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Message board > Care & maintenance > Fixing screws for rope fender supports

Message 13 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Friday 15 March 2024

* And:

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Message 12 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Friday 15 March 2024

* Well I finally got round to refixing the wooden rail, turned out to be easier than expected, Simply drilled throughj the rail and the hull with a longish 6mm bit, having trimmed off the old screws with a Dremel, and used a length of 6mm A4 with a hex nut and biggish washer on each end to pull it back into place. Only a temporary fix really as I've found some rather soft areas of the rail (where all the water drips off the side deck in particular), and the rope itself is a bit iffy here and there, so it won't be too long before it will all have to be replaced. Interesting to see a new thread has been posted about replacing the wood with plastic. Certainly a possibility provided that the plastic is roofing/cladding grade to resist the UV.

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Message 11 of 13
Posted by member Colin on Tuesday 9 January 2024

Hi Guys and a Happy New Year to you and all Hardy boat owners and enthusiasts!

I may be very wrong, but I have an idea that Hardy originally used rot proof cord to support the forward and stern locations where the rope fender isn't supported by the wood lathe, something similar to this -


It's going to be my first choice should weather and circumstances ever allow me to replace and fit our Hardy Ms 18 fender rope, fairly cheap and easy to replace occasionally should the need arise too, even if the boat is on the water.
If for whatever reason it didn't work long term, I would be using the stainless type automotive ties!

Good luck with your fender replacements!


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Message 10 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Monday 8 January 2024

Sorry Nick, not looked at the forum lately, that's very helpful. I'll look into acquiring a tool. I can understand that the steel ones are going to be more difficult to pull into shape.

Best wishes


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Message 9 of 13
Posted by member Nick Askham on Monday 1 January 2024

Hi Peter - I'm glad that you have found some stainless steel cable ties and sincerely hope that they "do the job". One point I had forgotten to mention was that, despite the expected longevity of the ties, they can nevertheless be more awkward to tension, at least that was my experience. However, one can purchase a tensioning tool, they have them on eBay, which might be a good investment.

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Message 8 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Saturday 23 December 2023

That's very helpful- thanks. I've found some steel ones on Ebay so I think that's the way to go for me, once I've sorted the wood problem.. Can't be too long before the rope itself needs replacing so I may decide to bite the bullet and do it all as one job...

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Message 7 of 13
Posted by member Colin on Friday 22 December 2023

On our Hardy MS18, there are a series of holes drilled through the foredeck edge which I assume were to support the rope fender, the wooden support battens only extended so far along the sides. (these holes also appear along the upper edge of the transom) I am fairly certain that Hardy used some form of rot proof cord to tie the rope at the front up to the deck, certainly this kind of cord is available to purchase from various sources. The chord fixing could be twisted into the wind of the rope fender, so almost invisible in situ.

Yes I encountered the stainless steel cable ties which are used throughout the automotive industry, they are also available in fairly long length, typically 300mm so you could use these and cut off the excess, I even came across some 'saddle plates' that the cable ties passed through and could be secured up to the deck with a suitable stainless screw. I think I determined these could be used at the front where previously the rot proof cord was used, the marine grade P clips cold be used where previously the wood supports were used, thus doing away with the need to use wood.

Apologies to the purists, I will also use the Hardy Hemp which looks very similar to the natural stuff but will outlast it many times over as again it's rot proof.
The problem with the plastic cable ties is you will be lucky to get a couple of seasons out of them before they go brittle and snap - easy and cheap enough to replace though!


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Message 6 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Friday 22 December 2023

Well Nick, it's said you learn something new every day, and I must confess I have never seen, or heard of, a stainless cable tie. I'll certainly look out for some as that would, for sure, cure the problem....



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Message 5 of 13
Posted by member Nick Askham on Friday 22 December 2023

Hi Peter - I also have a Family Pilot with the standard rope fender, so have read your posting with interest. In your final paragraph you talk about holding up the fender to the gunwale using cable ties, I hadn't realised that it could be such a problem in that area. Anyway, to the point, I would think that if, indeed, you need to use cable ties then the stainless steel variety, widely available, would doubtless be a better option.
Regards, Nick.

ps Happy Christmas to one and all.

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Message 4 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Friday 22 December 2023

* Thanks both for your coments and advice. Very helpful. It confirms my first impression that the screws appear to be coming "out" rather than "in" when looking from below. The fact that the wood has sprung off the (apparently sound) threads would indicate some local failure in the wood, and therefore removing and replacing screws in the same positions won't be an option. I'm inclined towards through-bolting with stainless, as I don't really know what I'd be screwing into in the hull, is there a wooden "stiffener" running round the top that's glassed on each side?

One problem I can foresee irrespective of which approach is taken is actually keeping the springy support against the hull while I refix it. I imagine it will require quite a bit of pressure to do so. Thinking cap on!

On a separate (but related) problem, has anyone come up with a better alternative to cable ties for holding the forward end of the fender up to the gunwale? I replaced all mine last year and they've almost all failed due to UV degredation.



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Message 3 of 13
Posted by member Colin on Thursday 21 December 2023

Hi Peter,

As I understand it, the wooden fender supports were fixed through the hull with screws from the inside and on some boats (all?) the screw heads were then 'glassed over' on the inside to form a seal. To access ones in the cabin, the headlining/carpeting has to be removed to access the glassed over screws, so probably not an easy quick fix.

I read one owners solution was to remove any rotten/failed support woods from the outside of the hull exposing the protruding screws, the person then attached a drill to the exposed screw and spun the screw until the screw head drilled through the glassed over part back into the cabin. He then fitted new marine grade screws and reglassed over the heads and replaced the carpet lining etc.
I really cannot vouch for this as I have not tried it but it seems feasible.

If you only have a few loose screw fixings and the wood supports are in good condition, you probably don't want to remove them, so the possible only alternative would be to use stainless steel screws to fix through the hull from the outside?

Our Hardy Motor Sailor came to us with the wood supports and rope removed entirely and the 'captive' screws still fixed through the hull with the protruding threaded bits cut off and ground back, something I am going to have to address next season now as the weather has beaten us this year.

My aim is to try to grind the screws below the surface of the white Gel coat, then fill /gel the surface and grind/polish back as best I can, sounds easy but will not be! A quote we got from the local fibreglass expert was a little eye watering, so I am going to have to do this myself, all part of the 'learning curve' and I am up for it!

Will look for an alternative way of replacing the rope fender supports avoiding the wood type and using marine grade supports in place, just haven't figured out how I will do it yet but something on the lines of cable support 'P clips' may be the way forward?
A Hardy without a rope fender isn't an option for us so I will need to come up with something - on the 18 MS, the rope fender is in my opinion largely 'cosmetic' and hides the rather ugly/unfinished interface between the upper hull sides and deck.

Good luck with your problem, perhaps you could report back on your solution and how well it worked as this will, I am certain, be of interest to other Hardy boat owners with this problem!

Compliments of the season to all Hardy boat owners and members!


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Message 2 of 13
Posted by member Robert Sneddon on Wednesday 20 December 2023

Hi Peter
I have a Family Pilot 20 and the wooden rope supports are secured with the screws from the inside.

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Message 1 of 13
Posted by member Peter Clubbe on Tuesday 19 December 2023

Hi all, noticed that the bow end of the port side rope fender support is springing away from the hull. Superficial inspection with a torch reveals screws are pulling out, however, I can't tell without taking the rope off whether the fixing screws are screwed from the inside or the outside of the hull. It's all lined out inside so I don't want to start pulling this off unless it's necessary, likewise the rope... Anyone help out here??

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