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2016-11-28

Getting to the nuts and bolts

Get the whole book here. Interesting head literature.
Own any boat worthy of the refitting, and you'll use a lot of fasteners. You'll develop odd, occasional relationship with rough, tobacco-tinged men in distant, suburban warehouses. men with whom you will discuss grades of stainless steel bolts and their hardness, the best way to isolate dissimilar metals and whether a sleeve washer or just a plain spacer is a good idea.
I do love a good chart. And I never mistake a pan head for a truss head anymore.
I discovered some time ago that, apart from picking up a couple of fasteners in a pinch, that marine chandleries were not very economical, and that I should venture farther afield. I have seen first-hand at sea that a wide assortment of stainless and galvanized steel fasteners, including a wide assortment of nuts, acorn and cap nuts, flat, toothed, fender and split-locking washers (and a few nylon and even rubber ones), a nice bag of Nyloks...it adds up. Or even the cheap yet still useful zinc-coated stuff you can get at any land-based hardware store; for quick 'n' dirty, they will suffice, although they will also rust in place unless sequestered from the air. I haven't even mentioned the pricey but beautiful silicon bronze screws (Robertson) or nails (in spiral or ring shank); silicon bronze fasteners are great in a salt-air environment, and the interior soles are held together with drywall screws and need replacing.

Fastener companies, no doubt in hopes of moving more stock, are frequently the source of decent (and free) technical guides and related resources. You just have to look.
Pretty and useful.
Another aspect of all this metallic variation that comes into play aboard any boat is the issue of galvanic corrosion and isolation, of which we must be ever-mindful ourselves as metal boat owners.  It's a big, meaty topic, on which I've written before, but the short form is that some sort of physical separation of different metals (the SS fastener from the aluminum pilothouse roof, for instance) is desirable, either in the form of non-conductive separation of the metals or by the application of Tef-gel, Duralac or some similar dielectric paste or coating to keep them apart, or insulated from each other. And it can get esoteric quickly, particularly where wood fastening on boats is involved.
The PDF for this chart is found here.
Of course, isolating dissimilar metals isn't necessarily sealing a hole in a boat. That's the next post's topic. In the meantime, I have some sorting to do. Who wants disordered nuts?



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