Rivets in plastic?

I am think of putting an adjustable foot brace in our Old Town Disco which is the sandwiched crossed linked poly construction.

I have done a lot of drilling and riveting on kevlar and fiberglass boats.

Do I just do it the same way, or is there anything that I have to be aware of?



Royalex is no problem
so I wouldn’t think OT’s poly would be an issue. I always use a backup washer on the opposite side if there isn’t any other support such as a foot brace angle. Probably have 50 between the 3 boats and not a problem with any.

When I did it
I drilled the plastic and the foot braces came with screws that mated with the plastic of the foot braces. I’s scew it with the braces that are made for plastic boats. If the braces come with rivets, then I’d use bolts with lock nuts instead.

Through bolt is better if poss.

– Last Updated: Aug-03-05 10:26 PM EST –

Can remove easier if need be, can size perfectly ( less protruding out )and use an acorn nut or just gently bend/break the SS machine screw right @ the nut and light file if need be.

The plastic tends to 'creep' with a load on it. Parts, especially parts with a dynamic load on them will loosen over time.... Now you have to drill them out, slip and gouge the boat, or not have a sharp fresh right size drill bit so the head does not cut right off causing the rivet to spin, elongating the hole, causing you to go to the next bigger size or 'tap' the rivet out to infinity or so I have heard ; )
While you can always bump a nut tighter, not so easy with a rivet. Either way fender washer the back side and use a real rivet gun, not one of those toys.

use the
wide head rivets that J&J sells. or check with Canunut, I gave him a handfull for inventory at the local boat club(his garage.


Thanks all…
I just wanted to make sure.

Sounds like I should use bolts and nuts.


I found some bonded washers
What makes these good to use is that the washer has a rubber washer bonded to it and seals very good. That and the nylok nuts make a good fastening system.

JT paddling the Silver River

Where did you find those.
washers with the rubber washer bonded to it?


no problems installing
footbraces in an OT with screws.