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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-26-2011
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How Crucial are Washers?

So my AMF Paceship has these traveler lines on each side of the deck by the portholes. There are 10 bolts in the actual traveler its self bolting it thru the deck and two end caps on each piece for a total of 12 bolts. Each bolt had two washers on it.
So, I decide to take p the travelers, epoxy each hole, redrill and re bed each bolt. I did this because water was leaking into the boat through these bolts.
So everything is smooth until I get to the last three bolts. I have NO IDEA how ANYONE EVER reached these three damn bolts let alone got TWO washers AND a nut on them! It took me FOREVER just to get a nut on the last three, washers were an impossability.

So my question is how crucial is it for me to have not put the washers on the last three bolts? I imagine some heavy loads are experienced on the traveler and I worry that one day that end could just rip out of the deck? Is that an exxageration on my part?
Just so were clear, 9 of the 12 bolts have the two washers. Only the last three bolts are without the washers but they are still bedded down with 4200 butyl tape and a lock nut.
Am I worrying for nothing?
Here is a picture that shows one of the travelers on the deck.
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Old 08-26-2011
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DSCF0448.jpg picture by trisstanseth - Photobucket
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Old 08-26-2011
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Washers distribute the load therefore the nuts cannot loosen or the distance between the head of the nut and bolt head is not decreased due to smashed fiberglass. The larger the washer the better, find and use them.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Washers or backing plates should be used on high load deck hardware particularly with a cored deck.
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Old 08-26-2011
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To get washers on in those difficult places, smear a little silicone sealant on them. That will hold them in place long enough for you to get the nut started. It also might help stop the leaks, and should keep the nut from getting loose.
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Old 08-26-2011
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you can glue the washers together with 5 min epoxy then glue a piece of stiff wire to washers then use this to guide the washers into place on the bolt the put the nut on and break the wire off. Your good to go.

used to use this trick all the time except i was using a wire feed welder to tack the wire on with.

Good luck

Mitch
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Old 08-26-2011
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If you can get a nut on, you can get the washers on. This is where gearwrenches, (ratcheting box wrenches) come in handy. But, even without the wonder wrenches, you can do it. Tape the washers to the nut, then start them onto the bolt as a unit. If you can't reach by hand, then use a box end wrench. tape closed one side of the box end, so that the nut doesn't fall through, the wrap tape around the box end to create a "dam" to hold the washers on top of the nut, then turn, turn, turn.
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Old 08-26-2011
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I agree, you need washers - fender washers ideally and/or backing plates. The aft end of the track will experience loads higher than the middle section.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I agree, you need washers - fender washers ideally and/or backing plates. The aft end of the track will experience loads higher than the middle section.
I concur with fender washers - they are adequate for situations far beyond what most people think. Two caveats though:

First, you MUST analyze the load vectors on the hardware in question - line stoppers for instance have their loading almost entirely in shear so washers are plenty good but a traveler (or Genoa track in this case) has a LOT of tensile loading on it so backing plates are more appropriate for heavily loaded tracks & travelers. Having said that, a small Paceship like yours should be fine with fender washers - I've used them completely successfully on more heavily loaded tracks & travelers.

Second, not all washers are created equal - I have seen S/S fender washers that were so thin they did little or nothing to spread the load - they just deformed into a shallow cone under load. Make sure the ones you purchase are of a decent thickness or, as in your case, double or triple them up.

A much nicer and cleaner (albeit more work intensive) solution for long runs of bolts like Genny tracks is to use a piece of aluminium channel of the appropriate size and length. Clamp the track and channel together and drill through one track mounting hole, then put a bolt and nut through and tighten. Move to the next hole and repeat. You don't have to put a fastener through every hole, just enough to maintain perfect alignment. Continue until the channel is fully drilled and you have a perfectly matched, full length (or more if you prefer) backing plate. Taper or round off the sides of the channel at each end so there is no sharp corners at the ends and bolt in place. The nuts sit up inside the "sides" of the channel to prevent gashed scalps. Acorn nuts really finish it off nicely, although Mitiempo prefers lock nuts. It looks really slick too - much nicer than a long row of exposed nuts & washers. They are quick & cheap to make as well.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 08-26-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Acorn nuts are fine but you still need lock washers and then the bolt length becomes critical. A little over length with nylocks or lock washers and nuts is no big deal.

And yes fender washers should be the thick ones.
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