Screws into fiberglass - fix needed

One screw holding a handle to the deck of a fiberglass surf ski came out and stripped the “threads” in the fiberglass. I cleaned the hole and it looks there is no cracking around it - just the hole is now as wide as the screw so its threads can’t hold.

What’s a good way to re-attach the screw? Should I just go for a fatter screw to the new hole or should I try to build-up the area somehow to allow the original screw to hold?

The problem is that I have no access to the back of this area - only from outside.

On a separate note, do I even need this handle on the ski? Would it be useful for remounting? The seat area is comfortable to grip for carrying even without the handle so I’m tempted to just remove it…


Screw hole
I have taken some west epoxy and dipped the screw in it, then put the screw back in the hole. When it harden’s it will be secure. West makes fast cure epoxy which would work fine for this repair. VF

Dip the screw in floor wax first.
Allow the floor was to dry. Then dip it in the quick cure poxy. Then you can unscrew it.

I’ll keep the handles then
Thanks for the advice.

I see no wood inside the hull, just the hull thickness.

Floor wax… I do not have that handy.

The local hardware store sells 5000lb epoxy in small syringes that has worked well for me in the past (repairing a crack in a fiberglass/carbon paddle or patching a fiberglass hull hole on a kayak) and I’ll probably use that again. Only it is a little too thin I think. Might put some wood shavings or a solid wood dowel in the hole then after it hardens, drill a new hole, put some Tung oil and screw the screw into it.

rubber well nuts …

you will probably find them @ marine hardware dealers and hardware stores or places like Lowe’s , home depot, etc etc.

Kocho … WAY over thinking this …
Just go with a bigger screw …

Agree with the wellnuts
I used them to attach rigging behind the cockpit of my surfski…


well-nuts might not work
Sounds like the screw ripped out of a thickened section of the hull. Well-nuts require the hull to be relatively thin to work, so for this application, they might not hold. I’d go the epoxy route, but I do love having well-nuts handy as they can fix a lot of problems.

I did not know about these!
Seems just what I need. I knew they existed in aluminum but I thought they may damage the fiberglass. The section is thick compared to the rest of the boat but still not thicker than 1/8 of an inch I think so these should work.

I’ll check the hardware store.

Patric - the thicker screw was the first thing I thought of but then I would need a bigger washer too and the one installed in the handle seems nice - would hate it to go to waste :wink:

The well-nut I think will be stronger than a bigger screw, easier and cheaper than epoxy, so I’ll try this first if I can find them in the store. Otherwise, the epoxy will be it. The 30 minute (or was it even slower?) is what I’ve used in the past and it has worked well…

Assume you only need two
I’ve got a few left. You can have them. Email me if your interested.


Thanks! Let me check the store 1st (n/m)

No problem
This might encourage you to use wellnuts. I used them to attach saddles on my ski.


From THE source.

Site now has videos for several projects.


Wouldn’t want the drill operator working
on my projects : )

That said … Those techniques do not apply to superthin laminates. Kocho, still voting for the larger screw and be on with it.

You can squeeze a bunch inside, set the screw then invert and let gravity mushroom it over the hardware piece let it cure then drill for whatever fastener yo wish to use. … This is a good way you make a blind ‘nut’ inside … Just make sure its dry inside. You can ‘prep’ it with a couple sizes of bent nail spun around inside the hull.

That’s what I thought of doing before the info on the wall-nuts came-up. Good to know it works in case I still decide to do it. And … my hair is short so no fear of doing a take 2 of your entrapment stunt -:wink:

That thought occured to me as well! Spade bit into a hand-held block of wood…Well, they are chemists, not mechanics.