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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:58 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:34 pm
Posts: 598
Location: NC
Hello all. I am hoping I can get some repair advice from others that have had this problem. My current situation is that I have two ss gudgeon screws that were broken off inside the transom on my starboard hull during a race in Myrtle Beach (a couple of years ago I am ashamed to say). I don’t think I ever hit anything, must have just been some sort of weird stress on the rudders. I also have to ss gudgeon screws with broken heads on my port side rudder. They are all the upper part of the gudgeon. I have gone through numerous drill bits and hours working to get these ss screws out with little success. I’ve learned to take my time and drill slow, but we are talking hours on one screw here. I have also messed up and gone through the aluminum backing plate in some of the hole locations accidentally. I’ve made some progress, but I need to start thinking about how I am going to make this a lasting repair so I can get back on the water. My boat is pieced together with 86 hulls. She was pretty fast and light last I remember. At this point I’m not really looking to get back into racing just yet, I just want to be able to have some fun with her and the wife on the water. I have the one piece gudgeons and plan on using them.
So, my questions are:
1. Do I just continue to try and drill out the ss screws (I’ve been using cobalt bits), fill with resin and filler (btw I have no fiberglass experience), and then re-tap with a larger size screw?
I really worry about doing this correctly. I think it would be hard to get them all back into the aluminum. Drilling these screws out has not gone well. I’ll get into the screw, but it isn’t perfectly center and the screw eventually sheers off making it even harder to drill out.
2. Do I do the above step and try to glass in helicoils? (seems expensive, compared to other options)

3. Do I cut inspection ports into the stern of each hull to thru-bolt the new gudgeons?

While more drastic, this seems like an ultimately easier and more sure-thing repair. It would also allow me to make sure the transom is sealed.

4. Some option that I do not know about????
I’m open to anything at this point. What would be the fastest, cheapest, and most effective way to do this repair? I’ve got to get back sailing.
I will try and post pics of the transoms in a few. Thanks in advance.

86' Redline Hobie 16
Sail # 76909

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:10 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3302
Location: Jersey Shore
abbman wrote:

3. Do I cut inspection ports into the stern of each hull to thru-bolt the new gudgeons?

That would be my recommendation. The inspection port will allow you to put a pair of pliers on the screw to hopefully pull it out from the inside. If you can do this without damaging the threads in the plate, then just replace the screws and you're good to go. If the plate is damaged, then drill out the threads and thru-bolt with nyloc nuts and fender washers.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:57 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:20 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Clearwater, FL
Last summer I did what srm recommended (install ports and bolt thru). I couldn't get all the broken bolts out so I filled in the old holes with JBWeld and drilled new ones all the way thru. When I drilled the new holes, I shifted the gudgeon up one bolt diameter so that I wouldn't hit the old broken SS bolts. Since I was drilling into undamaged aluminum, I could have just threaded the new hole and screwed new bolts into the plate, but I decided to go all the way thru and install fender washers and nylock nuts inside. I filled the holes with RTV before pushing the bolts thru to keep water out.

Bill Mattson wrote a good article in On The Wire entitled: Do-It-Yourself: Installing Deck Ports

After you cut the holes for the ports, I found it easier to reach inside of the hulls and work on the insides of the transom and install the bolts, etc. before you install the plastic ports (afterwards, the access hole is smaller)

82' H16
Blue Prism
Sail # 88863
Clearwater, FL

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