Yesterday I addressed a problem with one of the teak pieces that hold the drop boards in place. It serves double duty as a sliding hatch stop – a function in which it serves poorly.
If the sliding motion to close the hatch isn’t gentle enough, the upright is in danger of trying to stop the momentum of this very heavy hatch. It is liable to split or break if hit too hard. I’ll have to think of a method for a hatch slider stop, probably mounted inside and forward at the edge of the opening. Anyway, the occasion for removal of the old retainer is to replace due to damage. The piece was susceptible to damage anyway, as there is a fairly pronounced knothole in the top of it. The split starts at the top, and passes directly through the knot hole. Upon removing the piece, I also found rot in the knot hole – I guess this is a good place to trap moisture. The piece was held in place with eight screws and 3M5200. Eight screws seems like over-kill to me, but add 5200 to the installation and it’s more like welding, then bolting two pieces of steel together. Perhaps the construction crew was nervous about the hatch-stop function, and 5200ed it in place for good measure. . . Nah – they just had a tube of 5200 on hand and stuck the piece on with it, then screwed it down.
I began by removing the bungs and unscrewing the fasteners. Then the hard part: slowly leveraging the teak board away from the gelcoat surface it is bonded to. I used DeBond solvent to release the 5200. It is effective, but patience is required. With a series of chisels, a screw driver and putty knife, I gradually lifted the edge and squirted DeBond in the opening, gradually achieving full release of the adhesive. And although it wasn’t possible to reuse the old piece and glue it back together, I still preserved the shape of the piece to use as a pattern for the new.
I have some left-over 2″ x .5″ teak decking that is the perfect thickness. I just needed to edge-glue two pieces together to get stock that was wide enough. I wet out the edges with straight resin, then applied epoxy thickened with 407 bonding/fairing compound. The thickened epoxy fills any gaps and makes a stronger bond. Thickening it with fairing compound makes it easier to sand smooth.
I marked the new piece and cut to shape. Then sanded smooth with two successively finer grades of paper, relieving the edges of sharp corners. I finally hand-sanded the rounded over portions to remove unfair machine sanding marks.
I drilled the fastener holes, then drilled the 3/8s bung holes through roughly half the depth of the piece with my drill press. Except for the first hole drilled. . . I wasn’t paying attention to holding the work securely, and let it ride up the drill bit! Sigh. . . So I mounted the 1/2″ drill bit and drilled it out, then chucked the 1/2″ plug cutter and cut a couple of plugs from scrap teak, then patched the big stupid hole. I left the fastener out of that hole. I think the plug is securely glued in place, but I don’t want to disturb it again, and the piece doesn’t really need 8 fasteners. So firmly holding down the piece, I drilled the rest of the bung holes with no further drama.
I dry fit the piece to ensure screw hole alignment, then took it off to apply sealant (Boatlife polysulfied). I had meant to tape the outline before I caulked. . . well, this is my life. Curiously, I taped afterward, and it worked out okay. It doesn’t seem to matter much, because I make a mess with this stuff regardless of tape or gloves (always a challenge to remember gloves). Good thing there is mineral spirits. I cleaned up the mess, and it looked like this before bungs:
I had cut some plugs. After anointing them with varnish to glue them in the hole, I tapped them home. Hmm. . . some of the holes seems too shallow. I torqued down a few of the more shallow screws and tried again. I may need to used honest-to-goodness glue with these, as they still seemed set in a bit shallow. We’ll see if they trim out okay. If not, I’ll use a waterproof wood glue. You hate to use a permanent bond, because they may have to come out again some day. Epoxy will tear out the sides of the bung hole upon removal of the bung.
Finally, I cleaned up and cast off the dock lines, motoring out into the creek and into the bay. The weather was miserable and humid, damp, overcast and sub-60 degrees, but I had to use the boat for something besides projects, after sitting at the pier for a month.
I removed several plastic winch handle pockets because they were in the way, and I hate the way they look anyway. Now I have screw holes to fill. You can tell from my duck-tape-sealant on the depth panel, that I have to reseal that too. These kind of things always keep boat owners busy.