Halyard cleat

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by minifish, May 9, 2009.

  1. johnkent

    johnkent Member

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    NightSailor,

    That is fine rivet work you have on your (march 2009) racing cleat to mast attachment. May I ask what rivet gun you use, and what provisions you use to keep water out of the mast. Thank you for the info, again.
     
  2. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    Rivet Gun I use:

    [​IMG]

    With head tilted for better access in confined areas:

    [​IMG]

    For filling the holes. I think I mentioned that I plan to put a dab of silicone on the rivets. Which I need to do soon as I want to get sailing with these this weekend. I've been using Aluminum 3/16 rivets with no problems.

    I'm somewhat uncomfortable with stainless, having years of experience with corrosion between stainless and aluminum--albeit in threaded applications--you absolutely need to use never seize on the threads. Stainless would be stronger and easy to drill and pop-rivet a replacement if corrosion started. So I'm not anti Stainless for rivets in this application--I simply have not had problems with 3/16" aluminum rivets.

    I 100% agree with Johnnywo on not drilling all the way through the mast--very bad idea. I'd like to hear why he thinks aluminum rivet are so bad. Were you using 1/8 rivets? Those would not hold.

    As for the mast, I have been thinking of following the suggestions I've read here, made by people with more experience than I with these boats--drilling a drain hole in the bottom. I don't see much point trying to keep water out, if it means that when it gets in, it stays in. I'd rather have a draining mast.
     
  3. johnkent

    johnkent Member

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    Thanks for the reply and info.
     
  4. smlake

    smlake New Member

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    I am new to this site. I have a Sunfish made between 1960-62, according to a former long time employee named Howard Picard. Mr. Picard also has a website for Sunfish parts. I spoke with him a couple of years ago as I needed a Bow Handle and was referred to him by Annapolis Performance Sailing. After a phone conversation, I emailed him several pictures and he stated he believed the boat was built in the above time period. The reason for this inquiry is that I need a halyard cleat. My boat's original cleat is mounted on the top deck of the boat and has 3 screws. It is cracked in 2 places and I am afraid to put the strain of the sail on this cleat. I cannot find this exact replacement. I have a replacement from APS but after seeing the posts, have decided the best place to mount it is on the mast. Also, my replacement cleat cannot utilize pop rivets since the holes go through the cleat and it is obviously meant to be mounted on the boat deck with screws. This replacement cleat only has holes for 2 screws and they will not align with the existing 3 screw holes on the deck. I am interested in the device used by Night Sailer with the picture included on this thread. Where can this device be purchased? I have owned this Sunfish for 17 years but have not used it in several years. I keep it stored in a cradle I adapted utilizing a hand crank up jet ski lift. I keep it at the top of my boathouse on Smith Mountain Lake in VA and it is completely out of the weather. I am going to use this little sailboat more since I just recently closed my real estate appraisal business and retired. I just need this halyard cleat replacement. I am very wary to try to mount the replacement one I have on the deck top. The mast mount using pop rivets seems to be the way to go. I would appreciate any information to solve this problem. Thanks, Terry
     
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    smlake/Terry:
    Nothing against rivets and such, but screws work just as well and don't require a special tool. Just a drill; see my earlier (5/13) post.

    Perhaps more importantly, you still need a deck cleat to keep the rig with the boat in case of a capsize. If you don't trust the old deck fitting, I would advise you to add a port so you can properly install the APS cleat you bought.
     
  6. rmwmmw

    rmwmmw New Member

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    I've done the mast cleat with bolts and nuts. I don't worry about the mast cleat screws that can corrode and pull out. A fairly easy job. Use a length of 2" PVC piping and cut a notch on one end just big enough to snug a nut into. I used nyloc nuts, but you can probably use any nut of sufficient size to grip against the curved inner surface of the mast. Drill the upper hole in the mast where you want to locate the cleat. Feed the PVC pipe inside the mast and align the nut with the hole. Repeat with the lower hole. As always, seal your work (I use 5200) when you tighten the bolt. As you tighten the bolt, the nut will seat on the curved surface on the mast. Repeat with the lower hole. I use a metal horn cleat and don't worry about replacing it. A little patience and some extra light and presto, you have a mast cleat that will NOT come out. :) I used this same trick to bolt cleats onto the boom. If you use rivets, they WILL eventually fail and Murphy's law says that this will occur at the worst possible moment. :(
     
  7. smlake

    smlake New Member

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    Thanks so much for the quick reply. What do you mean by adding a port? I really am ignorant about these little sailboats and sailing in general. Also, any idea as to where to get the device in the picture, whatever it is called. Do you have electrolysis problems using stainless steel screws with the aluminum mast? Could I use the two screw halyard cleat (purchased from Annapolis Performance) on the deck to keep the mast and boat together if case of (or when I) turn the boat over? Do you have any idea of the number of threads on the stainless steel screws? I assume they do not screw through both sides of the mast. Thanks again for the help. Terry
     
  8. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    I don't like cutting ports in the deck. I think it makes the boat look like crap.

    If you want a clam cleat and a couple of rivets, I have one of these up for auction on eBay at present. Do a search for Sunfish Clam Cleat and it should show up.

    I will agree that through bolting is stronger but it is a whole lot faster to rivet a cleat on, and you can easily drill it out and replace it if it starts to look weak or feel loose. So far one of these has lasted over seven years with moderate use. True you need a rivet gun, which will cost you a few bucks, but compared to the PITA of bolting one on, I think it is a no-brainer to rivet one on in less than five minutes. To replace a rivet takes 2 minutes. How long to bolt one on? A couple of hours fussing with removing the mast base, building a jig to hold the nut, sweating bullets trying to line it up, having to wait for a friend to screw it on while you hole the nut in place? PITA

    But if you want to bolt one on, go for it. It is stronger and you won't have to worry about it or inspect it often. One advantage to bolting is you can use a horn cleat on the mast instead of a clam cleat. I like horn cleats. Still my choice is the rivet technique with clam cleat--three boats rigged like this and I'm about to do the fourth the same way.

    But like wave dancer said, you still need a cleat on the deck to attach the rig to the boat. I'd try filling in the old hole with a dab of epoxy and then re-drilling the hole with a bit slightly smaller than the screws and then screw it back on. If that still feels weak you can move it over an inch one way or another and mount it there, without cutting a big hole in your deck. There must me some wood backing there, because one of my boats had one of these moved over. I just removed it and it was secured with wood screws.

    Good luck with your boat and post some pictures for us!

     
  9. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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    I like this idea better than trying to put a nut in there. But you should use "never-seize" or the stainless with eventually bond to the mast with corrosion and you will have to break it off. Given the angles of the loads, I think it would hold well and be more easily serviceable, however, there is the chance the cleat would rip out. Not a huge problem on a recreational boat.
     
  10. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    I agree with rivets, you can get aluminum rivets which will not react with the aluminum mast, you can't buy aluminum screws or bolts. Stainless hardware will promote wicked corrosion when in contact with aluminum, particularly in a salt water environment.
     
  11. davavd

    davavd OldNSlow

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    I know that is the theory and I understand why, but, aren't all the bigger boats with aluminum spars completely rigged with stainless tangs fastened with stainless screws or bolts? If there is a problem, they have a LOT more to lose than us little fishes. :confused:
     
  12. smlake

    smlake New Member

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    What great response to my question! I must educate myself about your terminology and will get back to you all. Thanks so much. When fixed, I will post pics. Terry
     
  13. Zeppo

    Zeppo Member

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    Tangs are used to attach shrouds to the mast and corrosion isn't a major concern here as the tangs are somewhat free to move in their slots. However all other mast and boom fittings are attached via stainless hardware and the corrosion that occurs virtually welds the two dissimilar metals together. Actually you can use a product called Never seize, it is a grey paste that will afford a fair bit of protection to stainless/ aluminum attachments.
     
  14. smlake

    smlake New Member

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    I use Never seize on every spark plug that goes into any engine. It is great stuff. I have ordered the parts today from Annapolis Performance. They strongly suggested using stainless steel rivets rather than the aluminum rivets, even with the electrolysis problem. I will keep you posted. Perhaps others are as ignorant of these sailing boat issues as I am.
     
  15. tag

    tag my2fish

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    nightsailor - what clam cleat model did you use? and/or where did/do you purchase them?

    thanks,
    tag
     
  16. NightSailor

    NightSailor Captain

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  17. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    I am not in favor of c(l)am cleats for the halyard; my recommendation is a simple horn cleat because a c(l)am cleat on the mast

    1. doesn't allow you to tie a Jens rig (ever)

    2. doesn't allow you to drastically change the diameter of your halyard

    3. is probably more expensive

    A horn cleat is likely to be more gently on the line.

     

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