Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Windlass bolt to deck

Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>


If you took this problem to a machinist they would try drilling out the bolt with a left hand drill (cuts turning counter clockwise).  If you lead a good and pure life it just might grab and unscrew the bolt halfway down. Not something your corner hardware store has, but easy to find online.

Some of this has already been said, but it can’t hurt to repeat…

Do soak the bolt with penetrating oil.  This is a case where it is very likely to help by softening the rust.  Overnight is not too long to let it soak.  Multiple applications over several days is best.

Before starting to drill, grind the face of the bolt off flush and smooth and be sure to use a center punch to give you a starting dimple for the drill.  Do not skip this step! It’s impossible to get a good start drilling in the center of a stainless bolt, especially with a hand drill, if you do not dimple it first.

Do not try and drill it out all in one go, start with a small bit to make a pilot hole. Go slow. Slow drill speed and gentle pressure.  Use new, or freshly sharpened bits. Cobalt bits are worth the extra cost.

When drilling stainless steel, use cutting oil.  It will help keep your bit sharp and cutting smoothly and help reduce the chance of breaking the bit.

Or, you can try a “Speed Out” bolt remover.  I have had good luck with those, but never had any luck with the more commonly found “Eazy-Out”.

Good Luck with this!  Anytime a bolt breaks off it is a real hassle.

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD
“Ships and men rot in port."

On Oct 17, 2016, at 10:06, 'Mike Ondra' mdondra@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

So I can agree that the cleanest final solution is likely to drill out the bolt and then drill through the fiberglass so that a bolt can be completely through with washer/nut on the end in the bow locker. Cobalt bit is a bit help in that. Keeping the bit inside the bolt being drilled sounds tricky and if it wanders out I may be in trouble with a partially done job. Maybe do a smaller “pilot” hole, maybe 1/8” through the center than move up to larger bits.


Since I still have about 1” of the sheared off bolt above the deck, I will soak it with penetrating oil for a while and then apply a pipe wrench to see if I can turn it out. Worst case it breaks at the deck line and on to the drill method. I think even if I miraculously get the bolt out, I would still drill through to allow a nut on the bottom of this bolt. Any ideas as to why this 1 of 4 bolts was done differently by Amel?



Aletes SM#240

Rock Hall, MD



From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...] 
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:34 PM
To: Amel Owners <amelyachtowners@...>
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Windlass bolt to deck



Hi mike. I drilled mine out and put a bolt through. I now have a nut top and bottom
I  lost a lot of sweat and blunted several drills in the process. If you can get a cobalt drill they cut stainless much better than the standard. I didn't have one, as always I was fixing a boat in an exotic location.
SM 299 ocean pearl
Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On Oct 17, 2016 4:33 AM, "'Mike Ondra' mdondra@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


[Attachment(s) from Mike Ondra included below]

As others may have experienced with removing the windlass from the deck, 3 of the 4 bolts were easily removed. The aft starboard bolt is threaded into the deck (no visible nut and probably into a glassed in steel plate). In fact in the bow locker there is rust stain coming through the fiberglass deck and also all along the hawse pipe. 


In attempting removal the bolt head sheared off leaving a stud about 1” above the deck as pictured above (assuming picture goes with email. I am afraid that continuing to attempt to remove the remaining bole will simply result in shearing off at the deck line. My question is what have others done in this situation?


I can envision finding a coupling that could be used but would require an enlargement of the bolt hole in the windlass base thereby weakening it. The stud could be cut off and the windlass moved slightly with new holes for all bolts. 




Mike Ondra

Aletes SM#240

Rock Hall, MD

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