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Paddle Bit

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I'm installing the Atwood neat cleats this weekend, and wanted to know if anyone could tell me the size of the drill bit that should be used. (I could guestimate by comparing to the cleat post, but would prefer to hear from someone who has already done this)

Also, I know it is a big bit size, and if a "paddle bit" would work, or if I'll need to buy the bigger standard type drill bit.

Thanks for any recommendations you can provide. Biggrin.gif


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I don't think you want to use a paddle bit. I think it will chip the heck out of the gel coat, BICBW. I'd take a look for a hole saw if the size works because it will cut a cleaner hole.

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I've used a paddle bit to drill fiberglass with no problems. It cuts a nice hole and I figured it would be easier that digging out a fiberglass core out of a hole saw for multiple holes.

Anyway, make sure to chamfer the hole after drilling.

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Thanks. I'll try it and see how it goes.

Anyone know the size that would work best? It looks like between a 3/4" bit and a 1" bit.

Thanks again,


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A step drill works real nice.

And then use a die grinder or dremmel to chamfer the edges to help prevent cracks and fine tune the Dia.

Edited by bigD
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I just installed a Neat Cleat @ the bow of the boat. I used a 1" hole saw. The packaging said 7/8" so I tried it in plywood and it was too tight. I used 1" and it worked perfectly. Tape off the area with masking tape, lay out your holes carefully. drill a 1/4" pilot hole in the center of each hole then go backwards s-l-o-w-l-y with the holesaw until you are through the gel. (maybe as thick as a nickel...) then go foreward slowly at first. I used a piece of 180 grit sand paper to chamfor the edges of the gelcoat.

or take your chances with a paddle bit...

Actually I think it would work fine as long as it has the two points at the edges. (and it's sharp!) I would NOT go backwards with a paddle bit though.

A paddle bit without the two little points would cause a lot of cussing and heartache....

Hood luck!


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