Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

I want to drill a hole for a toggle prior to putting the deck on my WD12

1 I have 1 3/4  inch epoxy fillet(?) in the bow about 2 inches down from the top ( as measured with out the deck in place).

2 I was planning on driling a 1/4 inch hole ( drill a 3/8 hole fill with epoxy then drill 1/4) to allow me to add a parachute cord loop. I will then use this loop as an attachment to loop to a toggle or as a tie down when transporting on the roof of a car. 

Is a hole 1 or 1 1/4 back from the bow tip enough room for structural security?

Will a thin parachute cord cause too much stress vs a thicker cord? (It would be minimally visible. ) 

The main concern is  how much boat do I need in front of any hole to not worry about tearing thru my bow assuming it is filled with epoxy/wood flour filler. Thank you

6 replies:

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RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

Hi Caito,

the location of the toggle hole is a bit of an art....so no issue if you are at least 1 inch back.  it's really about what looks good.

while it's not a wood duck, i post the above picture to give you a sense of things....and in this picture for this boat the edge of the hole is about 1 1/4 inch from the stern....and the bow is similarly placed.    i use blue tape to mark what i think will look good and let it sit for a day...and if i still like the look after a day.....then that's what i go with.

i would recommend, however, that you go larger with your hole.  my standard, fwiw is 3/4 inch for the hole, fill it and drill it out to 1/2 inch.   1/4 inch is actually pretty small and will quickly become challenging to work with in my experience.  i like these holes to be relatively loose relative to the cord i am using.  it allows me to put another line through without having to remove the toggle if i need to.   you can try an experiment on a piece of scrap wood ...1 inch thick or more ... and drill out 1/4 inch..and then put your cord through it to check out your assumption.  try it again with 1/2 inch and see how it feels....

the othe point i would make is if you drill it out to 3/8 and then try to put a 1/4 hole in the middle, then your ring around the larger hole to your smaller hole is only 1/16 of an inch thick....which is not much...and you need to drill pretty straight not to muck it up. so i shoot for 1/8 of an inch as my margin which implies a 1/4 inch difference between hole sizes.

hope that was helpful.


RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

   Perfect , just the information I was looking for. I did not want to reinvent the wheel and have it turn out square. thank you

RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

FWIW, here's what I did on my WD12:

The hole is 3/4" in diameter with its center 1" back measured along the top centerline and 1.5" back measured along the sides. The handle is 1/2"  nylon spliced back onto itself to double its diameter for a more comfortable handle.

Instead of a fillet or endpour, I have a wooden stempiece. The hole is large compared to the line, as Howard recommends. I did not do drill-fill-drill on the theory that the fat, soft, nylon line will not be putting enough stress onto the hole to wear away the wood. I did, however, saturate the hole with epoxy and let it fully cure before splicing the handle in place. It's still holding together even though it turns 14 next month. Note that my transport setup does not use a bow line and I usually pick up the boat by the coaming so that handle and hole almost never have any stress on them.

For 1/4" cord I would go with drill-fill-drill because the thin line would concentrate the wear on a much smaller surface.

Drilling straight through is important. Starting with small pilot hole helps, as does taking your time. A slow electric drill will let you stop before any wandering gets out of hand. I've been using hand drills long enough so that by now I can eyeball it, but for those who didn't learn boatbuilding from Noah, a reference line will help you get it straight. Put a piece of tape down the centerline of the deck and another piece perpendicular to it so that you have a T pattern on top of the deck. You can center the tape and draw the reference lines on it or offset the the tape and use its edges are the reference lines.

Have fun, you're getting close.


RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

   Quick question, what style drill bit have you found works best. I have found that large holes in thin and soft wood can be challenging to get nice and clean without either tearout or blowing out the back side. Thanks


RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

   Hi Tom, Great question. I use a small 1/8 regular wood bit to make a pilot hole then I use a spade bit for the finish. To avoid tear out, on the spade bit I come in half way from each side and meet in the middle following the pilot bit. Practice once on a piece of scrap wood and you will see its an easy way to make a clean hole. H

RE: Drilling bow hole for toggle WD12

1/16" twist bit for pilot hole, full size Forstener for main event. Stop when tip of Forstener comes out the far side and switch to drilling from there to avoid tear-out.

Or if the slope of the hull is too great, pilot all the way through and Forstener 1/2 way through from each side the way Howard recommends.

Minor misalignments can be easily fixed with a circular or semi-circular file, so absolute perfection isn't necessary.

And Howard is right about practicing first, too.


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