How to Reset the Sunfish Bow Eye

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Bow eyes do come off. Usually water has leaked around the screws and the wood is rotten, the usual "replace the screws with bigger ones" only holds for a short time because the wood is rotted and soon rips out again as shown.

Drill out the rotted wood by holding the drill at an angle. You want to form an inverted cone shape hole beneath the fiberglass deck without increasing the size of the hole in the deck much. The rotten wood feels soft and brings out darker wood shavings as you can see on the left holes.
I used 100 grit sandpaper to clean off the fiberglass. Usually some old bedding compound or glue needs to be removed, and you want a clean and rough surface for the final step.
Look around your boat for any gel coat chips that you want to fill and sand them too! Mix up about twice as much as you think you'll need to fill the holes, I carve a handy stick down to stir with and cut a couple plastic squeegees from an empty oil bottle. Mix Marine-Tex 5 parts goop to 1 part hardener, I like it just a little runny so it will run down the holes.
With the plastic squeegee push down the holes. Keep scraping it off the deck and pushing it in the holes. Here you can see how it is sinking down the holes by itself after about a minute, so just keep filling up the holes. If you have some left over go fill in the gelcoat chips you sanded earlier! Don't leave it as shown, scrape off the excess as you'll be sanding off whatever you leave on the deck.

Page 2 of Resetting Bow Eye

At this point your done for day one, see how to finish on Page 2 after it has cured well. I waited two days because I don't want to redo it again for a long time! I had a hard time finding a place to buy Marine-Tex and 3M 5200, if your local sailboat shop doesn't carry it you can order it below.

Boat Repair Articles Index

Made from epoxy resins and reinforced with high strength fillers, then further processed with a series of other plastic materials. Bonds to metal, plastics, hard and soft wood, plywood, etc. Hardens to tensile strength of 10,000 lbs. per sq. inch. Non-magnetic, non-rusting, and non-corrosive. Kits contains catalyst and instructions. - Type: WHITE * Size: 2 oz * Color: White
It comes in larger sizes and also in gray.

3M 5200 Fast Dry
High-performance polyurethane adhesive/sealant becomes tack-free in 48 hours, completely cures in 5-7 days w/no shrinkage. Retains its strength above or below the waterline. Flexible; allows for structural movement. Stress caused by shock, vibration, swelling or shrinking is effectively absorbed. Excellent resistance to weathering and saltwater. Bonds and seals fiberglass deck to fiberglass hull, wood to fiberglass, portholes and deck fittings, motors on fiberglass transoms, under moldings, hull seams above and below waterline, center board trunk joints, between struts and planking, stern joints, deck housing, etc. Easy to apply with manual caulking gun. Remains workable up to 4 hours after application. Won't sag or flow in vertical or horizontal seams. - Type: TUBES * Color: White * Size: 3 oz
There are many other sizes and colors of 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive/Sealants and also other 3M fiberglass and boat care products.