BUYING QUALITY FASTENERS
FOR MARINE APPLICATIONS, the fastener material of choice, excluding aluminum rivets, will nearly always be stainless steel. Bronze is equally good but only for fastening bronze hardware. Avoid entirely typical hardware store offerings of brass and plated steel.
Where do you get high-quality marine fasteners? Your local boat-supply store should carry a
good selection. Many hardware stores also stock stainless fasteners. However, not all stainless
steel is created equal. Try to get a look at the box the specific fasteners came in. Retail fasteners labeled “ 18-8” are nearly always type 304. You will be better off, particularly if your boating waters are salt, using the more corrosion-resistant type 316.
Finding and obtaining 316 fasteners has become infinitely easier with the Internet and fast
shipping. Check Jamestown Distributors ( www.JamestownDistributors.com), a notable source
of virtually every type of fastener that any boat owner (or builder) might need. Unfortunately,
you may have to buy 100 when you only need four, so also look for a local source, such as
West Marine, and check if they have quality type 304 and 316 screws and bolts. Each fastener
will cost more, but you’ll spend less overall if you don’t need the quantity.
and for sailors, winches, travelers, and headsail tracks. Hardware of lesser import or
subject to little stress can be fastened with
screws. This would include things like deck
fills, ventilators, rod holders, flagpole sockets,
and running lights.
Wood screws are for wood only, never
fiberglass. If you think an underlying wood
core alters this, you are doubly wrong. You
should never screw any type of fastener into
hardware to extruded aluminum spars (masts,
booms, spinnaker poles, and so on) because
sheet-metal screws are designed to be held in
place by a single thread and are not meant
to cut threads — they distort the walls of
the hole into a helix. Your choice here will
be between machine screws and blind rivets.
(or through) core material. In all cases, core
around the fastener must be removed and
replaced with epoxy putty sufficient to isolate
the core from the fastener hole. Sealants won’t
prevent water from reaching and ultimately
destroying core. So whether installing screws
into solid laminate or through a fiberglass
skin into a core plug of cured epoxy, use
stainless-steel sheet-metal screws. But sheet-metal screws should never be used to fasten
We’ve Got You Covered
FRESHWATER or SALTWATER
No matter where you boat and fish, The BoatU.S. ANGLER
Program protects the things that are important to you with a
policy designed with coverages custom-made for Anglers.
Agreed Value Coverage for
your Boat and Motor
Coverage for your Boating &
Fishing Equipment—Up to
$5,000 per Incident
On Water Towing and
Broad Cruising Limits within
Tournament Coverage Including
Entry Fee Reimbursement*
24/7 Claims Service from
The ANGLER policy includes:
*If covered claim prevents participation. All policies subject to limits and exclusions.
In the state of California, the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Program is provided through Boat
Owners Association Insurance Services, CA License 0H87086.
BoatU.S. Members are automatically enrolled in West Advantage Gold Rewards
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2013