View Full Version : Can limber holes be added after boat is put together?

07-05-2015, 09:10 PM
I'm noticing a small but not catastrophic problem with the skiff I'm going to launch this week. With there being a 8 degree V and a 2x4 keelson the limber holes I placed midway out the frames are not letting the water get to the stern and so small amount are accumulating at the sides of the keelson and up against the frames. Can I possibly cut limber holes next to the keelson now or will I damage the bottom or keelson in the process? I was thinking of starting with a drill hole or something of the sort and then cutting a little shape out with a little hand saw?


07-05-2015, 09:18 PM
That'l work. Done it myself. I had a Makita right angle drill that let me get low enough to drill a fair size hole. I then shaped it a bit with a hacksaw blade.

wizbang 13
07-05-2015, 09:23 PM
You may be able to just knock off that bit of short grain next to the inner keel with a small chisel, then clean it up with a long skinny piece of sandpaper under there.
This wold prevent nicking up the outer ply skin, as a drill bit might do.

Paul Girouard
07-05-2015, 10:18 PM
How about a 3/8" brad point bit on a flexable drill shaft , bore two holes say 1/8" off the deck , two inches apart then cut the top out with a multi-tool with a 1/2" spacer beneath the multi-tool cutter. Once you get it cut out file the shape more round on top and clean up the side / bottom of the cuts.

07-06-2015, 06:31 AM
It can be done. Start on the aft side af the frame with a rather large bit (maybe 1"), drill half way through, carefully avoiding the bottom ply and keel, go to the foward face and drill the rest, again avoiding the important bits. Of course, if you are a contrarian like me, you could start on the foward face :). Then clean things up with a ossillating saw or dremel type tool.
That is, unless the builder put a fastener in the way!! Cheers.

07-06-2015, 07:22 AM
And after you cut the limbers, give the raw wood a lick of neat epoxy.

07-06-2015, 08:12 AM
I'd use an oscillating tool like the Sonicrafter with flush cutting bits. Just run it into the frames along the bottom ply for the bottom cut and maybe a coping saw for the other three cuts.

Dan McCosh
07-06-2015, 08:27 AM
There are oscillating (Fein) saws that do this trick.

Paul Girouard
07-06-2015, 08:47 AM
There are oscillating (Fein) saws that do this trick.

Ya, they're called Multi-tools , Fein is a brand of multi-tool , like Formica is a brand of plastic laminate , Coke is a brand of soft drink , etc. See post #4.

Vince Brennan
07-06-2015, 09:14 AM
How did they get the name "limber" holes? Insufficient material removed to render the wood more flexible (more "limber"), perhaps a leftover language corruption? Just nosy....

07-06-2015, 09:34 AM
Put down a small piece of sheet metal against the planking and have at it.

Monkey Butler
07-06-2015, 10:08 AM
Get a bellhanger bit at the local big box home improvement store. They come in various diameters with long flexible shanks. Lay the bit flat on the bottom, notch a block of wood that you will step on to press the shank midway against the bottom and chuck into your drill which you can hold at a low angle.

Something like this:


Joe Evens
07-11-2015, 01:36 PM
Simple. A plain, old, brace and whatever size bit you want. It is hard to beat a ratcheting brace for drilling something like that.

07-11-2015, 10:17 PM
I use one of these air die grinders with an aggressive carbide cutter like the one on the bottom here. It goes right through anything, fasteners, no problem. A piece of sheet metal against what ever you don't want to cut, and bingo - done.