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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008
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Bent Stanchions / best fix?

'Just got back from checking my Catalina 309 (stored outside in Michigan). Looks like the last snow load we got sat on the custom cover and caused the stanchions to bend inward under the stress. There're four to six stanchions that are bent maybe 10 to 15 degrees.

Of course, the cover is peaked over the boom and centerline supports from the mast to the bow, and drapes over the lifelines and and stanchions. In retrospect I wish I'd opted for the cover that ends at the gunnels with an opening for each stanchion. Oh, well.

Anyway, what's the best cure for this? Best case scenario would be that the stanchions are intentionally a mild steel so that any dock collisions, etc. will not be transferred so readily to the fiberglass gunwales. Bending them back would entail tightly strapping a 2x4 to each stanchion, using its leverage to carefully bent them into position.

Worst case scenario is that it requires a team of skilled boat surgeons and many dollars.

Anybody know?
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Old 03-16-2008
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Turn the stanchion 180deg and let it bend outward slightly ?
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Old 03-16-2008
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The stanchions should be stainless steel. Remove the stanchions as soon as possible (they arn,t always easy to get out, or get to at all..) and them them to a local SS tubing fabicator (someone who makes dodger frames , rails, etc.) and have them straighten the stanchions for you. Re-install.
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Old 03-16-2008
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Are they bent at the stantion post bases? You could cut off the bottom few inches and re-install them just a little shorter. If they are bent in an arc over the entire length you're pretty sunk. Bending them back straight might make them look better but will make them even weaker.
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Old 03-16-2008
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There is no easy answer. You are going to have to take them off, straighten them or replace them.
On the other hand a buddy of mine backed out of a raft up and caught his bow spit in one of my stanchions, bending it backward. Picture below shows it. It is the stanchion just forward of the life line opening/passage (covers the letter 'e' in Gemini). It is barely noticeable because the opening/handrail stanchion is bent to the same angle. I'm living with the bend. Maybe that is the easy answer.
Check the base and make sure your gelcoat is still tight and sealed. You may have to take it off to re-bed it anyway. I got lucky, if a bet stanchion on a 9 month old boat is lucky.
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Old 03-16-2008
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My very heavy duty, starboard side bow rail was bent upwards - presumably by the PO. I straightened it in place by slowly easing the tubing down to match the shape of the port rail.

I used a pair of cabinetmakers pipe clamps, leveraged by the lower anchor bowsprit tubing coupled with the use of wood blocks, to distribute the forces laterally and protect the stainless. Not sure if strength was compromised, but there is no evidence at all of the prior damage
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Old 03-16-2008
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The stanchions

The stanchions on the 309 are readily available at a decent price from Catalina. I would not personally re-bend them due to the increased risk of work hardening which could let them fail when you need them most.

The machine screws that are up on the tow rail are tapped into an aluminum backing plate and will thread out easily. The inboard machine screws have nuts and backing washers and you'll need to remove some interior furniture to get at them..

I'd call your insurance company and next time make sure the yard installs cross tie supports to prevent this!!!

The cross ties should be screwed to the uprights and be within a foot or so of each stanchion. This prevents snow load compression bending of the stanchions..

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Old 03-16-2008
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I agree with halekai - prevention is the best cure.





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Old 03-16-2008
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Prevention would be the best cure, but it is a bit late for it now. I would price replacing them versus re-bending them. If the price difference isn't too great... probably a good idea to go with new.
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Man I am glad I live in BC Canada and don't need all that expensive crap all over my boat all winter went sailing on Saturday warm partly sunny and great.
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