Hull to Deck staples?? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-16-2008
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Hull to Deck staples??

Hello all,
I have a 1968 Sailstar Conquest 20, AKA Bristol Corinthian 20, that we are currently bringing back to life. The hull to deck joint is mechanically fastened with stainless steel staples. I've posted here in the past about removing the deck to recore from the bottom, and some have advised against that due to "hull flex". However, we will still have to remove the staples to reseal this joint, as some parts of it leak.

My question: what is the best way to mechanically refasten this joint? Should I attempt to drill holes to use SS bolts/nuts, or find some way to restaple this? I'm more inclined to move towards retrofitting with bolts/nuts, but I'm curious to your collective experiences or thoughts.

Thanks for any advice you can send to a novice restorer...

-Jack
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It's difficult to believe that the hull deck joint is "stapled".. some pictures and details on your boat's hull deck joint design would be helpful.

Some form of through-bolting, rather than "restapling" will be the ticket, but without more info it's hard to know where to start.
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Is the hull to deck flange an inboard flange, an outboard flange, or a shoebox design? You'll want to use 3M 5200 or wetted-out fiberglas mat to seal it, in addition to whatever mechanical means is used.

There are two books that I'd recommend on these type projects:
Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual
The Elements of Boat Strength for builders, designers, and owners by Dave Gerr.
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Last edited by sailaway21; 11-16-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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I've run into that style flange a few times, for most of them I used small screws and nuts to reseal it.
Need to use (or at least I did!) the shortest possible capscrews you can, just enough sticking through to get the nut on, because the rubrail is a very tight fit. Think the screws I used were #6 and I used a LOT of them, staples were spaced about 6" apart and I used a screw at each hole. Use locktite because there realy isn't enough room to use a lock washer.

If the screws are too long then the rubrail goes on ok, but looks 'lumpy'

If you're using an adhesive caulk, you could get by with one capscrew per staple.

What I did on another boat was to use stainless steel roofing staples that matched the size of the originals, just pushed them through the holes and crimped them over.

Worked and never had a complaint on any of them, and the 'stapled' boat is still owned by a friend of mine, so I'm sure I'd hear about it.


Ken.
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If you have good access to both sides, you'll probably want to through bolt the joint after sealing it with a good sealant and possibly, if you've got the access to the underside and really want to strengthen it, glassing over the join.

Ideally, you can use a flat aluminum plate that runs under the hull deck join as a backing plate on the interior. This works particularly well if the join is an inboard or shoebox type, not so good if it is an outward flange, since the aluminum will be exposed to the elements.
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Sorry - the joint is an outboard flange type (I should have included that). Here's some pictures to show what I'm talking about:

Here's a view of the port side with the rubrail removed. All pictures are of the port side bow.




Another view of the stapled joint:



Here's the joint from the view of looking up from the ground:



This is a section where we've attempted to begin removing some of the staples:



She looks a little rough, but she's a good project for us!

Thanks for any advice! I hope these pictures actually show up ok...

-Jack
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Great shots, Jack!

My suggestions:

You've got great access anyways.. I'd get a steady hand with a zip cutting wheel on a small grinder and take the staples off flush with the upper surface, then simply pull the bent bits out from below.

Use 5200 as suggested as a bond/sealant, and then through bolt it all around. The only issue after that will be how well your rubrail will fit around the hardware you used to bolt it together.

btw - I've never seen that technique used before.. learn something every day!!
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Glassing over the join might be worth doing, since the laminate looks like is has some damage to it... glassing over the joint would give it a lot more strength and pretty much eliminate any chance of leaks at the hull deck join.
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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
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Thanks for the advice, folks. I've invested in several of Don Casey's books, and have found them worth their weight in gold!

Sounds like replacing the staples with proper very short bolts/nuts may be the way we'll go. Should I try to address what appears to be stress fractures around the staple holes?

Also, I'm going to have to be a bit creative in replacing the rubrail. I may have to purchase a new rubrail, as the old one was in sad shape. It was held on by a plastic clip-apparatus that was also attached to the staples.

Do any of you have any experience removing an entire deck to recore? I'd like to recore some sections of the cabin sole, as they are quite soft in that area. I have no real usable access to the bilge to work from there (this is a small boat). If I have to recore from the top, I think it'll make more of an ugly mess than is necessary, but this may be the easier way in the long run. I posted about this a while back, and was warned by one sailor about "hull flex", but nothing was definitive.

Thanks again for the advice,
Jack

Last edited by ktaadnsail; 11-16-2008 at 09:17 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktaadnsail View Post
Thanks for the advice, folks. I've invested in several of Don Casey's books, and have found them worth their weight in gold!

Sounds like replacing the staples with proper very short bolts/nuts may be the way we'll go. Should I try to address what appears to be stress fractures around the staple holes?
This is why I was suggesting you glass over the join, rather than through-bolt.

Quote:
Also, I'm going to have to be a bit creative in replacing the rubrail. I may have to purchase a new rubrail, as the old one was in sad shape. It was held on by a plastic clip-apparatus that was also attached to the staples.

Do any of you have any experience removing an entire deck to recore? I'd like to recore some sections of the cabin sole, as they are quite soft in that area. I have no real usable access to the bilge to work from there (this is a small boat). If I have to recore from the top, I think it'll make more of an ugly mess than is necessary, but this may be the easier way in the long run. I posted about this a while back, and was warned by one sailor about "hull flex", but nothing was definitive.

Thanks again for the advice,
Jack
I know someone who removed the deck from a 25' boat to re-core the deck and cabintop... they made a "jig" while the boat was still assembled to hold the cabintop and deck in the proper "shape" once it was removed from the hull. This allowed them to re-core the deck from the underside, once it was flipped over... and they didn't have to re-do the cabin top or deck non-skid and such.

If the cabin sole is spongy, it would help to know what it was made of. In many boats, it isn't necessarily fiberglass, but wood, screwed to the floors or stringers in the hull. Are you sure it is a cored fiberglass sole??
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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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