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Old 11-02-2009, 11:02   #1
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Rubbing strake removal - rusty nuts......

Been on my to do list since I bought the boat........completely non-structural and teak (40 years old and well shot) simply bolted though the fibreglass (non cored) topsides.....with nuts on the inside.

I was going to get the Boat yard to sort. But then I got their Estimate - not scarey, but enuf to make me think of putting some effort in and removing the rubbing strake myself and leaving the boat yard to do the more skilled stuff of fixing a new one.

Of course the nuts are well rusted onto the bolts after 40 years - zero chance of getting them all off with a spanner Boatyard was talking of cutting them flush and leaving 'em in with an epoxy coating and fixing the new rubbing strake with self tappers. But I am not overly keen on leaving the stub ends inside in place.......

So I was thinking to use a small angle grinder to remove the teak and the top of the bolt, leaving a stub on the outside of the hull.

What has got me stuck is that I can't figure out how to then remove the remaining part of the bolts (I am presuming that their will be at least some which won't knock through)....."drilling out" sounds good, but I have no idea what kit I would need for this - any ideas? and also not sure how flush I would need to cut the bolts back before drilling........not being an expert with an angle grinder makes me hesitant to cut flush with the hull least not first attempt

Am quite happy to spend a few quid on tools / kit if it makes my life easier - as I would be happier putting my money into stuff that sits under the workbench rather than waving it all good bye with the boat yard

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Old 11-02-2009, 13:29   #2
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Can you get at the bolts from the Inside?? If they were through bolted, would seem that they had to get at the nuts on the inside somehow. A grinder or Sawzall to lop them off on the inside would make it a lot easier to pry off from the outside.

Machine screwing the rub rail into FRP isn't the best. FRP doesn't hold fasteners all that well. Might want to back up the rail on the inside with a wood cleat that you screw into. Would hold the fasteners way better.

Peter O.

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Old 11-02-2009, 15:19   #3
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DOJ, I am sorry to have to tell you this but if you don't know how to get them out easily right now, then no tool or "bit of kit" will make it any easier. Sure the right tools will make it possible but the "easy" bit comes from practice and technique.

However the good news is that if you start and complete the job, you WILL know the easy way by the time you finish it. That knowledge will be very useful in the future!

I realize I have not answered your question. I would probably start with removing the nuts from the inside (are they really normal steel, not stainless) in any way I can, even grinding them off if necessary. Pull / push whatever bolts you can. Punch out the difficult ones. Try drilling out the really stubborn ones and if necessary, run a SMALL drill down the sides of the bolt shank to remove some of the fibreglass that is holding the shank in place. The fibreflass can always be repaired quite easily.

Good luck
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 11-02-2009, 16:26   #4
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rub rail

Wot wotname said. Those that won't go from the inside use an angle grinder on the outside and pound them in.

No way I would use self tappers on the new rub rail... the first gentle piling strike would probably take the new rub rail off. I'd use the same holes, and probably set the new thru bolts in thickened epoxy in the enlarged or elongated holes, with some kind of backer or very large washer on the inside on each bolt.

You'll have to go into attack mode for a little while to get the old one off.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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