 2x4 to slowly reshape and not kink it.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Just mix up resin and micro ballons and seal all of the holes, re-drill, and put new screws with 5200 to bed them. Marine-tex would work as well most likely.
  6. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    That's my problem, you got it...on mine they did run wood around the boat behind the rub rail which is rotted and or gone from leaks. That's a good idea. I may buy a new short piece of rub rail and cut an inch or two off the existing rub rail to start a new sequence of holes and fill in the small gap with new short piece of rub rail. And fill in the old holes with epoxy.
  7. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    I never worked with actual fiberglass....so resin is pre mixed in a can ready to go? Any particular micro balloons? 403 filler?
    Wouldn't Marine - tex be to hard and crack? I like your ideas too. Sounds like a time saver to drilling all new holes.
  8. C team

    C team Senior Member

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    The resin needs to be mixed with the hardener then you can mix in the filler. Google West System Epoxy and you will find all the answers.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, Marine Tex gets hard but I think it still has enough flex that cracking shouldn't be an issue.

    You mix the resin with hardener and then the micro ballons (cavacil) to form a putty and can make it as runny or thick as you need depending on how many micro ballons to resin you have. I've also seen people flip the rub rain upside down and the holes end up in a different spot a lot of times.
  10. v10builder1

    v10builder1 New Member

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    Cleanslate,

    IMHO, you are overthinking this repair a bit. I can tell you for sure that you can use screws in epoxy filled holes for repairs, and they will hold as well as the original fasteners. The trick is proper sized pilot holes in the epoxy filled old screw holes - then the threads will bite into the epoxy but the shank of the screws will not crack the filler. I suggest getting a box of the proper sized screws and a pilot bit about 2 or 3 64ths smaller than the OD of the new screws. Remove every other screw in the rail. Drill out those holes to the diameter of the hole in the SS rail and to the depth of the new screws using a bit larger than the pilot bit. There are several manufacturers of a STRUCTURAL FORMULA epoxy filler that dispensed mixed from a caulking gun tube. Use this product (read the directions) to fill the holes up to the top. Let the epoxy kick, FULL CURE, then drill new pilot holes and replace the screws. repeat other half of screws. Pilot hole size is critical - you may have to experiment - you want the pilot hole sized to make the screw fairly hard to drive, but you should not be able to strip the new hole threads with normal hand tightening. Check a Web site epoxyworks, or refer to the book "Gudgeon Brothers Boatbuilding".
  11. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    There is a lot of flexing going on at that cap connection. If a epoxy filler is not too brittle filling and drilling a new pilot hole could work. Long term flexing will probably destroy any brittle filler. Otherwise , a small offset will give you new material for a pilot hole. Capt J's suggestion to use 5200 to seal screws is good and help lubricate the threads when driving the screws. Put a small amount of 5200 on the first half of the screw threads, this should make it easier to drive and lock the screws when it cures. Filling old holes with 5200 might work as well as epoxy, also seal the underside joint of the deck cap where it meets the hull. V10's right on the pilot hole size being critical, fiberglass can shear and crack around the threads like a filler if the pilot hole is too small. Also, drilling out the holes before filling with epoxy or 5200, which ever you choose.
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Get syringes to help inject the epoxy completely into the old screw holes.
    Remember to use wet epoxy first then thickened epoxy to fill. The wet epoxy (un-thickened) will wick into the material better and help bond the thickened epoxy to it.
  13. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

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    I found those cone shaped piping bags that cake decorates use for icing work great. Get a few cheap disposable ones. I use chop stranded fiberglass with a hardener.Comes in quarts and gallons. Many epoxys are to thin and run and if you let them set up a bit they don't bond. I bevel the outside of the hole so once you sand smooth the plug can't be pushed inward.

    Capt Ralph makes a good point if you think wicking will occur.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  14. T.T.

    T.T. Member

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    +1 Ralph
    dispense with a syringe from the bottom of the hole as you fill
  15. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    I know that our use West system all the time I thought you were referring to actual fiberglass resin I’ve seen it in a can and add wet system microballoons to that instead of West epoxy...
    I like flip-flopping the rub rails to get a new hole pattern and just fill in the old holes and forget about them and start new with 5200 and screw each one in by hand so I can get a feel for the screw and not over strip it with a screw gun
  16. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Yes as I get older I find I do tend to over think things and over complicate things ! Ugh!!
    Get - r - done ! Right ?
    I believe that is my issue I am not being patient enough with the proper matching drill bit and screw causing the epoxy to crack .
  17. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Awesome!
    Thank you for everyone’s knowledge and input not going to start the project till July but I have boiled it down to this ;
    remove the SS rub rails. all of the holes are around a quarter inch or less think I’ll fill them in with epoxy .
    Sand the entire fiberglass rub rail surface relatively smooth .
    Lay down two coats of oyster white paint over the fiberglass rub rail .

    Clean up the existing stainless steel rub rails and flip-flop them to get a new hole pattern to start fresh along with 5200 to bed them. This way I don’t have to mess with the old screw holes .
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can use actual fiberglass resin and mix it up with the micro balloons. Or West system. Your plan is solid, but you may run into an area where flipping the rub rail doesn't work. I wouldn't be afraid of using the existing screw holes, once they're filled and drilled properly.
  19. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Sounds like a good plan to me.