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Old 11-06-2024, 11:55   #1
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Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

Last night while tied up to a dock we received some heavy winds and this morning I noticed one of my cleats was hanging on by one bolt. The other one sheared off. Now im trying to find a replacement bolt and having issues removing the old one from the cleat as it is fused right in (stainless bolt in Aluminum cleat). Looks like the SS bolt is screwed/threaded into the Aluminum
cleat. I tried a impact screwdriver with no luck. Any ideas? any issues heating up the cleat and trying to remove from there?
I checked the bolt looks like a M10 X 90MM, thread is 1.5mm, Flat head machine screw large flat/slotted screwdriver. A couple pics attached.

Thank you in advance for any help.
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Old 11-06-2024, 12:35   #2
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

It takes very little heat to weaken aluminum alloy, so don't do that.


Anything you do will still give you a cleat that is weaker. The bolt is likely spalled and the aluminum somewhat deformed.


To try to save it at least temporarily I would centerpunch and drill it out from the back using a drill press if available or at least a vise and bright light, using low speeds, a sharp bit, and plenty of pressure. Start with a 1/16 bit and increase 1/64 at a time. Don't break off a bit or you'll be done for good and have to scrap the part.


Alternatively you can drive it out from the back with a heavy punch and a 2 pound hammer. In general that will pose the problem that the threads on the bolt will expand from the force of the blows and make it stick but in your case with the softer aluminum it will just act like a file and take some of the aluminum walls with it on its way out as long as enough force is used. You have to support the cleat well on something resilient like an anvil or block of steel, with a hole for the bolt, protected with a thin rag, and use a punch that is the right diameter and heavy enough to transfer the momentum.


If all that sounds like a pain that's because it is.
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Old 11-06-2024, 12:37   #3
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

I would say not much hope for it, it is likely welded in there by corrosion. The best option I know of if you are really committed to keeping that cleat is to soak it in a 50/50 mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid for a few days. You could get lucky. Heating it could help. But if it were me I'd probably be shopping for a new cleat. Good luck!

If you get a similar cleat be sure to apply an anti-seize compound to prevent the corrosion between aluminum and steel. My rigger has always said get something high in nickel.

That cleat was holding your 43 foot boat? I'd suggest something more stout, bigger bolts, more space for a bigger backing plate.
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Old 11-06-2024, 12:46   #4
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

Save yourself a lot of headache pain replace both cleat and bolts. If it really bothers you replace the matching cleat as well on the other side. A job done right is better than a job done 16 times and still not right... Your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-06-2024, 13:41   #5
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

That is not exactly a confidence inspiring installation of critical hardware.

I hope you have a robust backing plate, and those cute little washers are not the only thing spreading the load. At the very least you have now proven that an M10 bolt is totally inadequate for the loads imposed by a boat that size. Consider an upgrade.
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Old 13-06-2024, 11:15   #6
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

Thanks all, I will look into getting a couple new cleats. Problem is not easy in my location, I switchad that cleat with another which was not being used for now.
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Old 13-06-2024, 11:53   #7
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Re: Bolt removal on Cleat on a 2004 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

Don't waste time with penetrating oils. I agree with the right size drift and the 2 pound hammer technique. Otherwise put it in a drill press and drill it out.
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