Filling Screw Holes with Thickened Epoxy

Andy Miller of the Boatworks Today YouTube channel is back on board his Bertram Moppie today with some advice about how to best fill old screw holes that either need to disappear or might be better off re-drilled and reset. This tends to be a challenge that almost every boat owner will face when you replace or move a cleat or any deck hardware fastened to the boat. Every hole in a fiberglass boat is an opportunity for water to invade the core material, but filling open holes with a thickened epoxy resin before either making the holes disappear, or before drilling a new hole in the same spot, insures that any water only meets with epoxy – and that’s the end of the road for moisture. 

Andy’s “insurance policy” on these holes is small patches of 1708 fiberglass mat that he’ll soak in more 5:1 epoxy – this time unthickened – for added strength on the foredeck of his powerboat.  Andy’s simple, clear videos showing how he gets his projects done is a great resource for boat owners who need product and process advice. TotalBoat is proud to support Andy and his boatwork – today and every day! Enjoy the video!

23 responses to “Filling Screw Holes with Thickened Epoxy

  1. Less history of what material to use and why…just get on with what TO use and how to do it. We want a short and sweet recommendation.
    Other than that thanks for the video.

  2. Great video!
    When I don’t have a syringe, I use a wooden kitchen skewer to poke in the hole to make sure the epoxy fills the hole and bonds well to the side. It is a bit messier than the syringe, but does ensure that the epoxy gets to the bottom and that you don’t leave any air bubbles.

  3. Please get on with it! Who has the time for all the dialog? I had to bail before he got into the info I needed. Get to the procedure.

  4. I like all the extra details and dialogue you provide. Good for the newbies to hear and see the details. If I find a spot I already know I just click a little forward to get past it.

  5. Great job as always! I am making a 10’ duck skiff from 1/4” ply and glassing the whole thing in and out. Your videos and the advice from the Jamestown techs have given me all the guidance I needed. I never did any of this stuff before and the skiff is coming along great! Thanks!

  6. You can fill the larger holes without “halo” worry and without all the work of grinding and covering with fiberglass if you modify your approach a bit.
    Drill the hole a bit oversize to clean up the edges. Put tape over the inside (bottom) of the hole. Mix epoxy resin and use a small watercolor-type paintbrush to wet the sides of the hole with it. Add thickener (I also like silica) to the remaining resin but make it so thick it barely flows. Proceed to fill the hole with the thickened resin.
    This way, the unthickened resin provides a secure bond to the edges of the hole (i.e., no worries about “halos” down the road), and the thicker resin used to fill the main holes is structurally stronger and can be used safely for larger holes, even in critical hull areas.
    Using this approach, I don’t use glass cloth over the hole unless the hole is bigger than about 1/2″ That generally means 95% of the holes one encounters can be securely repaired with much less work.

  7. This is not a good presentation:

    –too long
    –to much extraneous material
    –to many other topics beside the title topic

    I have enjoyed most all of the TotalBoat videos, but this one need serious revision, shortening, and editing.

  8. One thing should be made clear is that it is OK to put epoxy over polyester but not the other way around. So I hope that the follow on video addresses this issue when covering the whole deck. Thanks for the video.

  9. So many negative comments from ungrateful viewers. Thank you Andy for the information. A great presentation. Ignore the ignoramuses!

  10. Andy – I subscribe to your channel and buy Total Boat products too. This video answered my questions with regards to the various holes all over my old boat. I like your presentation style. Keep up the great work!

  11. Thanks for the info. 12 mins is not too much time to learn how to do this right. I’m grateful for the help.

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