Date: 30 July 2016. Bolt Sizing
(adjunct to the
cover Installed article which should be
Lots of the fellows know all this
stuff and more about bolts. They learned in their
daddy's shadow as he repaired items. For the neophyte this vignette
offers a little bit of knowledge to get you started.
The most popular bolt used in the
building of your boat is likely the 1/4 20. Pronounced quarter
twenties by the old timers, that indicates the size and thread count
of the bolt.
8 by 32's, 10 by 24's and 1/4 20's:
of quarter 20's: 1/4" in diameter and 20 threads to the inch.
order them at a store you'd say something like "I need stainless
steel quarter twenties. 2 inches long. Fifty please." You'd be
handed 50 of the bolts. Often with this popular size you'd find it
less expensive to order a box of 100. Check prices for certain.
you'll need nuts and washers. I prefer the larger fender washers for
Seaweed I have a large spice container filled with 1/4 20's in a
variety of lengths. I keep washers and nuts in the same container.
Although I would not go out and buy them (unless I got a true
bargain price) I would keep them in mind when yard sale shopping.
Steel. The way to tell
if something is a good stainless is to carry a magnet with you. If
the hardware sticks to the magnet pass it by. It will rust.
Picture repeated for your convenience.
8 by 32's:
A common bolt used on boats for electronics. Metric size 8 with
32 threads to the inch. Commonly called an 8 by 32. In the
photograph, the three bolts on the left.
10 by 24's:
A common smaller bolt used on boats. Metric size 10 with 24
threads to the inch. Commonly called an 10 by 24's. In the
photograph, the two in the center.
Don't worry if you don't have a neat and tidy solution to your nuts
and bolts initially. Also I would not buy bunches until needed. Then
whatever quantity you need, buy extras. Keep them sorted into empty
spice bottles. Label the top of the spice jar and you're all set the
next time you need one.
I did start out with a full compliment of hardware. Mine had been gathered
over literally decades. Many came from our boat.
Built in 1956, she's a beauty...
Daddy built her. She's a 40' sedan cruiser with a
Over sixty years one can expect to have a pretty sizable collection
of hardware. Because the bolts are stainless they are still good all
these many years later. Of course I've added to the collection. A
girl can't have too many stainless bolts, nuts and screws.
couple days ago one of my 3/8" bolts "saved" a boat. One of these
days soon I'll tell you about that. I took pictures.
meantime, keep your Stainless hardware. Anything that sticks to a
magnet can be thrown away. It's junk.
Do you have your bolts sorted or are they all in one
Can you guestimate how old your oldest hardware is?
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