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Tack nazi

New, to me, J35

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Got the survey, purchased insurance, joined yacht club (was already a social member), purchased mooring. Spent several weekends cleaning and sorting things out. Went for first sail last Sunday. Furler doesn't work (I knew that) tore mainsail above second batten and noticed cam cleats for main traveler were shot. Tried to remove cam cleats to replace springs, but bolts came out maybe 1/16th of an inch and keep turning. All four (two on each side).

Wife is a little upset as I suggested that buying boat would allow us to spend time together. I have been around boats most of my 58 years so I know about repairs, headaches and the proportionality between boat length and headache strength. I don't think pumping out old bilge water and head repair were on her "quality time" radar.

Any idea how to get the cam cleat screws out? My guess is that they are bent and stripped. I think if I can keep outward tension as I rotate screwdriver they will come out. Not sure how to keep outward tension. I tried prying with a smaller screwdriver under head of screw but the head of the screw is small. I was able to crack one screw on the starboard side cam cleat but it refuses to continue to turn. I intend to use an impact driver unless one of you tell me otherwise. Cam cleats seem to be welded to fiberglass surface so getting something between fiberglass and back side of cam cleat will not work. I gave a generous bath of WD 40 before I left.

Thanks for letting me vent and thanks in advance for help with cam cleat screws. It's ok to say, "fuck off and go to fix it anarchy" but I'd like to keep this thread going.

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Sorry, I meant to post under J 35 Anarchist.

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Traveler cam cleats most likely through bolted to underside of cockpit seats/seatback.  Need to get a second person with a box end wrench to hold nut from underneath so you can continue to turn screw.  Or if enough room, he can take a socket wrench and rachet the nut of while you hold screw from turning with screwdriver from above.

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box end or small vice grips duct taped to the underside make it a one person job.  shouldnt be a headliner to remove, iirc.

 

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Thank you for the reply. I did not see anything on the inside but I will check again. I did a similar repair on an x yacht and the cam cleats were not thru bolted.

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Fein Multimaster.....

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Thanks for the Fein Multimaster. Never heard of it before. Looks as if I could do a lot of damage with such a tool. I'm assuming I would cut head off screw. try to separate base of cleat from fiberglass remove cam cleat and cut and drill out remainder of screw? Either that or cut hole in bottom of boat?

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It's a J-Boat from the 80s...I can almost guarantee it's thru-bolted - or at least was originally!  Pics would help.

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1 hour ago, Tack nazi said:

Thanks for the Fein Multimaster. Never heard of it before. Looks as if I could do a lot of damage with such a tool. I'm assuming I would cut head off screw. try to separate base of cleat from fiberglass remove cam cleat and cut and drill out remainder of screw? Either that or cut hole in bottom of boat?

Yep, either one.

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Hard to imagine the cam cleat for the traveler being only screwed into the thin fiberglass and holding up since the 80s.

 

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it will be through bolted, you just have to look harder and use the tape with spanner/vicegrip method. Second bit of advice, dont get your partner involved by promising "a pleasant boating life" let her know its in shakedown phase and the boat will need regular ongoing care. If she cant handle that you have two options. 

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I think the cam cleat was moved to allow the driver to sit further forward to trim main, drive and tack headsail. I know this boat had a wheel and now back to tiller. I agree that cleat should be thru bolted, I just did not see it when I was working on it Saturday. I will go back out this Saturday with larger screwdriver, box wrenches, sockets and maybe some TNT if nothing else works.

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Gutterblack: Thanks for the advise. As this is not our first boat and we have been married for 32 years she certainly has an idea of what to, or not to, expect. Thanks for the tape and vice grip advise. I'll also bring those Saturday.

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Mine is definitely thru bolted. No question. 1987 hull #256.

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Should be through bolted, depending on where they were moved to and who did it, could be they are held on with machine screws rather than bolts.  The glass is pretty thick there but it is mostly only solid glass layup along the cockpit seat and sides.  If you need to you can drill through, as long as it's stainless it will be soft.  Just keep the drill more or less lined up with the screw.  Once the heads are off it's pretty easy, just pull the cam cleat off then use vice grips to turn the stub. I look for sales on cam cleats.  My /35 has many and they wear out, but it's about 10 minutes per cleat to replace a cleat if you have a helper. 

Yes, there are lots of fittings and bits of bungie and other soft fittings that need periodic replacement - and don't be afraid to replace cable with properly spliced Dyneema, where appropriate.  Suggest you start keeping an Excel spreadsheet and start a year-to-year maintenance schedule.  The maintenance is a bit of a PITA, but then you turn upwind on a breezy day or get the spinnaker up when it's blowing 30 and forget about all of that.  

Congrats, and which boat did you buy?
 

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Thank you all for the input. I don't know hull number, name of boat is "Steamboat" and has "US Coast Guard Academy" written beneath. Cam cleats were indeed thru bolted, but on starboard side they are so close to the top that a wrench cannot be placed on the nut. I have an impact wrench and will wedge a screwdriver or piece of metal between nut and glass until I can get it loose. I intend to install small aluminum backing plates unless you guys say it's not necessary. Port side came out just fine and I filled holes with epoxy.

Maintenance log is a great idea and costs will be viewed anytime I'm in a good mood and need to come down to earth. Again, thanks for the input and I'm sure I'll be asking another question in the near future.

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Thanks for the info. Is there anything else you can tell me about the boat? I know it's nearly 30 years, but any history would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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On 7/2/2018 at 7:55 PM, Raz'r said:

Fein Multimaster.....

heheheh

that might be a bit of overkill.

 

I can't imagine the cam cleats for the traveler NOT being thru bolted. too much load for screws.

are these cleats mounted to the deck, or the traveler car itself?

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9 minutes ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

heheheh

that might be a bit of overkill.

 

I can't imagine the cam cleats for the traveler NOT being thru bolted. too much load for screws.

are these cleats mounted to the deck, or the traveler car itself?

For a balsa core boat of that age, it’s the tool of choice. I’m in the process of replacing about 10 sq feet at the moment. 

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