Yes, the provided links are helpful BUT... (without
doing a complete forum search- I'm tired right now
The Product Support document describes "very small"
breather holes at the periphery and a larger central hole. So what size holes have others used effectively? I might think that "very small" is 1/32" and someone else thinks 1/8" is...
You're way over thinking this. The center hole needs to be large enough to accommodate the nozzle on the Git-Rot bottle (which depends on where you cut it off) - or the syringe you use to inject the resin. So the size depends on the tool you plan to use. There's no mystery there.
The breather holes are just that - they're there to let air out, so they can be very
And why the mystery about how deep to drill? Do the layers vary much from working on an H16 vs. H14 vs. H17, etc.? Can't we be more specific, based on original design or at least accumulated experience?
There's no mystery here, either. There's lots of pictures of sawn-through hulls out on the Internet. (Google Image Search "Hobie hull section" - it's the fourth result.) You can easily see how thick the laminate is - and how the foam tapers towards the edge of the deck. So again, it depends - on where you're drilling.
How does one know they are drilling to the bottom glass layer without drilling through it?
Some common sense applies here. Since the consequences are considerable for drilling through the bottom layer - don't drill that far with a power tool. The top fiberglass layer is hard and very thin - about 3/32". Just pierce it with the drill, then stop. Using the drill bit only between your fingers, spin it through the soft foam until you feel it hit the bottom layer. No worries.
And when I inexplicably do drill through it- and have a new 'vent hole'- what then?
Mix a small batch of resin, thicken to peanut butter consistency with Cab-o-Sil or WEST 407 and dab it into the hole with a toothpick. Let it go off and start over - but don't drill a hole in the place you just patched. Alternatively, you could use something like Formula 27 or Bondo. It's essentially the same thing.
And then it says "plug all holes when area is filled"... OK, with what?
To get the absolute cleanest repair, use masking tape to protect the surface - drill the holes through the tape. When the injected resin start to ooze from the holes, put a piece of tape over the hole to keep it from oozing and force the resin to other holes. Once the resin has gone off, peel off all the tape.
You can leave the repair as-is, but you'll have "freckles" on the boat that will get darker when exposed to the sun. (Epoxy turns brown when exposed to UV light.)
To get the "invisible" repair, you need to slightly sand each hole to provide a spot to put some thickened gel coat (putty). You create a small, dish shaped depression about the size of a dime over each hole. Use a plastic spreader to fill the dishes, sand and polish. Not everyone wants to take the time to do this, and that's OK. It's a purely cosmetic step.
Does "gel coat putty" come in small tubes or do I have to buy a half-gallon for the 1/2 oz. needed to finish out these holes?
Again, Google is your friend - http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/us ... Repair+Kit
How do I get this putty to match the hull color?
That's an art. I've never had luck matching anything but white. Another argument for making the injection/breather holes as small as possible.
Seems like a lot of new repairers will have to be reinventing wheels with these slightly sparse directions... Maybe this whole common process could be improved by providing more details directly in the referred documents?
So, you're volunteering to document the process more thoroughly? Take lots of pictures. You might find your work published in the HOTLINE.
Seriously, it's great that Hobie Cat has provided the basics. Look at it this way - does GM provide detailed instructions on how to fix rusted out areas on their 30 year old cars?
There's tons of further information out on the Internet if you look for it. This repair method is not unique to Hobie Cats.