Deck Fittings - Upgrade to Bolts

FishingAgain

Ready to come-about
Thread starter #1
Hello all,

I recently completed a successful mast step mix (I'll post some pics of the process soon) on my 1972 Grew Sunfish. I am taking advantage of the new 6" (port) hole in the deck to replace the screws holding the original cleat and fairlead-pulley to the deck, with bolts/fender washers/locknuts.

I gather from what i've read that the fittings are bronze. Stainless fasteners are what I purchased but I want to get members' input on the likelihood of corrosion and how frequently I should replace them. Stainless and bronze appear to be close to each other on the galavnic metal list, where metals further from each other are more likely to corrode.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_series

But, I thought some experience might be helpful to lean on. I am sailing the boat in fresh water only.

Thanks
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#2
I gather from what I've read that the fittings are bronze. Stainless fasteners are what I purchased but I want to get members' input on the likelihood of corrosion and how frequently I should replace them. But I thought some experience might be helpful to lean on. I am sailing the boat in fresh water only.
Thanks
My three Sunfish halyard cleats are bronze, and I don't think you'll have any difficulty with galvanic corrosion using stainless hardware. :) I am wary about using nuts and bolts where Sunfish uses screws. Under those "unpossible" stresses that seem to happen off the water, it is better to strip the screws from a backing plate than to stress (or pull out) a section of fiberglass deck! :eek:

That said, I expect to soon replace my bow handle screws with bolts, as one screw has a weak grip, and the others loosen too readily. Some bow handles may be bronze, but modern replacement bow handles appear to be zinc: but I'm still not concerned with galvanic corrosion using stainless hardware in either application. :cool:
 

FishingAgain

Ready to come-about
Thread starter #3
Thanks, L&VW. I should have specified I plan to replace the old 1970's wood backing (which in mine were several thin sheets of wood) with a 1 inch block of cedar to act as a plate behind the washers and nuts. This should distribute the stress on the deck.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#4
Motivated by your repairs, I decided to try some interim fixes before the season ends. This time of year, the lake is lower, and the Sunfish has to be lifted about three feet in the air by the bow handle. :confused:

The one-year-old bow handle has Perko" stamped in its side, and appears to be made of chrome-plated zinc—or an alloy of zinc. (Zamak™). The part that I ground away as a test has turned dark :oops: when I thought it should be the white / gray color of corroded zinc. :confused: But if it were stainless, there wouldn't be any discoloration at all.

As for "interim", I had some leftover stainless steel tape which I folded and pushed into the worn holes with a narrow drill bit. The "lift" test hasn't happened yet because at the same time, I decided to repair the splashboard, which had been repaired by the former owner using plastic drywall mounts. :(

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FishingAgain

Ready to come-about
Thread starter #5
Good luck with the repairs! I've got one more sailing weekend left for the season coming up so i'll have to leave my list until the fall when I can work on 'away from the boat' planned jobs (e.g. buying new main sheet spar blocks - the old ones are in terrible shape and are holding back my new Harken block. Always something to do, which is half the fun!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#7
Speaking of the splashboard, last month I videoed my newly-broken splashboard where it partially broke free during this winter's damage. (75% of the connectors are still firmly attached).

From this 14-second video, is there any doubt the splashboard contributes to deck strength?

 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#10
Hello all, I recently completed a successful mast step mix (I'll post some pics of the process soon) on my 1972 Grew Sunfish. I am taking advantage of the new 6" (port) hole in the deck to replace the screws holding the original cleat and fairlead-pulley to the deck, with bolts/fender washers/locknuts. I gather from what i've read that the fittings are bronze. Stainless fasteners are what I purchased but I want to get members' input on the likelihood of corrosion and how frequently I should replace them. Stainless and bronze appear to be close to each other on the galavnic metal list, where metals further from each other are more likely to corrode. Galvanic series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia But, I thought some experience might be helpful to lean on. I am sailing the boat in fresh water only. Thanks
A 1972-year Sunfish is "on the cusp" of having the newly-required US serial number embossed on the upper right transom; however, on the 1972 Grew (Canada) Sunfish, your manufacturer's serial number may be elsewhere. 'Curious as to how many digits, as well...:confused:

My newest bow handle has the manufacturer's name Perko stamped into it (or reverse-stamped into the casting media). While Perko does make bronze deck items, grinding this Perko bow handle's base shows it is not bronze: no sparks indicate it us not stainless steel, either, but more likely zinc or some other alloy.

My Porpoise II had a chromed bronze bow handle, which was bolted on. I don't know how it would get replaced without serious fiberglass work. :(

 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#11
Hello all, I recently completed a successful mast step mix (I'll post some pics of the process soon) on my 1972 Grew Sunfish. I am taking advantage of the new 6" (port) hole in the deck to replace the screws holding the original cleat and fairlead-pulley to the deck, with bolts/fender washers/locknuts. I gather from what i've read that the fittings are bronze. Stainless fasteners are what I purchased but I want to get members' input on the likelihood of corrosion and how frequently I should replace them. Stainless and bronze appear to be close to each other on the galavnic metal list, where metals further from each other are more likely to corrode.

Galvanic series - Wikipedia

But, I thought some experience might be helpful to lean on. I am sailing the boat in fresh water only. Thanks
Galvanic erosion raised its ugly head after Hurricane Irma mixed up my hardware collection. The "grain" of the metal can be seen as the "backbone" of the bolt. A penny is included to show scale. Note the corrosion in a loose "galvanized" bolt of 5/16" diameter:




Note how the "grain" changes to a lattice where the bolt's head is formed:

 
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