Bolt removal suggestions

So I have a 53 crestliner boat, I need tho replace the wood transom, 2 pieces of wood that sandwiches the aluminum hull. They mushroomed the end of the bolt, my thought is to use a cold chisel to remove the wood and bolt clippers on the bolts that are recessed into the wood on both sides. Any better ideas?

Why a cold chisel and not a wood chisel? I think you’d get a cleaner cut with a sharp wood chisel and frustration with the cold chisel.

I don’t own bolt clippers, but I do own various size cutoff wheels… 4.5 inch on an angle grinder, 3 inch on an arbor and air die grinder, and 1 in on a Dremel. I’d use the biggest I could fit without damaging the hull.

The bolt cutters need space to cut the bolt so the woodwork is required. The cut-off wheels will cut through everything in their path, wood and steel. Just be careful with the aluminum hull.


Yeah, it the wood is going to be replaced, it would seem a cutoff wheel would do the job more easily. Any way to post a pic of the situation? Doesn’t have to be your boat.

I think a cold chisel would split the wood faster.

No pics, the bolts are recessed into the wood.

How do you suppose the bolts were tightened? There must be room somewhere for a wrench. I’d use a drill bit slightly larger than the mushroomed end and slowly, carefully let the drill bit remove the mushroom and unscrew the nuts or snap them off.

Seriously, without a picture, it’s a game of 1,000 questions. A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:


Yeah I’d be trying the angle grinder with a cutoff wheel first. Another option is using one of those vibrating saws. With the right blade it’ll make quick work of the wood and then switch to a metal blade. Usually you end up trying a number of ways first to see what works.

An bolt extractor (easy-out)? You could end up reaming out the bolt. If you’re careful and don’t damage the female threads you chase the remainder with a tap. That’s what I had to do years ago when I broke off the temperature sender gauge in the alumin(i)um block: the brass remainder didn’t budge a ° - I used progressively thicker extractors until the next largest would have eaten into the block’s threads, so I bought a tap to clean it out.

Only one new question asked here today and it is about a motor boat. Have the trolls succeeded at driving everyone away? I don’t fault you waterboy, just pointing out that the traffic here has come to a halt lately.

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Scuttle that stinkboat and go with wind (solar) power. Buy a sailboat.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Yep pretty dead. Nobody driving anywhere but can’t say the encounters are really all that friendly. But then again people just tend to not have multiple problems so don’t come back and the restrictive nature of the topics don’t leave much for general conversation.

A body grinder with coarse grit like 25 will chew the end of the bolt away in about 25 seconds or less. I bet on less.

Do you guys keep a dossier on every one? Waterboy was maybe a decade ago, format change and Carolyn could not fix logon issues though she still fondly remembers me as waterboy. I have accidentally agreed with a waterboy post, in resurfaced posts, my bad Volvo is great at remembering previous poster issues, J whatever also. I do not know why not many new posts, missing some of the old guys but appreciate everyone here!

Got a sailboat, and a canoe, paddle boat windsurfer, It is not a stinkboat it is a family heirloom, and my wife loves to hop in and go, and the kids it is a safe boat to let them play in, rowing or having fun with he 7hp motor, got the speedboat for tubing and water skiing, no offence taken. Grampa bought the place in 45! So many family places, last lake association meeting, we are the new guys we moved here in 92! 3 gallons of gas lasts the whole summer in that classic. It is great for slow trolling while fishing, motor 72 runs good, and had to buy that as the 3hp johnson got stolen. 3 years ago someone stole the 3 gal tank, bought a new one and that was a disaster. The tank sits in the bow of the boat, heats up and spews gas as it over runs the pressure the needle and seat can handle. So we leave the filler cap loose, stuff does not always work out better as it does not allow for expansion. I can bitch more by request.


Wow, 53 and aluminum! I would spend family vacations on the lake of my current lakefront northern home. I have 8mm movies of me riding in one of the old Shell Lake wooden boats. Even most canoes were wood.

I remember my dad getting gas for the boat at the only “marina” on our 10,000 acre sports fishing lake. An old guy had a garage behind his lakefront home/cottage and it had 1 gas pump. He left a red REO wagon on his dock, you’d pull up, put your little Johnson gas tank in the wagon and roll it to the garage. The guy would fill an entire quart glass bottle (with steel pouring spot cap) with motor oil from a bulk drum and dump it in the tank (glug, glug, glug… 16:1?) before filling it with a couple gallons of gas.

He would always entertain the kids (and adults) by putting in-the-shell peanuts in his pants pockets and the chipmunks would climb up and get them. Or, my favorite, He’d take an empty glass milk bottle, put three peanuts in it, and lay it on its side on the ground. A chipmunk would go inside, stuff the peanuts in its cheek pouches and try to exit the bottle. When he/she was too wide to get out it was fun watching a resolution.

I still have a bunch of boats up there. An old Cruise Cat pontoon boat, couple canoes, 3 Sunfish, aluminum paddle boat, speedboats, couple kayaks, Sea-Doo…

One, an old Viking aluminum that I throw an old 4 horse Evinrude on, needs new wood motor/transom boards, and likewise with one of my aluminum canoes (flat back for motor). They’ve rotted. Those must be on one of my lists to do, I think.

I’m back now.
Barky, what material are the fasteners (bolt/nut ?), brass? Steel?

And what kind of head is on the bolts?

Are they carriage bolts (round dome tops)?

Don’t the nuts fit in recessed holes that are larger than the nuts to allow room for a thin-wall socket?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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@Barkydog One of my uncle’s built his own sailboat, single mast “national” class, back in the 1930s. His younger brother and sister (my mom) also sailed it. He was an engineer who spent WWII as a Lt. Cmdr. in the Navy SeaBees. As such, he was in the second wave landing on the Pacific island of Tinian and one of the engineers that oversaw turning the island into a huge airbase and naval port of forty thousand men. The bombers that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan flew from there.

Later, he was part of the engineering team that designed and oversaw construction of the “Mighty Mac” Mackinaw Bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. (car related as it is a vehicle bridge :grin:)


Well I’m sorry. I’ve been around here for at least 20 years and Waterboy doesn’t ring a bell. We might have a bunch of folks from the old Rant N Rave days that have just changed their names. People really got upset-kind of a pre-curser to what was to come. I especially remember that rural mail carrier but not his name. Wow was he insane. Maybe moved to Venezuela by now. Choosing jurors for the big trial, one of the lawyers following it said never put a postal worker on the jury, or updated to a teacher or social worker. I live with a teacher. So yeah some people just carry grudges for years and years and years.

It is an aluminum boat, I think they must be stainless or aluminum, I won’t be up for a while to look at it, yes thin wall socket is a good idea, the I can just bust the bolts. I would guess it is a 5/16th nut but the mushroomed ends make unscrewing it an impossibility. I do not think they are carriage bolts. Boat on the left.

Well after seeing the picture, vibrator saw on the wood, angle grinder with a cut off wheel on the bolts. Glasses and gloves. Wish I had mine yet.

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I am late in seeing this because I haven’t been around since yesterday afternoon. I hate to have to close the discussion when the forum is slow, but it was never even broadly car-related. While I have no doubt that everyone’s collective expertise could help barkydog, I would not be doing my job as I’ve been asked to do - which is to keep this a car forum, in a broad sense that includes the associated subjects. There is a group of our members who has long advocated for a general discussion (not general auto discussion) section of the site, but as the subject comes up over the years it’s been decided to keep it a car forum. As I’ve said many times to the argument that “Tom and Ray talked about all kinds of digressive non-car related subjects,” they always started with a car question, and eventually brought it back. I’m all for laughing, and I’m all for learning about other subjects, but the element of cars, driving, car fuel, or what have you must be in the mix. It came up a couple of months ago, but we are looking to beef up the community this year, but it’s going to take some time. Thank you, and have a good weekend.