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johnhalf 11-19-2007 01:34 PM

I am doing some work on my boat in Rhode Island and was wondering if anyone could point me to a economical stainless steel fabricator in the area. I would like to replace the glass backing plates on my stanchions with stainless when I reset them. I also need to get a backing plate for a transom ladder. Thanks in advance!
PS Note the name of my post, I was going to ask about plywood, but answered my own question;-)

mike40forte 11-20-2007 09:37 AM

Stainless fabricator
Try Steve Anderson in # is 737-0730. Good fabricator for all welding and fiberglass work. "Steve's Boat Repair". Tell him Mike @ ABCO Welding supply sent you.


soulesailor 11-20-2007 03:37 PM

backing plates
I'm not sure there is such a thing as an economical stainless steel fabricator. A lot of fabricators I've talked to in the past, for projects of my own, don't even work SS because it's difficult and requires different tools. For us, even drilling through SS plates is not easy even with the right bits. I've backed all my deck gear with really hard wood I bought at the local lumber yard. IPE is my favorite. If you think wood might be too soft you'll feel differently after about half a dozen broken drill bits. This stuff is solid and will last longer than teak and is way cheaper. It's also good above deck, my boat is covered in it.

AjariBonten 11-20-2007 03:39 PM

SS, what is IPE? If I were using wood for backing I would use white oak, myself.

sailingdog 11-20-2007 03:47 PM

I'd have to agree... aluminum or marine plywood heavily epoxy coated are better than stainless steel in most cases... and far easier to work.

soulesailor 11-20-2007 03:58 PM

IPE (eee-pay) is an african mahogany I use a lot in my work as a carpenter. Rich people love having their decks covered with it so all the scraps end up in my boat. It's tough as nails. In fact you can't nail through it without predrilling. It's also beautiful: deep, rich red in color with a little hint of brown. Darker than mahogany most people are used to seeing. Mahogany is a very large family. I mostly oil mine and it looks great, but I've varnished some and it looks terrific, if you have the patience for varnishwork, which I don't. By the way, white oak is one of my favorite woods, but IPE is stronger. A hardwoods store probably has some in stock but most lumberyards can order it. Don't let them talk you into cambera, that stuff is soft.

sailingdog 11-20-2007 04:01 PM

Any wood being used as a backing board should be thoroughly coated with epoxy to prevent rot, swelling, etc.

Jeff_H 11-20-2007 04:27 PM

First of all, the loads are low enough on a Pearson 26, that unless you are talking about backing plates for the keel bolts, backing plates are not really necessary if you use fender washers. But beyond that, I would say that if you actually have fiberglass backing plates, in my opinion that is as good as it gets.

Stainless steel makes less than no sense at all as backing plates. Of the other recommendations, IPE is a good choice because it rot resistant behaving a lot like teak (no need to epoxy saturate it). Plywood work okay if it is a hardwood and epoxy saturated. Oak is a traditional material, but I have removed lots of rotten oak backing plates over the years. 1/4" or 5/16" aluminum actually works quite well and is easy to machine in place and can often be purchased cheaply as scrap from spar shops.


johnhalf 11-20-2007 04:47 PM

Thanks for the comments. The size of the boat is not directly related to the stress on a stanchion. More important is my large friend pulling himself up with it (or falling on it). Most of the literature on this ( Don Casey, and my boy Nigel ) recommends stainless, so I can't imagine that it "makes less than no sense at all". I have used epoxied plywood for similar purposes with good results. How does white oak and IPE hold up in the marine environment? I seem to recall some issues with finishing IPE?
I like the aluminum idea, no problem with stainless bolt in an aluminum plate?
Thanks again

soulesailor 11-20-2007 04:56 PM

more IPE
As you can tell, I'm a big fan of this stuff. It holds up extremely well inside and out even if left bare. I oil mine on the exterior here and there between cocktails to help replace some of the natural oils that have been bleached out from the sea and sun. By finishing do you mean varnish? It's not any harder than varnishing any other wood that has lots of natural oil in it, like teak.

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