SCREWED

Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR -

Q: Dear Boat Doc, a few of the snaps on my boat that se­cure the boat can­vas have pulled from their holes in the side of the cabin. How can I best re­place these snaps?

Amy Cavlin North East, Penn­syl­va­nia

A: Amy, the male snaps fas­ten to the boat us­ing ei­ther a wood screw or a ma­chine screw. The wood screw is typ­i­cally a No. 8 size (di­am­e­ter) and 3/8 inch in length. If they pulled clean with­out dam­ag­ing the fiber­glass, you can source snaps with longer screws, usu­ally 5/8 inch long. You may also be able to mod­ify a snap by re­mov­ing the screw and in­sert­ing one of a suit­able length.

Also, if you can get to the in­side/other side of where the pulled snaps are in­stalled, you can drill the holes out to a clean size, fill them with epoxy filler, and then drill and use the snaps with the ma­chine screw and a nut, which will in­crease the hold­ing power.

If you can­not get ac­cess to in­stall a nut on the back

side, drill the cur­rent snap holes out to three times their cur­rent di­am­e­ter. For a No. 8 screw, that means a 5/16-inch bit. Fill with epoxy. Af­ter cure, drill for the No. 8 snap-screw pi­lot hole with an 11/64 bit.

Do not glue dowel, matches or sim­i­lar ma­te­rial into the holes for the screw to bite. This tech­nique is not meant for long-term re­pair. The wood will soon turn soft, and the snaps will pull again.

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