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Old 21 January 2014, 08:00   #1
ncp
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Bolt-on Tube Fitting - (Willard 7m)

I've been putting this off for a while (~2 years), but I finally got around to trying to finish up bolting on the tubes. Six bolts and two aluminum bars remain on the inside near the bow. I now realize why I gave up the the first time and just got the boat out on the water!

I cannot, for the life of me, get the tubes to lie flat up there without a huge wrinkle (both sides have this issue). I've stretched, pulled, and pushed to no avail and the PU fabric is thick and tough to wrestle. The wrinkle is worse than you see in the picture - it probably has 1+ inch of air space behind it.

As you can see in the first picture the rest of the skirt lies perfectly. In the second picture, you can see the giant wrinkle.

Option 1, just muscle it down with the big wrinkle in place. It's going to look horrible and I'd really like it smooth because I'm building a anchor locker that will fit in there with very close tolerances.

Option 2, I could cut the tube skirt. I feel bad doing this but I'm trying to convince myself that (a) the next owner would be ok with this and (b) these tubes aren't in that great of shape anyways - i.e., if I pulled them off the boat, they wouldn't sell for much! Would cutting as I've sketched fix it? I would cut 3-4" and leave enough skirt to bolt the forward 2 bolts (omitting 1).

Option 3, ????? You tell me. Is there one? I don't know if I'd go through the labor of pulling the tubes off, redrilling holes, etc. to line them up better. The outsides fit perfectly and the insides fit well except for the forward 6 bolts (out of 160+!).

Thanks!
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Old 21 January 2014, 11:03   #2
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Bolt down the front and back and work towards the middle? Kind of depends on how much play there is though; you may end up with a big unbolted section midships...

jky
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Old 21 January 2014, 11:39   #3
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I'm hopefully only weeks away from going through this torture so I don't have any hands on advice yet.

I wouldn't cut it. I think you'd lose some strength there. If you put it into a big wave that stresses the bow section you'd hate for it to split over something silly. New tubes are expensive as I'm sure you know.

Have you tries loosening the outside bolts? kind of looks like the tubes have rotated down the outside and that might be pulling. is everything else tight? Maybe loosen just the 80 bolts on that side and see if that helps.

Jason
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Old 21 January 2014, 18:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
Bolt down the front and back and work towards the middle? Kind of depends on how much play there is though; you may end up with a big unbolted section midships...
That would require redrilling 40+ holes on each side into the tube skirt - with, you're right, the possibility of excess fabric in the center.

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Originally Posted by Bigtalljv View Post
I wouldn't cut it. I think you'd lose some strength there. If you put it into a big wave that stresses the bow section you'd hate for it to split over something silly. New tubes are expensive as I'm sure you know.
True, a little less strength, but have been running that way for almost two years.
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Have you tries loosening the outside bolts? kind of looks like the tubes have rotated down the outside and that might be pulling. is everything else tight? Maybe loosen just the 80 bolts on that side and see if that helps.
These tubes came off a newer boat that had a different bolt pattern. So, every hole I had to drill out (new tubes from Wing come w/o holes, the installer always has to do it). On the outside, I put the rope just under the ridge and drilled each hole. They're right on w/o any play. The bolt holes are only 1/4" so loosening would do much. And, the outside skirt is much smaller than the inside skirt (~2" of fabric versus ~7"). So, even if I did redrill the holes, there is very little room for movement on the outside.

As for the inside, everything lines up (see picture again) except the front 4 bolts (holes 1-3 at the bow aren't attached and because of the huge wrinkle I still don't know if I could while hole 4 is pulled down slightly to get rid of the excess skirt fabric), I doubt Willard changed the sheer of the bow, so I'm a little befuddled as to why they don't quite fit.

Jason, I envy your position: the tubes you have came off your boat, you know that they fit, and the holes are already drilled for you!!!
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Old 21 January 2014, 19:20   #5
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Ah, didn't realize they were off a different boat.
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Old 22 January 2014, 11:42   #6
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That would require redrilling 40+ holes on each side into the tube skirt - with, you're right, the possibility of excess fabric in the center.
You missed what I was saying, I think: Undo the bolts on the rear sections of the tubes, and get the front part (where you're having the current problem) bolted in [that assumes it's not the outside fixing that is causing problems, which now that I think about it, it might be.) Then working the back section should help to spread the "mismatch" over a larger area of the flap.

But I may be completely off and that won't work. Depends on how much play the flap gives you in getting bolts in.

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Old 22 January 2014, 16:49   #7
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You missed what I was saying, I think: Undo the bolts on the rear sections of the tubes, and get the front part (where you're having the current problem) bolted in [that assumes it's not the outside fixing that is causing problems, which now that I think about it, it might be.) Then working the back section should help to spread the "mismatch" over a larger area of the flap.
If any part of the skirt is moved more than 1/4", new holes would have to be drilled all the way down the line. And, I don't know if I made this clear, I still need to drill 3 new holes in each side at the bow for the part that's wrinkled (different years of Willards had different bolt patterns - I had to drill all new holes to get it where I am now)

I'll take some more pictures this weekend of the outside (as I think that the outside is pretty much perfect). You guys can then be the judge!

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But I may be completely off and that won't work. Depends on how much play the flap gives you in getting bolts in.
That's the problem - there is no play, no stretch, etc.
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Old 22 January 2014, 18:19   #8
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I had a similar exerience and resolved it my making a horizontal cut a bit longer than the length of the wrinkle halfway up (rather than removing a section). Then, after positioning it properly for measurements and trimming for appearance, placed a reinforcement patch over the entire area from where it meets the tubes to underneath the aluminum flange and a couple inches or more longer than the cut, trimmed nicely. This would reinforce the area and give better abrasion protection for your planned anchor locker. I've noticed that these fabric sections can be very tight on some Willards and loose on others so the material need not be taut. I believe you said the fabric was PU (?)....I don't have any of that material but if it happens to be Hypalon I could send you enough material for the job.
bryan
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