pop rivets in wood deck ok?

I have a finished Mill Creek 13 on which I want to install various deck fittings. Some of these places are inaccesible from inside the boat, so bold/nut fastners won't work. Can I use aluminum pop rivets to secure the fittings? Tips?

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RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

if there is any fitting that is anything but decorative you typically want to have it backed to ensure that the load is spread properly and that you don't get a pull out.

while i have not tried a pop rivet on wood, i am familiar with them and am not sure that you would get the result you would want or get the resistance from pull-out becuase i am assuming that if you didn't plan for the fitting, you probably didn't put a backing plate or some extra layers of glass in the area to properly reinforce it/spread the load.

i have a couple other approaches i would try, but if you wanted to play with it, i would practice on a scrap piece of deck and evaluate how it works out.

on the other approaches, one way to create a strong/backed fitting when you didn't plan it is described on page 50  of the following link:   http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Fiberglass-Boat-Repair-and-Maintenance.pdf

would be great to know more.  maybe there is a way to make your area accessable....is there no hatch or bulkhead (where maybe you could put a hatch in the bulkhead) that you could use as an access point.   could you reposition the fitting to align it with a sheer clamp?






RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

By inaccessable, do you mean completely enclosed, or just impossible to reach?  For any completely enclosed areas, I would suggest installing some kind of inspection port.  For those areas that have some kind of access but are impossible to reach, you my want to try a technique that Nick Schade included in the Petrel Play build manual. 

He uses non-pronged T-nuts, which are readily available at hardware stores.  After drilling the appropriately sized hole where you want the fitting, thread a long piece of mechanics wire through the hole and out to someplace where you can reach it.  Next, thread the T-nut onto the wire and put a couple of bends in the wire to keep the nut from coming off.  Next, put some epoxy on the flange of the nut and use the wire to pull the nut into the inaccessable area and then into the hole.  With the nut seated in the hole, bend the wire over on the outside to hold the nut tightly in place.  Once the epoxy cures, it will hold the T-nut in place.  You can then give the wire a strong pull from the outside and it will pull through the hole leaving the T-nut in place.  It is really easy but I would practice a time or two without epoxy first.  The only caution is to not tighten the bolts too tightly for fear of breaking them loose. 

RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?


I don't think I would want to use pop rivets or molly bolts on a boat.  Too many opportunities for failure.  The current issue of Small Craft Advisor has a really good article that addresses your problem with many different solutions.



RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

 I wouldn't use regular pop rivets unless I could get a backing plate such as a SS washer on the back. Awhile back I had some buggy straps attached to one of my surf skis. The builder used a special type of rivet such as in the link below.


RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

There aer two ways to look at this.

1. Pop rivits are light but suck in a marine environment.  Although there are many rivited aluminum canoes most of the leaks come from the rivits..........most of this are driven rivits. Pop rivits leak on general principles untill they corrode up. Steel pop rivits no...  Aluminum is the most used. SS just too much cost and rare. Most pop rivits would need a washer on both ends or they'd pull through the wood.  Pop rivits in my recently aquired canoe hull are broken, pulled out and loose.


2. Using pop rivits on a wood boat is like wearing wing tips, black socks, plaid shorts, a stripped golf shirt and tie.    

RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

Pop rivets would present a built in leak since they have a hollow shaft to make them work.  I reciently use some screw in tee nuts from Rocker on a thin strata to attach something.  They re quire 1/4"x20 bolts. I used regular Tee nuts to attach the foot braces on a wood duck, they were captured within a couple of layer of ply.

RE: pop rivets in wood deck ok?

   Nix on the pop rivets; I'm convinced. Thanks for all the suggestions on alternatives. (I'll be shy from wearing black wing tips with plaid shorts.)

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