Boat Maintenance

This innocuous-looking winch drum (above) was hiding small spider cracks in the gelcoat around the mounting bolts (right), the result of overloaded rigging.

How big does a backing plate need to be?

Practical Sailor recently tested the strength of solid laminate with relation to the bolt passing through it (see PS, June 2016 online). We also tested several materials used to make backing plates when attaching fittings, hardware, and structural components to the boat.

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More Boat Maintenance

Loading Up Backing Plates

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