Last week I took my h-18 apart to do some repairs. I was inspecting the crossbar sockets. I was surprised that on all for corners, there seemed to be only two small areas of contact between each socket and crossbar.
I was thinking of putting some thickened epoxy in each socket, waxing up the crossbars (so it would release) and tightening up all the bolts.
It seems to me this would make the joint stiffer and stronger.
Has anyone here ever done this? Is it overkill? Worth the extra weight?
I did it with my 16. I used Marine Tex and latter found out from M. Miller that it was probably too soft. He suggested Bondo, as it is much harder. The reason I did it was because the boat is old and I could pick one bow up about 15" before the other one came up. I drilled out all the rivets in the corners of the tramp, glued them up and re-riveted them. Hobie has the stainless rivets and sleeves. I then relaced the tramp. Even with the wrong epoxy, I went from 15'' to about 5'' so it stiffened the boat up. IF you don't want to go through all that, just relacing the tramp will do wonders for boat stiffness. I used a come a long to pre load the tramp frame about 1 1/2 ''. As I laced it I used a tapered wooden dowel and shoved it in the gommet hole to prevent loosing the tension of the lace. Worked great.
One more thing, if you do decide to re-rivet the boat, make sure it's square when you rivet it back together. You can do this by measuring diagonally across the boat from one bridle attachment to the opposite stern. If the 2 measurements are equal, the boat is square.
Hope that helps