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Mast Cleat Mishap

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I managed to botch what should have been a 10 minute job. I removed the v-cleat/jam cleat on the mast by drilling off the rivet heads and sanding flush. The horn cleat replacement was to go just below that. My pilot holes for the #10 stainless screws went from too small to slightly TOO BIG. It was late, I was tired, should have waited on this job. I filled the holes with JB weld and threw away the plastic horn cleat now sticky with 4200. (Pic shows different cleat but I went with plastic)
Question: Do I drill new (smaller) pilot holes through the filed-down rivet heads of the v-jam, or through the JB Weld (is it strong enough?) or start a bit lower on the mast, exposing the two scars above? Or use a bigger horn cleat and #12 screws in the now filled holes?
The holes weren’t so big that a molly could be added and I didn’t think Teflon tape would help as it would prevent the 4200 from sticking.
Plenty of other projects to work on while I await your wise replies. This particular boat (Scowfish, as LaLi named it) is almost ready for sea trials.
 

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tag

my2fish
I’d just mount it a little lower, or twist the mast a half or quarter turn or whatever is necessary and mount it there (depending on how the halyard goes through the mast cap).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
No matter what, I'd drill out the old rivets completely, so that their butts drop inside. They're essentially trash.
What I do to holes that turned out too big for screws: switch to rivets. For a horn cleat, you'll probably need some extra long ones though, so it's maybe easier to do it the tag way.

_
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
As some may remember, a strong downburst made me into a "Mast Bender" a few years ago; so I'm not in favor of making holes in the mast. :oops:

However, what I'd planned to do when this cleat application was made legal, was to use bolts. :eek: (But this suggestion to "spread the load" also works with screws and pop-rivets--pop-rivets may be best). :)

1) Find a piece of aluminum "stock" long enough to reach the holes from inside the mast. The aluminum stock can be flat or preferably, made slightly curved along its length. For later alignment, mark the stock at the base. Drill holes through the aluminum stock, using the cleat as a guide. Hopefully, no additional holes will be required in the mast. :(

2) Grind (or cut) the aluminum stock thin 2-inches below the two holes. (You will be twisting off the stock at that thin point). Align the aluminum stock with the holes in the mast, attach the cleat with screws (hand-tight for now) or rivets (tight) and twist off the aluminum stock from the base of the mast. Now, snug-up the screws.

3) If you wanted bolts, epoxy Nylock nuts onto the aluminum stock, and use machine screws to snug it up.
 

mixmkr

Well-Known Member
L&vw idea is a neat trick. I've used wood battens or similar with nuts...same idea..., slightly siliconed, so the silicon hold could be overcome when removing the stick and leaving the out of reach nut intact. A lock washer helps to snug the bolt also, with a quick twist. Plan on potential colorful language.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Good advice, all, thank you.
LaLi, I do have aluminum rivets used for the Sunfish trim. They are 1/8” diameter and 3/16” grip. Not sure if they are long enough? My other rivets are marked ‘medium’. I can check the hardware store for ‘long’ and compare with the length I have. I guess I was thinking rivets wouldn’t be as strong as screws but that v-jam has held tight for 50 years so maybe it is the best way to go.

L&VW, your plan sounds interesting but complicated. I do have some aluminum scrap from spars cut down for a Minifish but I don’t think I’ll attempt your method of reinforcement. I’m SURE there would be plenty of colorful language, as mixmkr says! Trying to keep it simple.

Today is all rain. Might as well go to work.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Looking on Amazon, rivets come in so many choices! I know I want aluminum (so no dissimilar metals, right?) Dont know best length or grip for riveting a 3” horn cleat to the mast (and another on the deck)
I have the #10 stainless screws and could go that route, too- especially if it means buying a pack of 100 rivets when I need 4.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Looking on Amazon, rivets come in so many choices! I know I want aluminum (so no dissimilar metals, right?) Dont know best length or grip for riveting a 3” horn cleat to the mast (and another on the deck)
I have the #10 stainless screws and could go that route, too- especially if it means buying a pack of 100 rivets when I need 4.
Yes, rivets have become complicated, like everything else in this world, lol. However, they come in handy for certain applications... I like my rivets to fit snugly and offer enough length to get the job done, if I'm dealing with that sort of scenario. You'll know it if they're too short, they won't work for $h!t, lol. And sometimes the rivet gun won't quite act the way ya want it to act, so ya gotta drill out the poorly-placed rivet and try again... but once you get a nice solid rivet in place, it works pretty well to hold stuff together. I'm not saying it will last forever---NOTHING lasts forever---but it will last for years when done right. I have faith in ya, BB!!! Oh, yeah, and those other rivets will undoubtedly be used later, which is why ya might wanna buy an assortment of different sizes, lol. Some may outlive YOU, that's just the way it is... no worries, somebody will inherit them, lol. CHEERS!!! :rolleyes:
 
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Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
All very good points, Cowboy, and I appreciate your faith in me! Yes, the world has become complicated. I’ll buy a multi pack of aluminum rivets and practice with the 1’ length of Sunfish mast end I just cut down for a Minifish rig (different project) before drilling more holes in the Scowfish mast.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
LaLi, I do have aluminum rivets used for the Sunfish trim. They are 1/8” diameter and 3/16” grip. Not sure if they are long enough?
Not even close. Those sound good only for attaching something very flat to a very thin base.
Measure the length of the mounting hole in the fitting, add the thickness of the spar wall + about 1.5 times the diameter of the rivet, and then you should be in the ballpark.
Materialwise, I wouldn't choose aluminium for a critical fitting. Stainless may be overkill (and harder work), though, so monel would be a good compromise.

Personally, I actually prefer screws over rivets whenever possible. L&VW's method sounds promising... I might try something like that for the next batch of Lightning spinnaker poles (should arrive any day) :rolleyes:

_
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Finally attached the horn cleat to the mast.
I went with the stainless #10 sheet metal screws and SixTen thickened epoxy. I love that stuff.
I find the 4200 to be nothing but a big mess.
Now I have a choice, and again look to your advice before drilling more holes. I have a bullseye fairlead and I have a pulley. Each are on the deck in pics in general area I think they would be mounted.
I have fiberglass backing plates, washers and locknuts and can install through the inspection ports.
Then deck horn cleat I have centered in front of the coaming/splashguard.
This is how the Sunfish next to it is set up (last pic, also blue deck) but I know my boat is a Scowfish. Is there a better or alternate way? Maybe omit the fairlead/pulley entirely and put the horn cleat at the starboard base of mast?
 

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tag

my2fish
I personally would not omit the bullseye fairlead, as it turns the line back to the horn cleat, so that the load on the horn cleat is parallel with the surface of the deck. but honestly, if you have the mast cleat in place, and in use, the load on the tail of the halyard is small, mostly just to keep the rig in the boat if you were to turtle.

final answer: I would put the bullseye where you've mocked it up - that will allow you to rig a vang over the gooseneck with the halyard tail. if you didn't install the fairlead, it'd be a mess trying to rig a vang with just a horn cleat.
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Yes, deck cleat is mainly to keep the rig with the boat.
So bullseye rather than pulley and deck horn cleat and bullseye as mocked up.
Good answer. Thank you, tag.
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
Yes, rivets have become complicated, like everything else in this world, lol. However, they come in handy for certain applications... I like my rivets to fit snugly and offer enough length to get the job done, if I'm dealing with that sort of scenario. You'll know it if they're too short, they won't work.
While rummaging through my "inventory" for an "S-hook", I found several #10 sheet metal screws--made of aluminum! :eek:

By themselves, I don't think they're strong enough, but they'd solve the dissimilar-metals problem when the cleat is bonded to the mast with a suitable adhesive.

Suggestions for an adhesive, anyone?

(Mast-prep needed).
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I used my personal favorite, Six10, on both the screws and the back of the cleat. Tightened gently, let it set a bit, then secured, making a nice bead around the base.
The cleats came from my inventory and I can’t remember what boat I took them from- possibly an old Potter? They are stamped ‘Made in Holland’
In any case, I used them because they matched and seemed the right size.
Funny, I also just rummaged for an S hook for my new Minifish spars. Couldn’t find one, ordered two from Intensity (I was also ordering that base cap that I whittled away at like everyone else), then promptly found two more. They’re good to have on hand.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
When do ya hold sea trials with the Scowfish? I like that boat, but then I'm partial to scows... I'm thinking that Scowfish will be a blast to sail!!! :rolleyes:

Well, time to do laundry, then run "downtown" to resupply for the weekend, maybe pick up some library books for free entertainment, lol. :)

I put "downtown" in quotation marks because this is 'Goat-Roping Central' here in Redneck Land, and the "downtown" area is only a few blocks long, lol. :confused:

The good news is that our main drag only has three stoplights, and those lights are spread out so you can keep rolling if ya time 'em right, aye? ;)

Zero to minimal traffic on the main drag, no smog, no road rage, no drive-by shootings... what's NOT to like? Lol... CHEERS!!! :cool:
 
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Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Bad news on the Scowfish. Very bad, I’m afraid.
The hull has developed major oil canning. The bottom of the boat is soft and seriously indented on both port and starboard sides. This seems to have happened overnight- I hadn’t noticed it until this morning. It definitely wasn’t like this a month ago when I had the boat off the dolly and repaired a large crack under the bow with fiberglass cloth and West System G-Flex epoxy. Now I’m thinking that crack should have been a tell-tale sign.
I immediately took the boat off the dolly. Uggh.
Before I bought the boat Scowfish had been sitting on this dolly (hand made for the boat by the previous owner) in a barn for the last 30 years. I’m sure that’s where the problem started.
Also, there are two large flotation blocks that are detached in the hull. They must have provided structural support, as well. I was going to reattach with the 2-part US Composites expanding foam I already have, but now I’m thinking of just cutting my losses on this project as the hull probably needs internal bracing and reinforcement to be sound. :(
I’ve attached a few pics, first on the dolly, then off.
Pretty sure this repair is more than I want to tackle, but would appreciate your thoughts.
 

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L&VW

Well-Known Member
I don't think the soft areas can be repaired without significant effort, and $200 of Great Stuff. :(

Damaged overnight? Was there a correlation of damage with the high temperatures this week--and does the hull have one of those small vent holes?

1) Advertise the hull as a "float". Lakefront renters with children will not be as critical as we are. They'd happily own it for their two weeks vacation--then park it, sell it, fix it, or junk it.

2) Advertise it as a "complete sailboat". Some lakes are so small, a sail attached to anything that floats would still be fun. Again, they'd park it, sell it, fix it, or junk it.

3) Part it out. :( You'd probably get your investment back--plus some.

Does the dolly fit a Sunfish?
How tall is the mast?
Sail size? Fits?

BTW: My annoying sailboat guru-buddy-engineer says in the above mast-cleat application, to use sheet metal screws that have a very coarse thread. Not intuitive, I know. :confused:
 

4cpus4me

Active Member
Wow, that's wild. Signal Charlie would already have that bad spot cut out of there and would be working on the backers to lay up the new glass. :D
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I don't think the soft areas can be repaired without significant effort, and $200 of Great Stuff. :(

Damaged overnight? Was there a correlation of damage with the high temperatures this week--and does the hull have one of those small vent holes?

1) Advertise the hull as a "float". Lakefront renters with children will not be as critical as we are. They'd happily own it for their two weeks vacation--then park it, sell it, fix it, or junk it.

2) Advertise it as a "complete sailboat". Some lakes are so small, a sail attached to anything that floats would still be fun. Again, they'd park it, sell it, fix it, or junk it.

3) Part it out. :( You'd probably get your investment back--plus some.

Does the dolly fit a Sunfish?
How tall is the mast?
Sail size? Fits?

BTW: My annoying sailboat guru-buddy-engineer says in the above mast-cleat application, to use sheet metal screws that have a very coarse thread. Not intuitive, I know. :confused:
Very hot this week, and this boat does NOT have a vent hole, though it does have 3 inspection ports. I don’t know if the heatwave has had anything to do with the warping of the hull.
The dolly is quite nice and will fit a Sunfish. I may keep it, though I’ve already got 2 Seitech dollies.
The mast is the same diameter as the Sunfish mast and maybe a foot longer. The sail is in nice condition, no holes or fading. Bigger than a Sunfish sail. Rudder and daggerboard have been refinished and are in excellent shape.
I guess it makes sense to part it out. I’m really disappointed. It had great potential.
I’m no Signal Charlie when it comes to boat reconstruction, that I know!
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
Sitting in the Moaning Chair (thanks, SC) trying to decide what to do with Scowfish. I was able to push out one of the dents by reaching in through the port. I’ll try reaching in to the other side with a stick/pool noodle idea. Either way, the boat is soft and will need ‘stringers’
Or…maybe it just needs the two blocks secured and foam expansion to be just right? What have I got to lose? I’ve got the expanding foam (though a couple years old and I haven’t checked it)
 
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