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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 08-26-2009
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Filling a Stanchion?

I am in the process of re-bedding my stanchion bases and adding backing plates. Upon removing the stanchion bases, I notice lots of rot and gunk buildup under the bases. I believe this is due to water traveling down the inside of the hollow stanchion tube (penetrating tube holes where lifelines pass thru), and then sitting inside the stanchion bases where it contacts the deck, thereby eventually rotting/penetrating the bolt holes from inside the base! Any suggestions on how to stop this from happening when I reinstall the bases and stanchions? Possibly plug the stanchion tube up near the lower lifeline holes...but with what? Could I fill the stanchions with spray foam? Suggestions?
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Old 08-26-2009
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Though you're unlikely to experience freezing conditions, I think the better approach is to make sure the whole assembly can drain - ie drill a drain hole through the base into the stanchion tube as low as possible, esp now that they're off the boat.

Years ago we bought a California boat, the first winter freeze we had split one of the A frames on the wheel support... unbeknownst to us it was full of water, had no way to drain until it froze, split, and thawed again.
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Old 08-26-2009
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Drilling a rain hole in the base is not really possible due to the curved shape of the base, and the fact that the drain hole would still be at least 1/2 inch higher than deck level which would still allow pooling water to sit against the deck/sealant bedding.
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You can plug the base of the stanchion with thickened epoxy or similar and drill a drain hole at the top of the epoxy plug. A 3/16" drain is all you need and if the epoxy plug is right below the drain water won't build up. But if any foreign material gets in it would be tough to remove.
Brian
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Old 08-26-2009
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Mando (or is it Fish?)

If your stanchion "holes" have water in them then you should check for rot.

If it were me and I was worried about this I would remove the stanchion bases (and while removed take care of the problem above). Then I would over drill the stanchion holes. If the shavings (tailings?) coming out were reasonably dry and solid then great! Just fill with thickened epoxy, redrill the holes and remount your stanchion base using a high quality sealant. this way if it does leak again in future your deck core will be safe.

Mike
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Old 08-26-2009
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The bases have been removed already and yes, there was considerable core rot around the old holes, which I removed and then filled with epoxy. (following the excellent recommendations at Maine Sailing's Photo Galleries at pbase.com. Yes, you are right, I believe there probably will not be rot issues again, and leak issues for quite some time again, but the idea of water pooling in the stanchion base with no outlet just seems like I'm asking for sealant failure and leakage sooner rather than later (five vs ten years? Ten vs. twenty?). Perhaps I'm over concerned?
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Old 08-26-2009
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interesting point. depends, perhaps, on a type of stanchion base. On my boat stanchion bases are triangular metal plates with tube welded on. Stanchion inserts into that tube. Any water that enters the base will stay in this tube like a cup and does not come in contact with the deck. Perhaps you could do something like that on your boat - seal the actual base rather than a stanchion? Depends on a type and design of the base of course.
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Old 08-27-2009
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On three of my most recent boats the stanchion bases had a groove running from the center to the lowest edge that lets water drain. For installation I lightly waxed a straw (used johnsons paste wax, and a straw from a can of PB-blaster) and laid it in the groove before fastening the base down, after the sealant cured I pulled the straw out so it keeps the drain hole clear.

Mine are cast bronze and have the groove cast in, if yours are pressed stainless there -may- be enough thickness to file a groove in them for drainage.

When I rebedded them there was just a very light amount of dust under them so I don't believe clogging would be an issue.

Ken.
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Old 08-27-2009
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Grind a slot on the underside of the stanchion with a cut off wheel on your angle grinder. Use an appropriate size dowel, or stick to keep passage open when rebedding the base, then remove.
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I like the idea of manufacturing a drain slot in the stanchion base...but I don't own a grinder. Any way to do this without big expensive tools?
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