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Old 11-02-2018, 09:39   #1
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How to attach fittings below deck

I have some basic questions on how to mount some fittings on the dividing walls below deck.

I would like to attach a couple of hooks and similar fittings on the walls below deck. For example, our boat has a large storage locker, which could become much better organized and more useful if it had a few fittings on its wall to hang lines, etc. Similarly, we could greatly benefit of a hook on the dividing wall between the stern cabin and the saloon.

What is the best way to attach fittings to the dividing walls? The walls are obviously rather thin. Is this something reasonable to do or we should not mess around with drilling dividing walls? Are there fasteners that work best for this application? Are there procedures one is supposed to do (like epoxying the fasteners in place) to increase the holding power of the fasteners?

We see that the manufacturer was very careful with using screws or fasteners on the walls. There are only two visible fittings that they are screwed (or they may just be attached with some type of shallow tacks, hard to say) on the walls. They seem to be using unusual screws or fasteners, but I have not been able to identify what it was used exactly.

Thank you!
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:27   #2
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

If you want to avoid drilling holes for lighter weight fittings,look into 3M VHB tape.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:01   #3
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

If your bulkheads (walls) are 3/8" or so, it's possible to put fittings up with a 3/8" screw, provided of course, you don't over-drill and aren't hanging anything heavy.

Beyond that, through-bolting makes an awful lot of sense. Use a fender washer in addition to a lock washer on the backside. That should be sufficient for holding lines, etc..

Drill it, attach the hardware, put the washers and nut on, tighten, and you're done. There's no need for adhesives, nor are they typically used for this sort of application.

If you're through-bolting hardware to an interior bulkhead, and the nut will show from the backside, you can make it much more attractive by using an acorn nut. You'll need to determine fairly precisely how long the bolt needs to be, but that's easy. I just got done mounting a television bracket on the wall of my travel trailer and used 1/4" diameter bolts with acorn nuts. Looks great and is secure.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:01   #4
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

VHB tape can be "forever". Given 48 hours to set up, it becomes quite difficult to remove and could tear veneer away with it. (3M suggests a citrus solvent and a wire/floss to lift it.)

But if you have "3M Command" products in your country, look for those. They make an extensive range of hooks, clips, fasteners, that stick to a wall with an adhesive pad--but it is a removable pad. When or if you want to remove it, you pull at a tab on the end and the material stretches out until it all releases, leaving no trace on the wall. Each hook is also clearly rated with the number of pounds it can support.

Replacement adhesive pads are also sold, so the hooks can be moved and re-used.

A great way to 'screw' things to any kind of wall, without leaving any holes or damage to it.
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Old 11-02-2018, 19:08   #5
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

+1 Great for any type of artwork you want in the cabin also.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:19   #6
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

3m Command has worked well for me. Cheap and easy.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:31   #7
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Re: How to attach fittings below deck

For stuff in my lazarette and anchor locker I made blocks of various sizes (2" x 4" is common) out of marine grade 5/8" plywood. I coated them in epoxy and when cured I 5200'd them to the fiberglass. I then screwed fasteners into the wood. For the most part I used a ss eyebolt and light cordage attached to a ss S-hook on the end to keep dock lines, buckets, anchor lines, and other stuff hanging up and off of the bottom of the storage area. The S-hook with cordage in tow goes through the loop in coiled lines (or under the handle of a bucket) and back to the eyebolt. In some instances I used shock cord for a tighter fit.
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