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Old 04-17-2008
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Reapiring S/S forecastle... to weld, braze or not?

Returning from the Gulf with my boat on a trailer, the weight of the mast laying on the forecastle broke 2 of the 3 "tubes" that are welded to flanges when I hit a BIG bump that popped it up in the air and crashed it back down. (Even with the support beams in place and lashed)

To complicate things, the wires for the forward nav lights are routed through the tubes, and they are severad too, which shouldn't be a big deal, but when it rains, it pours!

Here's my questions -

If I should properly weld, then I will have to unbolt the tubing and flanges because I don't want to burn the boat or fiberglass, or start a fire in general. This creates a problem, as the bolts / nuts / backing plates are well hidden in the overhead in the forward berth underneath nicley upholstered vinyl / pleather. I'm not sure if I can replace it, or get it to look like stock if I pull it out. The backing plates are teak on this boat, I don't want a smoldering fire.

Brazing with a Stainless Steel repair rod (like soldering) still gets the steel to 750 degrees and saturates the flange and tube quite well. This would melt the wires inside. That may also burn, melt and destroy the boat too. Again, same problem with needing to unbolt.

If I choose to not weld, then what product should work best? I was looking at Marine Weld, which is a stick-type epoxy, but I would certainly need to rough up the surfaces to get good adhesion, and don't know the best course of action on that one.

So, back to welding (if gluing is a bad idea), do you think I can use the MIG and just do beads of quick "spot welds" and let it cool off inbetween? I could cover the deck with a welding blanket. I would also need to seal the joint after spot welding because there would not be a clean bead. In that case, what is a good sealant, or should I use the Marine Weld stick epoxy?

Any thoughts either way?

Thanks
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