A new study found that a plastic door knob on an old wooden boat door was an effective way to prevent a boat door from sliding into a lockbox.
Researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota analyzed the door knob from a 1904 wooden boat, which was part of a collection of about 1,000 wooden boat doors, found that when the knob was rotated, it was able to lock the lockbox by preventing the lock from being opened.
“The locking action of the knob itself is not as strong as a key lock and is also much more expensive,” said study author Peter Wierzwocki, a UW-Madison professor of mechanical engineering and director of the U-M’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“However, a knob with a relatively small diameter does a good job of protecting the lock box and, as a result, locks are relatively inexpensive to produce.”
The wooden boat was found at the University at Buffalo and was stored in a museum.
A plastic boat lid was used to protect the door, but researchers said that it could also have been used to seal the door from the inside, or to prevent the door locking mechanism from moving forward when the door was opened.
The researchers analyzed the knob from an 1883 wooden boat that had been stored in the Buffalo Museum of Art for several years.
The boat was later sold for $30,000 and was eventually donated to the University Library.
In the study, Wierzeni and his colleagues compared the locking action, strength, and cost of building a plastic lockbox with the strength and cost associated with building a wooden boat latch.
The researchers found that the plastic door handle could be used to prevent boat doors from sliding inside lockboxes.
Wierzzwocksi’s team also found that even though the wooden boat lock is more expensive, it does a better job of keeping the lockboxes locked and protects them from accidental entry.
“A key lock does not have a perfect lock,” said Wierzecki.
“If the key is accidentally opened, it can lock the door.”
Wierzycki said that the lock should be replaced with a key that is as strong, or even stronger, than the one in the boat.
He said the cost of a new wooden boat dock lock would probably be higher than a wooden lock.
“If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a boat lock, it’s important to remember that the boat is a piece of equipment, so if you can replace the lock with a better one, it would save a lot on maintenance and repair,” he said.
The study was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.