IOM Deck Eyebolts

Before painting the deck it seems like the right time to install eye bolts. These will hold the backstay, shrouds, and jib pivot down to the deck. West Marine doesn’t sell eye bolts this small, and I haven’t had to order IOM-specific parts online yet, so I didn’t want to start now.

I ended up buying 2.4mmx19mm stainless steel cotter pins from West Marine. I stuck them in my vice and grooved up the shafts of each using my dremel. The groovy shaft will be submerged in an epoxy hole, which I hope will prevent them from slipping out under load.

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I used the 30-minute Zap Z-Poxy that I’ve been using for everything else. It dries a little rubbery, but I’m hoping that will be okay. Worse case they slip out, and I can use West Systems 206 or 205 if it comes to that. They have a bubble of epoxy around them on top, which crosses through the hole which should be good for strength and waterproofing.

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Here’s a view from below of the starboard and port shroud bolts. I was nervous drilling these holes from the top, hoping they’d go into the basswood reinforcement I’d put in place before joining the deck. The alignment was correct, and it worked! You can see some epoxy running out the bottom of the hole, which should be a good sign for strength.

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Here’s the jib attachment points on the foredeck, and the first time I’ve seen how badly the deck join looks! It looks strong to me, just messy. This picture was hard to get right since there’s no access point forward of the keel box. They look shiny from epoxy which is good. They also lined up with the reinforcements. I’m hoping these reinforcements will be enough. I think I’ll install a bulkhead here in future boats to stiffen it up.

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Here’s the backstay bolt. I believe this is illegal on an IOM since the fitting protrudes beyond the hull. The boat is illegal in other ways, so I’m knowingly letting this one slip. In the future I’ll put a sloped transom on, so the bolt will be inside the 1m limit.

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