Which Molly anchors should I use to reattach my bow handle and breakwater?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Swankmotee, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Swankmotee

    Swankmotee New Member

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    I removed both pieces from the hull to water proof them because there was all kind of leaking going on around the screw holes and found all the anchors for the breakwater shot and the bow handle ones were pulling out. Does someone make the right size anchors for the corresponding holes? I was going to check with West Marine but thought that some of you ole Sunfish veterans might have a better fix for me. Any assistance and tips would be appreciated!
     
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: Bow Handle and Coaming (Splash Guard)

    I think it might be helpful to understand how these items were originally attached.

    The bow handle screws secure into a wood backing block, originally adhered to the underside of the deck.

    The coaming, in your case, apparently was the one using pop-through expanding nuts (not quite full Molly anchors). These are low stress anchors so no backing is installed.

    Molly anchors can work, but the variety that spreads wide enough to distribute the load sufficiently usually requires a large hole not easy to seal and keep sealed.

    The more typical repair...

    The bow handle ... if the backing block isn't rotted or hasn't fallen away, fill the holes with epoxy and once it's set, re-drill the holes so the screws grip like new. Should the backing no longer exist, installing a small acess port behind the handle allows a new block or metal backing plate to be installed.

    Coaming ... the pop-through expanding nuts did not prove to be a good system. Replacement is more often done using machine screws with Ny-lock nuts on the back side or with pop-rivets, utilizing backing washers. These attachment methods also requires access to the deck's underside. {all fasteners are Stainless Steel}

    There's a diagram you can refer to here (top of this page). . .


    Sunfish KB & FAQ
    • Repairs and Upgrades
      [*]Inspection Ports [PDF]​
    (the method used for ports is the same one used to secure the Coaming)

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  3. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Correction . . .

    Not ALL fasteners should be stainless steel, just the screws, nuts, and washers.​


    Nylock Nut
    [​IMG]



    Stainless Steel pop-rivets are not necessary, aluminum rivets work just fine.​

    Either open-ended or closed end rivets can be used, just remember to place
    a daub of sealer in the rivet cap hole when using open-end rivets.


    [​IMG] _____[​IMG]


    A backing washer is also recommended
    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


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  4. Swankmotee

    Swankmotee New Member

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    Wayne,
    Many thanks for your very detailed reply and yes the backing block for the bow handle is long gone and I don't really want to cut the deck out to access it so I think I'll be doing something similar to what was there before since it was very solid but just needed some sealant filling due to leaking. The coaming concerns me since I know on the older boats like this one they used a threaded insert that fit the holes diameter right which is rather large. Also the coaming piece has some break away pieces around a few of the holes which I don't know how the rivets would do sitting into the existing hole now. Anyway, really appreciate your taking the time to show me the way and I'll be better equipped now!:)
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    My approach has been to tape the underside, fill the holes with polyester or epoxy, then remove the tape and drill new holes to match the new fastener size.


    I recommend you repair all the cracks and missing bits so it's solid once again. It won't matter whether you use rivets or screws to reattach, if the area around the attachment holes in either deck or coaming is cracked there's a potential weak point. For the coaming, it's strength so it isn't broken away easily (new ones are costly), for the deck it's to prevent cracks from spreading out further.

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  6. Swankmotee

    Swankmotee New Member

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    Wayne,
    Many thanks again and I was ruminatin' on filling those holes too! I think that will be the best way to go in making it structurally sound there again as well as helping with the leaks.
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    There's always the down and dirty... stick in an expansion nut and caulk the heck out of it, but that never seems to last.

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I like to sail more than chase elusive leaks..., otherwise I'd simply say "go fer it " year after year (then go tell my financial manager to pick me up some shares in DOW and 3M) ;)

    ...best of luck with the fixes.

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  8. Swankmotee

    Swankmotee New Member

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    Yes siree Bob, I like to sail alot more than mess with all this junk but gotta do right for the kids and make sure she is ship shape. My Dad (who has had lots of experience with rehabbing these fishes) said just make sure to put a drain plug in the transom like our old 67' and never worry about how much water she takes on, just sail the thing!LOL! No, it didn't leak that bad, but once they get past a certain point in age it is always gonna take on some water if not condensate some just sitting there. She definitely filled up with a lot of water so I will be doing the dry out routine for now and getting ready to plug her back up. Really appreciate all your tips and wisdom on the subject!
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Hmmm..., siblings from different parents :rolleyes:

    Something about that generation.
    To my dad, life was boring if he wasn't coping with something inanimate.​


    [​IMG]


    . . . bailing just wasn't my idea of a primary nautical skill.

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