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Old 06-14-2007
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Replacing a cam cleat

OK, I'm a complete novice when it comes to replacing any of the hardware on the boat. One of my cam cleats for my jib has broken and doesn't spring anymore. I purchased a new one and removed the old one.

On the new part, the screw holes are about 1/8" closer together than the original... just enough so I can't screw it in the same holes. I assume the process is to fill the existing holes with fibreglass resin, then drill new holes for the new one.

Is it really this simple, or is there a bigger process I need to undertake?

Sorry for the stupid question, but I'd rather ask now than screw it up and ask later.
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It would help if you said what kind of boat you were on. The procedure may well vary a bit depending on the size of the boat. I am hoping that the cam cleat was through-bolted and not just screwed into the fiberglass.

Is the deck or part where the cam cleat was mounted cored? If so, then you''ll probably want to pot* the new holes, and fill the old ones with thickened epoxy.

On a small boat, it may be fine to just pot the holes and mount it... on a larger boat, where the loads on the jib sheets may be higher, it may be wiser to add a backing block. YMMV.

* Potting a fastener hole consists of drilling it oversized, filling the oversized hole with thickened epoxy, letting it cure, and then drilling the final hole for the actual fastener. I also recommend countersinking the top of the hole slightly, which will allow sealant to form an o-ring of a sort when you're bedding the hardware. The reason for potting is to protect the deck's core—usually end-grain balsa, marine plywood or foam—from water intrusion.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 06-14-2007 at 08:59 AM.
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24' san juan. It's currently just screwed into the fibreglass. Not sure if there is core behind it or not. I'll investigate and proceed accordingly. I'll definately add a backing block if necessary. Thanks for the response.
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I'll bet that camcleat was added (improperly) by a previous owner. Just screwing in something like this that has to carry load is a no-no. It has to be through bolted and properly backed up. I would check the other one as I'll bet it has this same problem and needs to be properly mounted also.
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Roger that. Was actually planning on replacing both anyway, just cause I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and can't stand one to be different from the other. Thanks for all the advice... much better to get it right the first time.

Good Sailing!
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You also might want to check the position of the cam cleats and see if there is a better position, since you're going to be filling the holes anyways... might as well make the new camcleats as convenient and efficient as you can.
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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.

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