I recently installed a tiller clutch
on my Freedom 21 and needed to add cleats
to each side of the cockpit
to be able to adjust the control line. One side has an open locker so no problem accessing behind the fiberglass
there, but the back of the other side of the cockpit
is pretty much completely impossible to reach. Of course, a standard pop rivet is only usable in metal (and maybe G10) because those materials are hard enough to withstand the pressure of the rivet in the hole.
I eventually found a solution that seems to work
perfectly for this and just wanted to share it in case anyone else encounters a similar challenge. The answer is these 'banana peel' rivets intended specifically for softer materials. Instead of expanding laterally to jam into the hole, they split open at the end and bend backwards to push against the back of the hole and spread the load over a wider area. They look like this:
So far it seems to be working great:
Now before you break out your pitchfork - I definitely don't claim these are anywhere near as strong as nuts and bolts with backing plates
. But for a light-load situation like a tiller clutch
(which automatically slips before a high load can be applied) they are a quick and easy solution that seems to work
great. I'd also consider them for other non-critical applications like winch
handle holder or a line coil hanging hook.
If you have any alternative solution that would also solve this problem, I'd definitely be interested in it.