Ian Fox wrote:
I'm not sure o fthe best US source of M6 stainless in those lengths, mostly all the longer stainless readily available in US hardware stores etc is 1/4"x20TPI. Close, but no cigar.
Cheers ~ Ian
In the US, stainless steel M6 bolts are readily available at most West Marine locations, w/o too much of a surcharge over 1/4-20 SAE. If no West Marine is close by, many Lowe's locations will have them (at higher prices than SAE fasteners), but usually not Home Depot (based on my limited sample size).
Since 1/4-20 is ubiquitous, and is used by most sailors, just retap your metric barrel nuts to 1/4-20 from M6 - just get a tap from your local hardware store (less than $10 for tap and handle). Retapping M6 to 1/4-20 is easily done - the reverse, however, is not possible (as 1/4-20 thread is much coarser).
You can also just replace the barrel nuts with 1/4-20 threaded ones - they also have those at Lowe's in the specialy fastener drawers, and they're reasonably inexpensive.
Changing over to 1/4-20 will allow you to swap fins with other sailors (especially racers) so you can try stuff out and learn about how it works for you. Plus you'll spend less on replacement hardware when you invariably lose the odd fin bolt (it's generally good practice to keep a ready supply of finbolts in your toolbox at varying lengths - that way, you can easily accommodate that fin you want to borrow and try, or replace one you lost, or make friends on the beach by saving someone else's session for the day when they've lost theirs...)