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Old 07-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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JDC JDC is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: 2004 Prostar 209 - MCX
Location: Indiana
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by Cloaked View Post
Search on the forum. Several threads on this topic.

I DID a search but to be honest, I was looking for the key answer in the thread titles and quit reading too soon. I did find this one done by rudaire after I started the thread and it has a lot of information in it.
Thanks for the help.

Originally Posted by FrankSchwab View Post
Gelcoat is very brittle when drilling, if you don't do it right the edges of the hole will chip while you're drilling, and start spider cracks that will propagate a long way over time.

I was very successful with a step drill, as Aric suggests. Use a small drill, run it in reverse until you get through the gelcoat, then forward through the fiberglass. Then use the step drill up to the diameter you need.
That's what I was afraid of. Thanks. I have a step drill but I always view it as a cheap alternative. You and Aric may have me seeing it in a different light.

Originally Posted by JRW160 View Post
There should be backing plates glassed in. Drill in reverse through the gelcoat. Make sure you chamfer the edges of the gelcoat to prevent spider cracks. Use some blue loctite on the nuts to keep them from coming loose.
Good point on the backing plates. I didn't think of that either. Since I was going to add these as mid-ship cleats for tie up, I should use a plate or maybe fender washers if the OD is not too big.

Originally Posted by 46Chief View Post
Where you getting the cleats from?
ebay. There was a post on here about the listing where the guy doesn't respond to offers (when he has "Make an Offer" available). Here is the link if I copied it right.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I guess a wood boring bit is also good to use as the thread in the link above shows one being used with good results... starting with the drill going backwards too.

As JRW160 suggested, chamfering the edges seems to be a very important step for long term success in preventing cracks.
Also, I fully agree with him on posting links to previous posts if someone is looking for a solution. It's sort of like teaching a man to fish, and feeding a man for a day at the same time.
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