Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 42 Times in 41 Posts
Rep Power: 17
New Dufour 34
Hull-deck joint bolts, on top of a solidly bonded layup, may be somewhat of a belt and suspenders approach. Many hulls are layed up in port & starboard sections which are bonded together along the stem/keel and stern without any mechanical fastenings at all along that join. No one seems to look askance at them! IMHO, however, that bolts would be better than screws if there are going to be mechanical fastenings. If a screw loosens, or strips the threads in its glass matrix, it has no holding power whatever. If the bolt loosens, it''s still holding things together until the nut actually falls off - not likely with the corrosion, paint, and crud that I''ve seen on many through-deck bolts on many boats, including mine.
The problem with having any mechanical fastenings is that they require holes which then admit water. The water gets in and starts to destroy the boat with delamination, osmosis, corrosion, rot, and everything else. This is why teak decks are now getting glued down by some yards , (epoxy is fantastic stuff) instead of screwed down: fewer holes to admit water. A hull/deck joint may not rip apart spectacularly in a gust of wind, but may cause sleepless nights from drips onto wet bunks and from repair bills, made in efforts to stop or head off more major, but less obvious problems. Using screws implies taking a shortcut that raises questions about what other sortcuts may have been taken. THAT is the problem, not the fact that the boat is rated Bureau Veritas Standard One and CE cat. A. If the quesions raised by using screws are answered to your satisfacttion, fine, you''ve found a good boat for yourself. I f the questions aren''t well-answered, that''s fine too - you''ve avoided a problem. Either way, happy sailing!