Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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If you are going to do this, drill the rivets out as suggested... but go down to sears and buy their Craftsman heavy duty pop rivet tool, which is about $25 or so. It is one of the few manual pop-rivet tools that can handle stainless steel pop rivets up to 3/16" in diameter.
If you're going to be drilling new holes for the new hardware, fill the old holes with thickened epoxy... and then sand it flush. If you're going to be using the old holes. Coat the rivets with tefGel, lanocote or some other galvanic isolation compound to help prevent corrosion between the stainless steel rivet and the aluminum mast.
However, if the hardware is stainless steel, you should also use a thin sheet of plastic as a galvanic isolation washer, like the plastic from a plastic milk carton, which is low-density polyethylene.
Finally, I don't recommend using aluminum rivets on a boat for several reasons. First, they are more likely to fail due to corrosion issues. Second, they are much, much weaker than stainless steel rivets of the same size. Third, they are also far more likely to fail due to deformation.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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