Plywood boat building used to be quite laborious and required lots of effort when it came to fastening - holes needed to be individually pre-drilled. Luckily, things have changed! Today the challenge probably lies in the large number of available choices when it comes to which fastener to use. Not only do you have to choose between a large variety of shapes and styles, (from wing nuts to slating nails and cotter pins), but all of these categories also have numerous types of metal and sizes available. This can be confusing, to say the least. MarshFasteners gives guidelines on what may be the best fastener to use for boat-building.
- What Is the Best Fastener Material to Use?
- Stainless Steel
The general consensus is that stainless steel, an alloy of low carbon steel and chromium, is the best all-around fastener material for most trailerable boats. No surprise, as stainless steel offers strength as well as excellent corrosion resistance. Because the anti-corrosive properties are inherent to the metal, it will not lose this resistance if scratched during installation or use. It does, however, require an environment with oxygen to create and maintain its protective oxide coating. Screws embedded in boat decks, for example, are likely to corrode below the surface.
Stainless steel is available at a reasonable price, in a wide range of engineered grades, each with its own designation number and specific properties.
- Silicon Bronze
Silicon bronze, often referred to simply as bronze, is an alloy made mostly of copper and tin with a small amount of silicon. Bronze is an excellent choice for applications below the waterline because it maintains its corrosion resistance in the absence of oxygen and is often the least noble metal on a boat. It is preferred over stainless in wooden boat construction and re-fastening due to its superior corrosion resistance, and over brass due to its higher strength. Bronze is similar to copper in color and is also sometimes seen in fine woodworking where it is used for its appearance. The main drawback of bronze is its high cost.
Brass, an alloy of primarily copper and zinc, is highly corrosion resistant and electrically conductive. However, its use as a fastener is somewhat limited due to its relative softness, and it is, therefore, primarily used for its appearance.
Marine Grade Fasteners from MarshFasteners
MarshFasteners is the leading stainless steel fastener provider in Jupiter, Florida. With the vast number of new marine grade fasteners available, you need our expertise more than ever. To discuss your specific requirements contact us at Marsh Fasteners today.