Saturday, November 17, 2012

Industrial Strength Velcro


The fewer holes on a boat, the better.  This is a pretty good rule to be mindful of,  because no matter how little or seemingly innocent it is, there is no such thing as an insignificant hole on a boat.  Typically, once they are there, they are there for good.

On Rasmus, we were pretty liberal with screws.  We permanently mounted all sorts of stuff from spice racks to picture frames onto our walls with them.  They worked great until we moved everything off the boat, at which point we uncovered a litany of tiny holes that the new owner had to cover up.  On this boat we have decided to be more thoughtful of the holes we drill should we ever want to do a little rearranging, redecorating or, ya know, sell her down the line.

Enter: Industrial Strength Velcro!

We have the kind with sticky tape on either side and have found that this stuff is excellent for mounting just about anything to almost any surface a boat can offer up (wood, fiberglass, metal).  When Scott first suggested using velcro as an alternative to screws I thought, "No way, not strong enough".  Boy was I wrong.  The photo below?  Taking that picture off the wall required a tremendous amount of force to the point that I thought the glass was going to break.  I was going to take off the spice racks pictured below to show you a "before/after" for those too, but they would not budge.  That's a pretty strong grip.  According to Wikipedia, a two inch square of velcro is enough to hold the hanging weight of a 175 pound person.  I don't know if I would trust hanging from a building by a two-inch square of velcro if I weighed 100 pounds, but that's an interesting little factoid.

We use this stuff all over our boat, to keep cushion backs from falling over, to mount electronics in discrete places and, of course, for our artwork and photos.  Next time you get that handy dandy power drill out, think twice about drilling those holes and ask yourself, "Is this a job for industrial strength velcro?"  You might be surprised!

11 comments:

Troy and Deana Jones said...

That's great advice. I also use the double sided take for lots of things, like hooks in the head or even decorative items. That stuff sticks pretty good too.

Troy and Deana Jones said...

I meant TAPE, of course, not take! It's the kind that comes in a roll.

Carolyn Shearlock - The Boat Galley said...

Command Strips are also a good option for strong but removable hooks and so on. We used tons of industrial strength Velcro on Que Tal and bought more every time we were in the US so we'd be sure to have it (sometimes we could find it in Mexico, sometimes not).

Drena said...

Does it leave icky stains and marks on the teak when you take it off?

Neophyte Cruiser said...

We will have become more creative. The headliner in our '82 Cal 39 was pretty sad when we bought the boat. We ended up tearing it all out and making a panelized headliner in its place. The upholstered panels are
attached to the firing strips with the same Industrial velcro. The beauty is that we now have easy access to our coach roof for wiring and hardware. Yes, it does take quite an effort to pull down each of the individual panels but worth the investment. You guys definitely are more creative with its use!

Tom~Tom said...

I love velcro, but I've found that the weakness is usually found in the adhesive not the hook and pile, although that stuff looks pretty stout. You'd also need to avoid mistaking those shelves for grab rails in a seaway. I'm not sure it would stand up to that. _/) Sail on!

Deb said...

Command Strips now have the velcro picture hangar version that we use all over the boat for holding things like our wifi extender on the wall, etc. Nice thing about them is that they don't leave any marks when you take them off.

Deb
S/V Kintala
www.theretirementproject.blogspot.com

Catherine VK4GH said...

Sailrite market a YKK product - SNAD - which is a socket and stud, commonly used for attaching shade covers or awnings to the outside. It has a self adhesive to attach to the boat instead of the old way of screwing into the boat. They have a you tube video demonstration of it too. There are two different sizes and some are UV resistant. Seems like a great alternative

Robert Salnick said...

Great article - May I put it up on Small Boat Projects?

bob
s/v Eolian
Seattle

Angela said...

I love Velcro too, but a word of caution from my experience on our boat. One comment mentioned the adhesive being the weak point & I would have to agree. I hung a couple of fairly heavy pictures on our boat 14"x14" & more than once they had fallen off the wall when we returned. We do not live aboard yet so leave it closed between visits. The intense FL heat must be the problem. I ended out using small screws to hold the pictures along with the Velcro just to hold them still. This is working a lot better. The previous owner also reupholstered the salon using some Velcro on the cushion closures. That has become all gooey too. Hope you have better luck with yours.
s/v Freedom Found

shelves said...

Very impressive! It looks beautiful!


http://www.squidoo.com/decorative-wall-shelves

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