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TLBJCW
07-21-2009, 06:33 PM
Just bought some of the etched hide-a-cleats from the dealer for my 2006 Outback. I've read that there is a special technique one needs to do when drilling into the gel coat to prevent hairline cracks. What exactly needs to be done? I'll need to drill one-inch holes, got the hole saw.

Razzman
07-21-2009, 06:43 PM
When drilling 'glass you run the bit in reverse until breaking through the gelcoat, this prevents spider cracks and chipping. However, it has been my experience from drilling many holes in 'glass that a forstner bit does a much better and cleaner job than a hole saw when available in the size needed.

Waynes345
07-21-2009, 07:17 PM
When drilling 'glass you run the bit in reverse until breaking through the gelcoat, this prevents spider cracks and chipping. However, it has been my experience from drilling many holes in 'glass that a forstner bit does a much better and cleaner job than a hole saw when available in the size needed.

I put the same cleats in myself a couple years ago. Forstner bit would probably be good. I used a hole saw drilling in reverse through blue masking tape. Had nice clean holes and have had no spider cracks. Good luck as that first hole takes some guts.

TLBJCW
07-21-2009, 09:42 PM
I put the same cleats in myself a couple years ago. Forstner bit would probably be good. I used a hole saw drilling in reverse through blue masking tape. Had nice clean holes and have had no spider cracks. Good luck as that first hole takes some guts.

I'm not looking forward to the drilling, especially on such a pristine boat. I've drilled in fiberglass before, but not on anything I cared about. do you run the hole saw in reverse all the way through, or just through the gel?

Waynes345
07-21-2009, 10:43 PM
I ran it reverse the whole way. I believe others start in reverse and then go forward. The hole saw was enough to go through all the way in reverse.

Razzman
07-22-2009, 12:02 AM
Once you get through the gel there's no benefit to staying in reverse, not that it hurts anything. Just goes faster in forward.

TLBJCW
07-23-2009, 12:06 AM
Thank. Last question; I saw where the cleats were mounted from the factory. Is that the best place or has anyone discovered something better?

Razzman
07-23-2009, 12:47 AM
Mine work well right where they are.

Hootreville
07-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Just to be safe I would drill in reverse all the way through. When I put a tower on my old boat I drilled in reverse through gel and then switched to forward. If you are not exactly straight you can still catch an edge and crack the gel. That was the first hole. I then drilled the rest in reverse!!!!

kaneboats
07-23-2009, 02:40 PM
Just round out the hole in the gelcoat in reverse before you switch to forward. I just installed 4 pop-up cleats. Man, that was a lot of drilling. Make sure you have the right sockets b/c tightening from underneath can be a bish. I needed a deep well 10mm and didn't have one.