Bow rail - changing screws to throughbolts

backman

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Northern Bay 36
One of my passengers helped themselves to the foredeck yesterday via the bow rail and I heard that onimous crack of screws moving.

I had noticed last year its not as secure as my previous boat's through bolted one.

Is there an easy way to replace the screws with throughbolts on at least the aft ends of the rail or does the whole thing have to come off to do so?

Hoping there is enough "give" in the rail to get away with this approach.
 

F/V First Team

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For some of your more "exotic" angles where you just can't reach the surface of your substrate I would recommend one of these jewels:

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As to the overall ease of the project, it all depends on how the boat is constructed and what you have on the interior. I put wire chases up and therefore switching from screws (which I don't use) to bolts for rails and things of that nature would be a real pain. Just undo 2 of your screws and poke the drill bit through, hold in place with some bolts just pushed through, remove your final screw and drill that hole as well for all of your stanchions. Pop everything off, clean up any sealant from the original installation, apply new sealant and reassemble with your helpy-helper friend on the interior.

Remember: "righty tighty, lefty loosey"
 

captainlarry84

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KristenFormer Charter Captain
I would not be too quick to thru bolt your bow rail. For starters youre for deck is most likely cored. So bolting down those two round bow rail mounting pads, nice & tight could compress the coring.
In addition if your bow rail get hung up on something of a crew member over stress it, some give with a screw pulling out is a lot better that a bent railing
Bow rails are only designed to assist you from having a problem and not to take a lot of stress. It is only 1 tubing.
I would remove the damaged screws. If they are #12s you can go to a #14. Or just fill each damage hole with a hard filler, just as Marine Tex. Re-drill, re-seal & re mount.
 

tunaorlater

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5 easy steps
step 1- remove screws
step 2- use that fancy tool travis showed and drill holes
step 3- insert bolt with sealant
step 4 attach nut and washer
step 5 tighten
 

F/V First Team

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I totally forgot the most important part!

You need a fender washer on the interior to distribute the load better. Fender washers are 1.5" in diameter and are wonderful things. Sometimes I just go on auto pilot and forget that what's standard here in the shop is not standard everywhere else.

Fender washers and lock nuts on 1/4-20 stainless machine screws work wonders. Oval heads are alright, but I prefer the flat head look personally. If you can find one, either a bronze screw driver (#3 phillips) or a stainless one won't leave little bits of steel in the head that will rust at a later date and make a stain.
 
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