It can be really very difficult to locate any fasteners required for marine use at a local hardware or home centre. Hundreds of drawers having a dozen compartments, each with different size screws, bolts, or nuts, take up an entire corridor dedicated to nuts, bolts, and screws.
Knowing how fasteners can be identified and what kind of fasteners are suitable for specific applications will help you save time in your fastener aisle and get out on the water faster.
Fair Wind Fastener is a company that makes silicon bronze tap bolts and many other types of fasteners that are mostly used for marine purposes.
What a fastener is?
The very word fastener may mean any of the following:
- Hanger bolts
The principal function of any fastener is to hold two pieces together. Each sort of fastener has a distinct shape, which is available in a variety of sizes and is identified by its own name. Some names, such as flat head wood screws, hex head bolts, hex nuts, and flat washers, are self-explanatory.
Other items like for e.g., Escutcheon pins, carriage bolts, castle nuts, and cheese head screws come from a bygone era make little sense to most of us now. Sizing conventions are however a little easier to comprehend and more in line with modern times.
The majority of sizes have a numerical designation or are referred to by their physical dimensions (in inches or mm). Knowing what you are seeking by name can help you eliminate a lot of your fastener aisle and also streamline your search for what you need.
Different materials used for fasteners
When boaters congregate around the dock carts to debate the advantages of using any oval head sheet metal screws versus flat-headed wood screws, the topic nearly invariably shifts to which material is the best. Choosing between chrome-plated brass, stainless steel, or bronze is a difficult decision.
Stainless steel is widely regarded as the greatest all-around fastener material. It is not without reason. Stainless steel provides high corrosion resistance and also strength at a low cost, and there are various stainless steels to choose from.
Bronze and coated or plated steels have a place especially in the marine environment and should not be overlooked.
Bronze is a suitable choice to use below the waterline as it can maintain corrosion resistance even if oxygen is absent and is frequently the least ideal metal on a boat. This means, it will not react with the components it secures or with which it is in close proximity.
Coated graded steel usually has a higher tensile strength as compared to stainless steel, making it a superior option for shaft coupling bolts or any other engine parts. Aside from applications in engines, stainless steel is still the finest option for many jobs.
If the manufacturer has made any recommendations, look for them in any instructions that came with the gear or equipment that you are installing.