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Project Log:  Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I had just enough time at the end of the day to consider re-approaching the caprail U-bolts that I'd not been able to release from the diabolical grasp of the corroded aluminum backing plates.

In the shop, I found a two-foot length of 3/4" threaded rod that looked like it'd be a decent tool to use to better apply force (i.e. banging with a hammer) from beneath, the goal being to push the bolts upward and break the grip of the corrosion:  a simple enough task made difficult by the tight access.

There were five U-bolts remaining, and the long threaded rod and 2-pound maul worked well to release three of them using this technique, allowing me to remove the U-bolts from above with minimal additional effort.

The remaining two--the forwardmost pair on the starboard side--resisted these efforts, and after more fruitless attempts at prying and levering, I gave up and cut off the U-bolts just above the caprail with an angle grinder and cutoff wheel.  Then, I hammered  (with amazing difficulty in two cases; the grip of the corrosion was impressive) the four remaining bolt studs through the caprail and into the boat beneath.

Later, I'd remove the final four U-bolts located well aft and outboard of the cockpit, but not until I'd cut access holes in the cockpit coamings once the new access ports arrived.

Total Time Today:  .75 hours

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