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Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!
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Author:  augaug [ Wed May 16, 2012 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

I was out sailing today in fairly strong winds when I heard a squeaking sound coming from the base of the tripod. I looked over and was shocked to see that the base had moved out from the boat, exposing a significant part of the threads on the bolts that hold everything together

The design of this system allows the bolts to come quite loose without any visual clues, because the bolts are hidden behind a cover plate/

I didn't get a picture of things when they weren't right, but

PLEASE CHECK THESE BOLTS ON YOUR BRAVO

It's a simple 2 minute fix.

Unscrew the screw on the cover plate, and tighten the two bolts with allen keys.

Image

Image

My boat is a 2008 that I bought used. I should have known to check these bolts, but the tripod always seemed very secure, I just never got around to it. I discovered today that the tripod can still appear secure while the screws can back out significantly. There are no visual clues that the screws are loose because they are hidden by the cover plate. It wasn't until I was in strong winds that the flex of the entire boat caused me to see the threads of these screws between the boat and the tripod.

It was pretty scary because I was out on cold water, had to get in, and had no idea how much of the bolt was left secured in the boat. I also didn't have the allen key that I would have needed to tighten them, or the screwdriver that I would have needed to get the cover plate off. Lessons learned.

So if you have a Bravo, take a minute to check these hidden bolts. Don't be like me! :oops:

Author:  RobDek [ Wed May 16, 2012 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

I use loctite on our two Bravos to secure these bolts.

Author:  frankc1200 [ Fri May 18, 2012 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

RobDek wrote:
I use loctite on our two Bravos to secure these bolts.


Same here, I also always check them after flogging the sail a lot in a windy day. I think the constant shaking gets them loose.

Author:  Bcastile [ Fri May 18, 2012 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

There is Loc-tite included in each boat that should be used when the frame is bolted to the boat. It's definitely a good idea to inspect bolts occasionally.

Author:  seakayak14 [ Sat May 19, 2012 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

Had the same experience with the A-frame (tripod), but less dramatic. My wife was onboard when we were starting out, and said “Hey, this is loose...” First time, I tightened the hex bolts. Second time, I used up the last of the Loctite, and used a few drops per bolt. THIRD time (I like to dig into the swells, causing a lot of pounding and vibration), I coated the bolts with Permatex Threadlocker "Blue", which is available at Canadian Tire, and is the same as Loctite. No problem since, but if I do, I’m going “Red” (“Red” = permanent; “Blue” = medium strength).

Bottom line in all this is to check all screws/bolts/lines/drain plugs etc before “go-time”, and then recheck if you’ve been out for some time or in significant sea/swell/wind conditions. I give the port and starboard base of the A-frame a couple of good tugs to ensure the bolts are tight. And you have reminded me to carry the Allen key with me when sailing on longer excursions.

Your pre-sail check should include inspecting under the boat before you get underway. I speak from experience. Almost went flying early in my Bravo sailing in a good swell when the port side hiking strap gave out. (This was very exciting...) Suspect it was not correctly treaded when originally set-up.

Author:  augaug [ Mon May 21, 2012 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bravo Maintenance - Safety issue!

Bcastile wrote:
There is Loc-tite included in each boat that should be used when the frame is bolted to the boat. It's definitely a good idea to inspect bolts occasionally.


According to the previous owner, my boat was assembled by the dealer. I know the dealer, and I've never heard of them selling an unassembled boat. There was nothing on the bolts to indicate that the loctite, had been used on them.

I'll definitely loctite them now, but I'm not sure if, because of the simplicity of this boat that maybe the dealer put a junior staff member on the assembly of this boat.

Either way, I agree that it's a good idea to inspect these bolts. There's no excuse for me not to have done so sooner. Hopefully someone else can learn from this before they have a problem.

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