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Constantin 02-28-2001 10:20 AM

Help! Frozen Pin Removal.
Since Prout Catamarans is unwilling to remove the plain steel stay pins they "accidentally" installed in our Aluminum masthead and replace them with the proper stainless pins, I am wondering what people here have used successfully to "persuade" rusty steel pins to exit Aluminum.

In particular, I am looking for solutions that will not damage the masthead. So far, I am considering creeping oil (lubrication), hammer or hydraulic press (persuasion), Sawzall (cut the pins down prior to extraction attempts), and a wire brush (to hopefully reduce the OD of the exposed pin surface to a point where it is smaller than the ID of the hole in the Al).

I consider heating the parts to be a last resort since the masthead is a welded assembly and may lose strength or warp itself to death. Any other ideas?

Oh, and how many people have enjoyed the sight of plain steel pins holding their fore and backstays to the masthead? More info at

MikeField 03-10-2001 08:48 AM

Help! Frozen Pin Removal.
Sounds like that should be Prat Catamarans, doesn''t it?

No experience at all, I''m afraid, but is drilling them out an option? If you could cut/grind them back to the surface of the aluminium, you might only have to drill for the depth of the aluminium wall thickness at each end of the pin.

Either the steel is removed and the centre part of the pin drops down inside, or the pin starts to rotate, whereupon you stop drilling and start pushing.

Constantin 03-13-2001 02:37 AM

Help! Frozen Pin Removal.
Drilling is a good option... much like a hydraulic press or other forms of brutal persuasion, it requires a jig to hold the mast in - after the mast is removed. I''m now resigned to replacing the mast, I guess.

Initially, I hoped to replace the pins w/the mast up (tie off an obscene number of halyards to hold the mast in the meantime) but on closer inspection, it''s rather unlikely that a steel pin with a larger (albeit rusty) OD will pass thru a smaller ID hole in Al.

We''ll try everything. Otherwise, we''ll just order a new masthead. But drilling out the rivets that hold the masthead in place is sure not to be a picnic either (I think they''re made of Monel or some other superalloy).

Anyway, our quest to replace the main conductors on board is progessing. The windlass now enjoys the 5% voltage drop it is supposed to (1/0 instead of 2 AWG) and I''m now wondering how much of the untinned 18 AWG wiring (apparently the conductor of choice) I should replace. One example, the water pump: 8-10AWG was called for, Prout installed 16 AWG. A number of additional conductors will need similar replacement - fridge, other pumps and motors, mast lighting, etc.

The windows are leaking again, this time a new set (wrap-arounds in forward cabins) but given the quality of the sealant used this was bound to be the case by now.

The engine is going to get it''s first external service in years... we pulled it off its mounts, disconnected the hydraulic pumps it was driving, and now the engine compartment looks like we sacrificed a small animal in there (we added red dye to the oil for leak detection). Pulling the engine will allow us to service the pumps (a good idea after 6 years of trouble-free service) and replace the engine mounts (also a good idea since they were rusting profusely).

It''s not every day that a manufacturer installs the only cockpit drain over the engine compartment AND forgets to hook that drain to a thru-hull AND forgets to install a engine compartment drain! Yep, our engine was singing in the rain and played yellow submarine one winter in storage. It cost us one hydraulic pump (case cracked due to water ingress, ice expansion), a starter, a alternator, and almost the engine.

Supposedly, the build quality of Prout has improved significantly in recent years. Our older Prout cat didn''t have as many problems but she was a simpler boat. The most apparent reason for the downright sloppy installation jobs was the rush they were in to get the boat to the Miami boat show. That they did not fix their mistakes after the show (like the pins mentioned above) is unforgivable (particularly if the owner finds and points them out).

It''s sad but I''ll probably have to take the company to court several times to recover the time (300+ hours) and expense ($6000+) associated with all the "projects" that merely fixed what the OEM should have done right in the first place. Check out my web-site if you want to laugh a little.

MikeField 03-14-2001 06:16 AM

Help! Frozen Pin Removal.
What a bummer. I''ve heard of a few boats rushed through to make boat shows, and none of it has been good. I hope it works out OK for you. Mike.

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