To Rich Hempel, wherever you are: miss you on the TOG forum! Thanks to an old post of yours, I just pulled my bobstay bolts and found some very serious corrosion. Now the wrinkle: the yard did not follow your directions and they simply unscrewed the slotted carriage bolts. The shaft hear the head is very corroded, but the threads that were enclosed in the nuts look very good. I think I want the yard to follow your procedure to remove the nuts and use new ones with the new bolts. Do you agree? Anybody think I should just put new bolts into the old nuts?
Assuming you think I should replace the nuts: what did you do about the new hole in the chain locker? Did you leave the nuts exposed for future replacement/ease of examination? Did you fill the hole back in like it was? If you left the hole/nuts exposed, how did you keep the hole from turning into a mini-bilge with no drain outlet?
Thanks very much in advance!
The Bobstay is a VERY important component of the rig .... ie. if you lose the bobstay, you usually see the whole rig come down.
The OEM bolting, etc. is probably 'some' hardware store 18-8 alloy, not the more sea-water compatible 316 Stainless Steel.
I feel your really have to *visualize* the embedded nuts - for material condition, to be sure that the torque that you apply is 'bolt vs. nut threads' and NOT the bolt 'dead heading' against some 'unknown' when you are torquing. I dug out and replaced the nuts because I couldnt see their condition and couldnt truly validate the torque without such visualization; PLUS, I dont like using an unknown 18-8 series nut with a 316 stainless bolt. I want 316 to be in contact with 316; and, 316 is much better in sea water. The OEM bolts are probably just a common 18-8 SS, thats probably why the corrosion.
I chiseled out all the 'mush', etc. that covered the nuts and washers (really isnt a 'bad job' if you have looooooong arms and sharp chisels, etc.), inserted new bolts/nuts/washers. I Torqued them accurately, added an additional locknut with chemical thread locker and then re-covered them with epoxy mush and then covered with several layers of FRG cloth, etc. to make a totally watertight 'seal' - as was the OEM. With a full cruising load, the bobstay fitting is mostly under water most of the time anyway.
The Baba/Panda way is better because there is nothing that approaches the simple uncomplicated 'purity' of stress transmission from a 'clevis' .... but that means a major alteration working inside of a very narrow space, a totally new connector, etc. .... and why I simply 'renovated' what I had using better sea water compatible - **316 stainless**. .... I found it simpler just to imitate/upgrade the OEM Ty37 design. Why change what works, when all you have to do is change/upgrade to a better material - 316 SS ?