Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PYI Mini Floor Anchors

Mark Corke has this to say about the PYI Mini Floor Anchors. An excellent web site from Mark; and a useful  product. He says.......

  I wrote some time back about PYI anchors and indeed installed some on my own boat to hold the cabin sole in position so was excited to learn that my good friends at PYI have come out with a new product called the mini anchor which is aimed primarily at the OEM market. The basic principles are the same as the original product but instead of having the bayonet style latch the smaller anchors screw together and need to be undone with a screw driver rather then using a quarter dollar coin as it is possible to do with the larger versions.

As I was unfamiliar with the new anchors I thought it best to have a trial run so that next time when I want to use them I have the confidence to install them without fear of messing things up. You don't need a lot of tools but you do need to be careful in your marking out or the parts won't line up and the results could be disappointing this could be especially frustrating if you are using them on expensive teak and holly sole plywood.
The anchor consists of three parts The screw part that is held in place in the sole or other panel and actually screws into the bottom half, that,s the larger of the two bits that you can see in the picture and finally the flat locking nut that you only need if you attach the female part to something like an aluminum floor member. Lastly the other bit is the tool that you need to screw the female part into the boat. As this was a trial run I was able to do this at the work bench and therefore use a pillar drill. A hand held electric or rechargeable drill work just as well but be sure to keep in perpendicular to the surface.
The next step is to mark out where you want the anchors to be placed. This is definitely one of those time that you should check twice and drill once. Aim not only for a neat appearance but try to ensure that you will not be placing the anchors too close to an edge or worse still be drilling into a cable or pipe hidden from view. This was just a trial for me so I did not have any of those worries, but be neat. Mark the drilling centers with a crisp pencil mark, if installing into a pre finished cabin sole then I would have stuck a piece of masking tape down and made a mark on that.
The male part of the anchor is retained within a sunk cup and this needs to be a good fit as the anchor is simply a push fit. A 9/16th bit is exactly the right size I found. A Forster bit would have been better but I did not have one of the of the correct size so I want ahead and used a standard twist bit which I made sure was sharp. I used some tape to mark the depth that I needed which is the depth of the cut and no more, refer tot he drawing and you will see how this insets into the cabin sole.
This shows the completed counterbore for the cup.
Next using a 10mm bit I drilled a clearance hole for the screw part the remainder of the way through the panel. Note that I am using a ½ inch ply here which is ideal, thinner ply stock could be more of a problem as the cup will be very close to the underside surface of the panel.
Here is the completed hole as I insert the male part of the anchor into place. The 9/16th hole is snug fit and required the use of a few hammer taps to seat the anchor correctly flush with the surface. A scarp bit of wood between the anchor and hammer will protect the chrome finish.
How it should look when it is correctly installed.
I used the same 10mm drill to bore for the female part of the anchor. I was only drilling into softwood which has some 'give' when screwing in the anchor if boring into something tough like teak then a 10.5 mm drill would be a better bet. Make sure that you drill deep enough so that the anchor won't 'bottom out' before it is fully screwed in.

Chucking the insertion tool into a cordless drill I drove the anchor into the wood.
The female part of the anchor in place. It is very snug in the wood but you could use a little dab of epoxy if you were ever worried about it coming out, but I did not think this necessary.

The two parts can then be fixed together using a small screwdriver.
The completed anchor which is very neat and rattle free. If I were doing this for proper on a sole a little piece of strategically placed hatch tape under the board may be a good idea to prevent any squeaks.

If after marking out the sole drilling through with a 1/16th bit will mark both the sole itself and provide a guide for the where to drill into the supporting structure.

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