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broken deck and RDF capture at the very stern of the boat

Phil Allen

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Recently I noticed a significant increase in the water in my rear hatch. Long story short I'd broken the deck at the bottom of the recess for the recessed deck fitting (RDF) at the stern most position on the boat. It was probably my fault as I'd replaced a lost screw with one with both a slightly longer shank and a different shape head. It was all my hardware store had and I was in a hurry before heading out for a week of kayak camping back in August.

Since the nut was broken out of the deck, I had to use a dremel tool to be able to remove the screw and nut. So now I've got the capture nut and screw and a hole in the deck that I can't reach by hand. What to do?

First approach was to use two-part epoxy putty (plumber's putty). I rubbed candle wax on the screw threads, ran the screw into the nut and pushed the putty around in the hole from the outside trying to seat everything in the appropriate places. It held the screw and nut in place, so I let it harden to see if this would be enough.

The next day I gently move the screw and it seems appropriately stuck in place (I could back it out, thanks Osprey folks for the candle wax suggestion). I then stick my head and a flashlight into the rear hatch and can see that most of the capture nut is exposed and not covered in putty. Damn. Pieces are in the right place, but not sufficiently well anchored. So how to anchor things?

First try was cover it with resin. Mixed up a bunch of polyester, filled a syringe with it, anchored the syringe on a 3/4" square piece of wood to get things back behind the skeg box and used another piece of wood to push on the syringe plunger. ~2 ounces of resin delivered. Result the next day; almost all the resin had run off the nut and cured along the deck farther aft. No good.

So how to better anchor the nut? Back to plumbers putty. Found a small plastic cap several times bigger than the nut and filled it to excess with more putty. Used a small piece of putty to anchor the cap to another long piece of wood. Manuevered the putty filled cap back behind the skeg box to the rear RDF. Then I used what leverage I could to forcefully embed the anchored nut into the putty and force the putty to spread out along the deck. Hopefully it made a tight connection. So far this seems to have worked, though I haven't really put it through it's paces.

I'm waiting for a pool session or a nice day to see how well this really worked. I'll bring a float bag in case it really didn't. Guess I'm posting this in case others have issues outside their reach and to see if others have any other ideas on how to fix it.



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Alternatively, Phil, what about simply forgetting that most-distal deckline anchor-point and cross your decklines from side to side at the anchors next-in-line, for'ard? Then fill-in the offending hole from deckside?

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