Snapped screw repair advice on kayak hull

Well in an effort to replace the thigh straps and D rings on my otherwise perfectly nice Dagger SOT kayaks, I snapped a screw in half removing it from the first hull, now the broken half is protruding from the hull. If I go in through the gear hatch to get inside the hull, I am not quite able to reach the undersides of the 4 thigh strap mounting points to help in getting the screws out. I assume that if I drilled the screw out. I could reach that point underneath in order to install new hardware underneath with the help of some kind of pliers to aid in installation. I have 8 of these to take out. They have been around a coastal environment and seen a bit of salt air and bayou water.

Any advice on repairing the 1 broken screw?
Any advice on getting the other 7 screws out cleanly?
Am I able to also easily replace whatever the screw threads into on the inside of the hull?


It looks like you can get vise grips on it. Also, if it was on a car I’d suggest PB Blaster to get rid of the rust, but I have no idea what that does with salt water corrosion.

Using an EZ Out on something that small, in my experience, is just a bad idea. You’ll snap the EZ Out and now you’re really in trouble.

As above. Apply some Liquid Wrench or Kroil penetrating oil and let it sit overnight. Use a Vise Grip on the protruding part of the screw. If it doesn’t want to come easily you might try heating the end of the screw remnant with a soldering iron.

On the broken screw, can you see what’s on the inside? Is it just a lock nut that has adhered to the hull from all the rust or is it some sort of threaded insert molded into the hull? If it’s just a nut on the back side, can you just drive the broken bolt out by tapping with a hammer, have the broken bolt/nut fall into the hull and then just tip the kayak to get the broken piece to rattle within reach?

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Once you get the uncooperative screws out, you will need to replace some or all - and the inside might be quite hard to get at. In some cases using well nuts (stainless) might provide a solution. has these.

Agree with vice grips and WD-40 overnight on all of the bolts you want to remove. Clamp the bolt really tightly and gently rock back and forth. It may help to slightly flatten one side with a file. I wouldn’t trust PB Blaster on a plastic hull. Can’t really heat it enough to help either.

Hopefully it will come loose or if there is just a nut below it that will come loose and the bolt can be tapped through the hull. Drilling it out is always a possibility, but drilling out small fasteners is difficult enough without dealing with stainless steel.

If successful, do not use stainless fasteners from a regular hardware store. Go to a marine supply store like West Marine. Hardware stores use a lower grade stainless that is not as corrosion resistant, especially in a salt water environment. Use of a corrosion inhibitor like Never-Seeze on all new fasteners will help in the future.

PB Blaster and a pair of pliers is the best route. I would keep heat away from your boat. You should be able to back that screw out.

PB Blaster is designed for metal.It can soften or discolor plastics. It will dissolve Styrofoam as shown in some of their old ads. .

What could be helpful is to look inside the hull where similar bolts are located to see what’s underneath. A mirror might help. If that doesn’t help, call Dagger’s support line and ask them what the bolts are screwed into and if they have any suggestions. I’m sure that this isn’t the first time someone has broken one.

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Use WD-40 and Best Plier to remove the bolt, keet your boat away from the heating method because you never know how it will effect the boat.
You will get WD-40 easily at any hardware shop. But to get the best Plier, I highly recommend Albany County Fastener’s Long Nose Jaw Locking Plier.