Repair grommet screw holes in aluminum arch

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by ikaminnear, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. ikaminnear
    Joined: Feb 2010
    Posts: 1
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    Location: new jersey

    ikaminnear New Member

    New to the forum and back into boating after a 6 year lull.

    I bought a boat that has had 3 owners and it looks like each one of them had a "new" idea for canvasses. Hence, I have grommet snaps in fiberglass, aluminum arch and windshield frames.
    I really want to do it right and could use assistance in covering holes and repainting well as refiberglassing and matching gelcoat.

    Where do I start?

    Ikaminnear in NJ
  2. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 301
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    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum

    I think the best way to repair the screw holes would be to weld them and then spot face the welds flush. With the arch removed take and have it media blasted then Stronium primer / epoxy primer / polyurethane paint...............but if it can't be removed and that seems like it is more money and work than it's worth. And If you fell like it is strictly cosmetics and the holes are small in diameter then I would look into several repair products.

    On the more expensive side Devcon makes an Aluminum repair putty that has aluminum as part of the filler material or probably better and cheaper a good epoxy repair putty used for repairs in fiberglass. I would take a christmas tree shaped de-burring tool or a counter sinking tool to each hole to remove loose paint and corrosion around each holes outer opening (Just bevel the mouth and sand or grind away any loose paint and crusty aluminum) to where you get shiny metal. Then wipe clean with Acetone and spot prime with Awlgrip 545 epoxy primer then fill the holes, sand and reprime. (please note there is a wealth of info on this site regarding aluminum prep, the procedure I suggested is on the lower end of labor and materials, their are more involved and better ways) BUT this will work......finally sand the whole arch and primer again, then paint with quality marine 2 part PU poly U paint.

    This is getting kind long, but you mentioned gelcoat, the arch is very, very likley not covered in gelcoat but rather paint.

    If you have Questions regarding the polishing of the boats gelcoat, shoot some question and some pictures
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    You can use a product like JB Weld, a gray metal-filled epoxy. Available in auto parts stores. Put couter sink bit to holes to expose more surface area and then fill and later sand flush. The stuff should last the life of the boat, I'd think. Under $10.00.

  4. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 301
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 81
    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    You know I don't know why the JB Weld didn't occur to me when I replied
    Like Alan said that would be your best bet
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