During a recent rescue operation, I came down on the seat of my RapidFire much harder than normal, and I think I stripped out the horizontal screws that hold the inwale and the outwale together at the seat (the right side of the seat). The symptom is that, when I'm not sitting on the seat, there is a gap of a couple of millimeters between the two gunwales, only at the seat, only on the right side, that wasn't there before. When I do sit on the seat, the gap widens to maybe five millimeters.
There have long been dark circles around the two screw heads that hold the gunwales together, presumably water damage. Ideally, my fix would prevent further water damage. Most of the gunwale screws have this water damage; it's not specific to the screws where the gap has opened up.
To be clear, I am not talking about any of the screws that hold the seat together and in place. Those are solid. It just happens that the load on the gunwales was applied via the seat, so the damage occurred near the seat. Also to be clear: This is a RapidFire rigged for kneeling, with a cane seat hung from the rails.
And finally the question: My inclination is to abandon the two existing screws, drill two or three new holes, put some epoxy in the holes to seal against water damage, and put in new stainless screws. I am happy to hear about variations or alternatives, and especially about whether there is something special about the placement of the original screws.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Deck Rigging Gear
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Why ask us?|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-01-13 3:39 PM (EST)
Joe Moore, the maker at PBW, would be the best to advise you.
Posted by: nycmhandy on Oct-01-13 4:09 PM (EST)
I am planning to ask Joe, but I wanted to get multiple opinions, for two reasons: First, I just like to have multiple opinions, for my own understanding and risk assessment. Second, since water damage started appearing around the screw holes and along the seam between the inwale and outwale within two weeks of my bringing the boat home from Lake Placid, I figure Joe might not be expert in sealing wood gunwales against water. Ever since, I have speculated that that is why they like those composite gunwales!
Or something may have gone wrong|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-01-13 4:16 PM (EST)
with the process.No one is error free and I think you owe it to the builder to contact them first before you air the laundry.
Your suggested fix may work, though |
Posted by: g2d on Oct-01-13 3:48 PM (EST)
I might be inclined to stuff wood dowel into the stripped holes, using quality epoxy like West. Then I would drill new holes right where the old ones were.
Planning for future gunwale work|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Oct-01-13 4:15 PM (EST)
Removing epoxied screws|
Posted by: kelvin1 on Oct-02-13 3:00 AM (EST)
I haven't done it but I'm told the best way to remove screws that have been epoxied is to heat a screwdriver with a blow torch then hold the screwdriver on the screw before unscrewing. The heat should melt the epoxy and allow the screw to be removed.
What I would do|
Posted by: pblanc on Oct-01-13 7:35 PM (EST)
If you are concerned about water damage of the gunwales at the holes in the inwales that secure the gunwales together (it may be more than you want to do).
Some Data for Consideration|
Posted by: CEWilson on Oct-01-13 7:39 PM (EST)
Posted by: nycmhandy on Oct-02-13 10:25 AM (EST)
Thank you all for the very helpful replies.
OK, take Two|
Posted by: CEWilson on Oct-02-13 11:22 AM (EST)
Posted by: pblanc on Oct-02-13 12:23 PM (EST)
Posted by: ppine on Oct-03-13 12:27 PM (EST)
Try injecting epoxy in a syringe in the voids. You can add some wood dust for color.