How to Choose and Use the Right Fastener

Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Marsh Fasteners

If you need something attached to your boat, you are going to need to fasten it in some way. More often than not, the best way to secure something is by using a marine fastener. However, this may seem like a daunting task because of the sheer number and types of applications that fasteners have as well as all the other factors that need to be considered before selecting a fastener.


Marsh Fasteners has compiled this short article to assist you in your decision-making process.


  • Know Your Fasteners 

When choosing a marine fastener, it is important to know the types of fasteners that are available and how they are used.  There are three main groups, namely bolts, screws, and rivets:


  1. Bolts

Bolts are fastened on both sides of the hole with a nut, and as such need access to the nut.


  1. Screws


  1. Machine screws are identical to bolts and can thread into a tapped hole.
  2. Screws for sheet metal and wood are self-tapping but require a guide hole to fasten securely.



  1. Rivets

Rivets have no threads and slide into a pre-drilled hole. Pop rivets can be installed even if you only have access to one side of the hole.


  • When to Use Which Fastener
    For any load-bearing or important items that need securing, you need to be able to rely on the bolt. The most common weak point with marine fasteners is the contact point between the material the fastener is drilled into and the thread of the fastener. The best way to circumvent that issue is to use bolts or machine screws for your important load-bearing fastenings. Ensure the backside of the fitting is reinforced with a backing plate or at least large washers.


Self-Tapping screws must never penetrate all the way to the core material. Sealants don’t completely seal the hole and water will leak in and start rotting the core material.


  • Installation
    Self-Tapping screws require pilot holes. In addition, when you lubricate marine fasteners with an oil-based compound like wax or paraffin, it will ensure they slide into place with ease and are secure before sealant is applied.


Marsh Fasteners 

Marsh Fasteners has been supplying stainless steel fasteners for maritime use for over 2 decades. For some excellent products, pricing and service, contact us now!


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