Part II of this project includes routing out deck core from the bolt holes and potting them with thickened epoxy. Again, this is a step I should have done last year when I installed the platform initially. Fortunately, I sealed the bolt holes with straight epoxy, and bedded the platform really well with Life Caulk, so there was no water damage to the deck core.
Here are the mounting holes from above, potted with thickened epoxy. As the epoxy cured, it shrank, leaving a bit of a divot.
Since the holes will be drilled out again anyway, the epoxy shrink has no effect on the final product. I used my Dremel to drill out the core. There is a specialized bit that makes this easy.
This is a tool that allows removal of core material greater than the circumference of the deck penetration. Then when the hole is filled with thickened epoxy, the epoxy extends between the deck skins farther than the hole would allow normally. See Compass Marine for detailed information on this technique and many other excellent tutorials on boat repair projects.
All that remains on this part of the project is redrilling the holes and mounting the platform. Not too hard, but there is a moment or two of anxiety with each bolt as I reach into the anchor rode compartment and feel my way to the ends of the bolts one-handed. Then threading the nuts one-handed, bolts covered with sealant – and no way to see any of it. It take a while.
Well, as long as I’m into the varnish, right? May as well get an extra coat or two on the swash boards, tiller, and hiking stick.