Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

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Mark-NJ
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Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Mark-NJ » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:48 am

OK, folks....hard to believe that this is our third year of boating! Seems like it was only yesterday that I was sourcing wood for my building frame! Time moves fast, I guess.

Anyway, after 3 seasons, it's time to make some modifications & repairs, and I discover that I have a "situation" on my hands. Not ready to call it a problem yet, but let's see where this thread takes me. :)

To review, the boat in question is a Glen-L Ski-Tow. Here we are, up on jacks, ready for bottom paint & a few other hull fixes

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Here's today's issue: the bow eye. For reasons I can only call "born of complete ignorance", I choose a simple Seadog eye from a local marine supply house. Seemed simple enough, and because it threads on to a rod, I could use a longer rod to pass through the stem of the boat (which is much wider than the rod that comes with the bow eye).

This was during construction:

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And here we are today:

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Over the last 3 years, I've heard tales of horror with these cheap bow eyes. On reflection, they're just crappy zinc die castings, and they simply can't endure the abuse that they absorb during towing. Proper safe towing requires that the bow eye is used to pull the boat into the winch AND is also used to strap down to the trailer frame. Every bump you hit translate incredible energy into the bow eye, and the result is stress cracking in the eye. Sure enough, a very close inspection of mine reveals just that: two almost-imperceptible cracks. Boat owners have entertained me with stories of boats "missing" from moorings because of bow eye failures with these zinc die casts.

I've heard enough, and I'm changing mine to one of these:

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Here's the issue: When I put in the bow eye, the guy at the marina told me to be sure to seal the hole in the bow where they rod penetrates to avoid water coming in. Makes sense, right? He handed me a tube of 3M 4300. [EDIT: OOPS! meant 4200] I I smeared it on the threaded rod, squirted some in the hole through the stem, shoved the rod in, wiped off the excess that came into the hull, tightened the nuts....DONE!

This morning, I removed the nuts and gave the rod a whack with a hammer. Then another. And another.

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This rod isn't budging...which I suppose it the reason people love these 3M polyester products. But in my case, I want this out!

Thoughts?

I may try a heat gun on the bow eye and hope that the heat migrates up the rod (heat is supposed to soften the 4200)...but the bow is epoxied together, and nothing makes epoxy let go faster than heat, so I"m a bit concerned about creating a much larger problem.

Frustrating part is that 3M says use 5200 for stuff you never want to remove; use 4200 for stuff you may someday want to remove. This rod is "in there"!! If there's a way to remove it, I'm at a loss.

I'm open to any & all suggestions.
Last edited by Mark-NJ on Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

TomB
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by TomB » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:35 am

Jim,

In the spirit of any and all suggestions...

I would grind off the eye so the bolt could be pull through to the inside, then use a piece of plate as a washer and a nut to jack the thing out.

You might also try Marine Formula by DeBond, it says it removes cured 5200.

Tom

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hoodman
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by hoodman » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:06 am

So in the original post you said 4300. So did you use 4200, 5200, or something else? I also have the same bow eye and have concerns about it. Not the least of which is that there is not enough room to hook the safety chain on to it.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139

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hoodman
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by hoodman » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:11 am

Also, who moors their boat with just the bow eye?
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Bill Edmundson » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:18 am

I might try putting a rod thru the eye and try to unscrew the whole thing. I know the eye has barbs. You can fix the scratches. If the eye breaks it's no loose. If you can't get the rod out, grind it smooth inside and out. Make two new holes.

I don't like the eyes either. You can't get both the winch and safety chain thru them.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

Mark-NJ
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Mark-NJ » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:48 am

I like the idea of using nuts and plates to jack it out. I would have tried that, had I read your reply...but I lost my internet connection shortly after I posted this morning. I'd prefer "force" over "impact" any day... That said, my internet is just now restored (thank you VZ, I guess...), and in the meantime, I got the rod out.

I've taught my kids that if you use a tool in a way other than it's intended to be used, one of three things will happen: 1.) You'll damage the tool, 2.) you'll hurt yourself, or 3.) both. Fresh out of ideas, I decided to "re-purpose" a pipe wrench, and the eye is now out. Happy to report that none of the 3 problems occurred....but I did destroy two stainless shackles.

This rod was held in with 4200 (w/ apologies for my previous misprint), which is a sealant, not a "glue"...so reason tells me that force WILL move it. But I couldn't deliver enough from inside the bow. This needed to be worked from the outside.

Here's goes nothing: hammering on the back of a wrench. Not ideal, but whatchagonnado?

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Hey! Is that light coming through a gap? Progress!

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I had to wail on the wrench with a 4 pound hammer, but it did the trick, and the structure of the bow is still in tact

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Final score: Mark-NJ 1....bow eye 0

The shackles got toasted in the process, though. SS might "stay shiny", but it's not a strong metal and it galls like crazy. The impact force on them trashed the threads in one of them, so it had to be cut off with a die grinder. Small price to pay for victory...

Image
Last edited by Mark-NJ on Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:14 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Bill Edmundson » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:54 am

Mark

Good news.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

BillW
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by BillW » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:12 am

Thanks for bringing this up. I have the same situation, but didn't know there is a potential problem.

Although, a little thought about pot-metal vs stainless steel might have given me a clue...

I may first try pulling it out with the trailer winch....then again maybe not. At least I have all winter.

Mark-NJ
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Mark-NJ » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:18 am

I confess: I over-think stuff, especially engineering-based stuff. It's just who I am & what I do...

Still, there's always been this nagging notion in my head: "this boat cost me about $5K to build, and it's held on a trailer with pot metal?" Sorry, but that just never fully computed in my brain. I've wanted this bow eye out for a while. And this summer I heard real, actual, true stories about zinc eye failures, so I don't think I'm worrying needlessly.

Still, yes, true...I have to recognize and admit: a bajillion boats are being moored and/or tied down with these things as we speak. But I just can't sleep well with one in my bow. After today, mine won't be one of them any longer...

Now, the U-bolt that's going in is too short to pass through the stem, but we've got welders at work that make TIG into an art form. I'll get some 3/8" rod, and grind away some material on both the rod and the U bolt to make half-lap joints for a strong, permanent weld, and extend the bolt to fit. Already discussed it with the guys in the weld shop and they "get it". Should be a no-brainer for them.

The ones in the transom need to go, too...but if I recall correctly, those didn't get sealant, so they should just pop right out.

Image

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TomB
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by TomB » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:16 pm

Congratulations Mark. It never would have occurred to me to use a wrench with a hammer. And gloves, I like those too, I always wear them to protect the band-aids. :D :D

Tom

Mark-NJ
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Mark-NJ » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:19 pm

It's a beautiful day here, so I figured I'd just plow on through and get working on the installation of the new bow eye.

All I have to do is drill a 2nd hole through the bow, but the holes need to be parallel....how to best insure I don't mess this up?

Step one: The bow eye, as bought, isn't parallel with itself to begin with...take a look:

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So the first mission was to bend it until it was. I clamped it in a vice, bent it bit by bit, until my vernier showed it to be aligned to within .010". Next, I took a block of scrap oak and drilled two .375" holes exactly parallel and spaced to match the now-straight bow eye. This will serve as a drill guide:

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From there, I made some "clamp wings":

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...and added a 3/8" threaded rod...

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The rod goes through the existing bow eye hole, and the "clamp wings" sandwich my bow strip. With the 3/8" rod bolted tight, the center block is secured to the bow strip; tightening the 2 smaller bolts through the wings serves to assure centering:

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I felt pretty sure that this would yield a straight...and more importantly, a parallel...hole. Time to drill with a new, sharp 3/8" x 12" bit.

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Bullseye! Not bad, if I do say so myself!

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I still need to have extension rod welded to the new eye, but this looks better and will be a great deal stronger. And it's larger, too...so getting multiple tie-down hooks and chains in it will be simple.

Image
Last edited by Mark-NJ on Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Bill Edmundson » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:38 pm

Mark

Good work! You'll be much happier with that!

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

Mark-NJ
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by Mark-NJ » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:55 pm

Now here's the "full circle" question: When inserting the new bow eye, what do I seal with? Thinking I'm NOT using 4200 again! :) :)

Suggestions?

TomB
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by TomB » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:22 pm

Mark,

For that application, I would use Polysulfide. (BoatLife caulk). You could also take a look at Sikaflex 295UV. Both have relatively low strength (compared to 4200).

You might enjoy a little light reading...https://www.boatus.com/magazine/2013/Ap ... ealant.asp

Tom

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hoodman
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Re: Three years on...time for some repairs & changes. HELP!!

Post by hoodman » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:34 pm

If you do use 4200 maybe not so much this time. A little dab will do ya.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139

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