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Old 11-04-2014, 14:41   #1
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installing mast track

when installing the fasteners that hold mast track onto an aluminum mast with stainless fasteners, is there a preferred thread compound to use? should it be a thread locker like medium strength locktite or some other type of magic product? In my case, I am installing harken CB track onto an aluminum mast with 160 5/16 - 18 flat head screws.......lots of drilling and tapping to do.

Thanks all
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Old 11-04-2014, 15:06   #2
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Re: installing mast track

You need to use something that will electrically isolate the dissimilar metals. Duralac, ( http://www.llewellyn-ryland.co.uk/downloads/duralac.pdf ) for instance.

I screwed my track to the mast, but in hindsight, I think I'd use monel rivets if I were doing it again.
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Old 19-04-2014, 18:32   #3
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Re: installing mast track

I agree ... I took the track off my old boom which had aluminum rivets ... completely corroded. I also removed stainless steel, or tried to remove them from the cleats on the mast. Ended up grinding them off flush. Monel rivets is the way to go. Put them in once. You don't have to worry about them, and if you ever do want to remove it you just drill it out. Also, rivets means a much smaller hole in the mast than a bolt.
Good thing to keep on the boat: various lengths of both 1/8 & 3/16 monel rivets ... and a good gun that the head can adjust to different angles.
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Old 19-04-2014, 19:35   #4
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Re: installing mast track

SS fasteners in aluminum cleats on a mast corrosion weld themselves to the aluminum cleat not the mast. As long as you us TefGel, LocTite, or some other insulator, drilled and tapped SS machine screws work just fine. Unless you have access to air and a pneumatic pop rivet gun, setting those rivets is way harder than drilling and tapping. Monel or SS pop rivets take 'Popeye' forearm and grip strength to 'POP' with a manual PR gun. If you are able to use a pneumatic PR gun, rivets are easier to use.

3/16" pop rivet take about the same size hole as #10 machine screw.


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Originally Posted by Chasing Summer View Post
I agree ... I took the track off my old boom which had aluminum rivets ... completely corroded. I also removed stainless steel, or tried to remove them from the cleats on the mast. Ended up grinding them off flush. Monel rivets is the way to go. Put them in once. You don't have to worry about them, and if you ever do want to remove it you st drill it out. Also, rivets means a much smaller hole in the mast than a bolt.
Good thing to keep on the boat: various lengths of both 1/8 & 3/16 monel rivets ... and a good gun that the head can adjust to different angles.
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Old 21-04-2014, 02:03   #5
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Re: installing mast track

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
SS fasteners in aluminum cleats on a mast corrosion weld themselves to the aluminum cleat not the mast. As long as you us TefGel, LocTite, or some other insulator, drilled and tapped SS machine screws work just fine. Unless you have access to air and a pneumatic pop rivet gun, setting those rivets is way harder than drilling and tapping. Monel or SS pop rivets take 'Popeye' forearm and grip strength to 'POP' with a manual PR gun. If you are able to use a pneumatic PR gun, rivets are easier to use.

3/16" pop rivet take about the same size hole as #10 machine screw.
What happens is that the aluminium in contact with the stainless steel turns to salt. (AlCl) And salt doesn't hold the screws in very well.

Even though I used Duralac, I still have had a couple of these screws fall out.

If a screw in a sailtrack comes loose at the wrong time, you may not be able to get your mainsail down.

Which Is why I suggested rivets. But you still need to use Duralac or Tefgel.
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Old 21-04-2014, 02:39   #6
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Re: installing mast track

If you use SS screws w/o TefGel you'll never get them back out w/o braking something.
Since the track is aluminum I'd go with 1/4" aluminum rivets. If the holes in the track are 5/16", you can make sleeves from aluminum tubing or order nylon bushings.

But being a mast track the holes shouldn't be over 1/4". Why 5/16-18 screws?

Harken does make a fastener kit too.>>> http://www.harken.com/productdetail....5805&taxid=519
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Old 21-04-2014, 04:49   #7
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Re: installing mast track

Lanocote (Boat Lubricant Lanocote) Not as sexy as TFE gels, but also useful for lubing turnbuckles. clevis pins, etc. Cheap, works well, lasts forever. Old school but, don't fix something that works.
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Old 21-04-2014, 09:34   #8
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Re: installing mast track

TefGel.
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