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Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16
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Author:  heelcat [ Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16

Here's some info and a couple of questions on this process.

So my old track and traveler really didn't slide well despite cleaning and lube so I went ahead and ordered the new deep track and traveler. I had the "old" style traveler and track and it is mounted on top of the crossbar as opposed to being recessed like the newer boats. The swivel cam cleat was also in horrible shape and barely holding on to the rear crossbar. Somebody did a hatchet job attaching it last time and the rivets they used were very rusty and in some jerry rigged set up. The plastic base was actually broken so they drilled some new holes. As that was cheap I went ahead and got a new plastic base and the metal swivel mount.

At first I was going to have someone else do this but after reading up on rivets and rivet removal it really didn't seem that hard. I have a pretty good tool shop and have restored various things so I felt comfortable diving in.

I removed the rivets on the old track yesterday. Simply drilled out the head and then used a punch to knock out the bottom part of the rivet. A good whack from a heavy hammer and they popped out (well actually down into the crossbar). So I ordered part # 50-50252021 from Murrays. As far as I could tell this is the common part number for the Hobie track and they use it for most of the boats. For the H16 you have to cut it to length. Hacksaw works just fine.

Here's where I screwed up but I'm not sure how badly and I'm looking for advice. When I cut the track I was not thinking about rivet hole alignment. Doh! So now the holes aren't even close to being aligned. So I figured I could maybe just saw off 1-2" off the end of one side and have one side be short so at least the rivet holes line up. When I went to align the rivet holes on the old track with the new track I noticed that they only aligned for about half the track and then they had completely different spacing.

So here are my options;
1. Have a full length track and just drill all new holes. This is my preference.

2. Have a track with one side being short 1-2" and have about 8 of the holes already drilled and aligned. Drill new holes for the remaining track.

3. Buy a new style rear crossbar with the recessed track. This would be my long term fix as it would probably drive me nuts thinking about all those holes in my crossbar and I'd eventually break down and do this. Is it possible? I know castings have changed but could I just swap out the rear crossbar on an old boat with the crossbar of a newer boat?

4. buy another deep track and start over. Probably not going to go this route as I'd rather drop money on a newer crossbar.

Any suggestions or recommendations from those that have done this before?

I also bought the heavy duty rivet gun from harbor freight but obviously the nose doesn't fit in the track so I'll probably be using a nut or something to extend the nose of the rivet gun. Although I'd rather use a rivet gun that fits inside the track. Can anybody recommend a rivet gun where the nose fits inside the track? I'd rather buy a good tool and do it right. It's still cheaper than taking it to a boat shop and having them do it. Plus I really enjoy the satisfaction of working on my own boat.

Thanks for all the help in advance. I've just purchased this boat and it's an absolute blast, especially coming from the sunfish. Just needs some minor maintenance.


Author:  Tim H16 [ Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16


I use the Marson VHR-2 heavy duty hand riveter and I have replaced most of the rivets on the frame and tracks of my 82H16 and 84H16 with no problem. I agree that using one or two nuts on the mandrel of the rivets is necessary for recessed track rivets, but as long as I keep my riveter in alignment, I have never had a problem setting a rivet.

Don't forget to use counter sunk rivets: CCC 6-6 (3\16 X 3\8) in your tracks instead of pan head.


Author:  BigWhoop [ Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16

I used my angle grinder to make the nose of my pop rivet thin enough to fit in the track. That's what it looks like the specialist tools do. YMMV

Author:  MBounds [ Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16

Use the full length track and don't worry about the rivet holes lining up. It's not that big of a deal.

Author:  heelcat [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16

I went ahead and drilled the new holes. I tried using the heavy duty rivet tool from harbor freight but it just couldn't grab the rivet with the spacers. It did grab one or two but that was about it. As that tool was only $20 I'm going to go ahead and grind the head down and see if that works.

Wish I had seen this thread:
before I started. I did buy a smaller hand rivet gun from Harbor but man that thing needs some muscle behind it. I installed a few of the rivets but they definitely are deformed and poking out into the track and the car is hitting them. Going to drill them out and start over. Need to order more rivets though.

Tim, does that Marson you have work well with a spacer in grabbing the rivet? I see in that other post that Murray's recommends the smaller rivet gun with a 3/32 stop sleeve as a spacer and that works well.

BTW, anybody order some longer rivets in bulk (3/16 x 5/8 at least CCC countersunk) that they would be willing to part with about 4 of them? I need a couple for the swivel head base. Those self tapping screws are worthless and I'd rather rivet the base on. the 3/16 x 3/8 are just too short for the job. Otherwise I have to order a $100 for $25.

Author:  Tim H16 [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16


I have replaced both of my jib tracks and several of the rivets in my main traveler track (when I replaced the lower roller unit of my main traveler car).

I used the Marson VHR-2 successfully in recessed tracks, etc. using 1 or 2 small nuts around the rivet's mandrel in order to get it deep enough into the track.

The Marson VHR-2 comes with three different sized nosepieces, each with a smaller outer diameter, based on the size of the rivet: 1/4", 3/16" & 5/32".


It is also the same riveter that Surf City Catamarans used in the video:


Author:  heelcat [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16

Cool. Just ordered it. I've actually now broken 2, yes 2, of those harbor freight heavy duty rivet guns. I don't usually like buying harbor fright and would much rather pay more to have good quality tools in my shop. I rarely regret it, even if I think it's something I might only use once or twice.

There always seems to come a point in time where I end up using that specialty tool again somewhere along the road. Or it gives me another alternative in creating a solution to some shop problem I'm working on. Kind of surprising I've never bought a rivet gun before given the various restoration projects I've done.

Author:  Tim H16 [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Installing new deep track and swivel base on 83 H16


Once you get used to using a good quality rivet puller tool then you will find lots of uses for it (besides on your Hobiecat).

It is sort of like when you get a good hammer, all of a sudden everything looks like a nail.

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