Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

I am planning to install a solid vang on my boom this weekend. I already have the sleeve around the mast, which is carbon fiber, but need to rivet the other side into the boom. I thought I would use aluminum rivets, but West Marine says to use SS with lanocote and another call to Ballenger Spars says to use SS with duralac, silicone or sikaflex, because lanocote will drip, which I have heard can be a problem in hot conditions. What's everyone's opinion? I am planning to borrow a rivet gun that I think is sturdy enough to handle the job, and someone will be helping me in case I need more torque power. I will use heavy plastic between the boom and vang. And I sincerely hope to measure twice (at least), and only rivet once...

I've never done this before so am a little nervous , but excited to try something new. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

Aluminum rivets would likely shear. I would use 1/4" ss and you will need bigger gun or hydraulic to do the job. I rented on when I did my mast steps.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

I'd have thought you'd definitely want to go stainless rivets but I hadn't heard that about Lanocote dripping. I've used it on our previous boat (she was steel) and despite Australian weather didn't have any problems with it running.

You will need as JR said, more than a standard gun. We had one nearly three feet long, worked like a charm. Just don't make a mistake, they are , as you probably already know, an absolute bugger to drill out.

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post #4 of 20 Old 08-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

Thanks for both these comments. I will find out whether the guns we have available to us will work before I take everything apart. I've never had to drill out a rivet, but definitely want to avoid that. It would mess up my plans to sail on Sunday...
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

Hmm, I'm just seeing this post, too, with similar posts. It's concerning whether this is really going to work.
Installing rigid boom vang - rivets or bolts?
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Thanks for both these comments. I will find out whether the guns we have available to us will work before I take everything apart. I've never had to drill out a rivet, but definitely want to avoid that. It would mess up my plans to sail on Sunday...

If you've never done it aluminium is a doddle, not so SS. It is of course possible to strap extension something to a standard rivet gun to increase leverage but this may result in damage to the gun itself.

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

Why mess about renting rivet guns, or strapping things to other things, when you can buy this and have it in your tool kit, ready for next time :

Astro Pneumatic 1/4 HAND RIVETER - Tools - Mechanics & Auto Tools - Auto Body Repair Kits & Supplies

I have one myself. Works great. They sell them all over, got mine from Amazon.

Secondly, it's been three rough seasons in the slot since I started that thread, and the vang has stood up to anything thrown at it. I went with s/s rivets with lanocote.

If you really want overkill, McMasterCarr sell high-strength rivets rated at 2400lb each. That means I could theoretically suspend the boat by the vang, with 6 rivets. The nice thing about the McMasterCarr rivets is that the collet breaks off to leave the centre of the rivet plugged, hence no little hole for water to enter.

I should add that my vang is held on by ordinary s/s rivets from Svendsens, didn't find out about the high-strength ones until later.

So go ahead and rivet that vang!

PS, If you're near to Marina Village, or in it, you're welcome to check out my vang installation.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 08-30-2013 at 01:45 AM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

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PS, If you're near to Marina Village, or in it, you're welcome to check out my vang installation.
This made me laugh. It sounded like a good double entendre. I was in Alameda just this past weekend. It was my maiden voyage under the gate.

Thanks much for the great info!
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

Crikey, if you think that was a double entendre, you should check out my riveting technique.

Seriously, though, sailing is a veritable minefield in this respect.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Using SS versus AL rivets for vang install

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Crikey, if you think that was a double entendre, you should check out my riveting technique.

Seriously, though, sailing is a veritable minefield in this respect.
It definitely is a minefield and your comment just struck me as funny in that way. So, getting back to being serious, that rivet gun looks like a fantastic deal. I also love the McMaster-Carr's website - very easy to search for things. I found both "high strength blind rivets" and "solid rivets that may be slightly magnetic." I'm considering ordering the high strength blind rivets and just waiting another week to do this. I read somewhere that it's good to bring a magnet when shopping for stainless, but now I'm confused. Would a solid, magnetic rivet be better to use when attached to aluminum? It doesn't look like it comes in high strength. Let me know if I'm over-thinking this. I'm still worried about only riveting this once.

Last edited by gamayun; 08-30-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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