Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-25-2017 Thread Starter
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Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

My newport 30 has stanchions that angle inward just slightly. I also have a fiberglass toerail, which might be wider than your typical aluminum one. This robs the deck of a lot of space and I have been mulling over ideas for changing the angle of the stanchions.

Initially I thought I might change stanchion bases, perhaps even getting ones that would go on the outside of the toe-rail, but that would be expensive and laborious. I also can't find any suitable bases. Not only would I need new stanchion bases, I might have to install them at new locations, which is bound to be complicated.

After making a small riser out of UHMW PE the other day I wonder if I could shim the existing stanchions with UHMW PE wedges, just a few degrees to the beams. I can probably get away with doing 4-6 stanchions in total, and if I don't go too far I can keep the existing lifeline.

Risks: UHMW PE is slippery stuff, and I might end up with stanchions that want to slide around. Is the UHMW PE structurally resistant enough to the extreme compression forces that might be applied to it when something leans on or strikes the lifelines? Will I find anyone who can cut the UHMW PE to spec?

What do you think of this idea? What other material would you suggest?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-25-2017
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

I believe I mentioned the stanchion issue when we met last spring..

You could probably shim them as you describe but you will end up having to redrill the boltholes because they will no longer align with the offset stanchion bases. Do you have good access below to all those areas? Also your backing plates should probably be matching wedges.

by UHMW PE do you mean material like 'Starboard' or 'Seaboard'? With care I think you could cut appropriate wedges with a larger table saw or cut-off saw. Getting sealant to stick to it could be a problem and the last thing you want to do is create more potential leakage issues. I wonder if a good hardwood wedge, epoxy sealed and properly bedded wouldn't be a better choice.

All that said, replacing or modifying the stanchion bases would probably be the most straightforward (though at this point finding matching bolt patterns could be tricky too)


How was the rest of your summer??

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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

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I believe I mentioned the stanchion issue when we met last spring..

You could probably shim them as you describe but you will end up having to redrill the boltholes because they will no longer align with the offset stanchion bases. Do you have good access below to all those areas? Also your backing plates should probably be matching wedges.

by UHMW PE do you mean material like 'Starboard' or 'Seaboard'? With care I think you could cut appropriate wedges with a larger table saw or cut-off saw. Getting sealant to stick to it could be a problem and the last thing you want to do is create more potential leakage issues. I wonder if a good hardwood wedge, epoxy sealed and properly bedded wouldn't be a better choice.

All that said, replacing or modifying the stanchion bases would probably be the most straightforward (though at this point finding matching bolt patterns could be tricky too)


How was the rest of your summer??
Thanks for your reply Ron. Our summer has been great, with a lot of DIY boat repair, sailing in English Bay, and a couple long weekends at Halkett Bay (made possible, in part, by a guide you wrote a while ago).

We've done all kinds of things to the boat; replaced cockpit locker hinges, repaired non-functioning bolt holding stairway, added netting, replaced endless furling line and rigged a tensioner and clutch system for effective reefing, replaced jib sheets, figured out the gennaker, added more thruhull clamps, reattached (properly) the raw water screen, removed the 6x CD changer (amp/preamp on the way), shimmed tiller higher than cockpit seats, retired the autohelm 2000, ordered a pelagic autopilot (should be here soon, so excited), got a headsail repaired, climbed mast to replace spinnaker block, replaced the dinghy, rigged a ladder that's easier for my dad to climb, inventoried everything and reorganized it all, treated water tanks...

I'm sure I forgot something .

But yes, much work and much fun. The Saltire is a happy boat.

The old dinghy, The Saltine, found a respectable place in our garden.



edit: feel free to use this as case study for what you might have to do in your first year of boat ownership
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-26-2017
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

drigger,

The UHMW will have no problems with the compression of the bolts however, the bolts will probably see more bending than you would like. It sort of like stacking up washers on a bolt then being able to angle the washers. Only in this case, the washers would stay flat and the bolt would lean. Probably not the way to go. Additionally, when you need the life lines is when the boat is heeling, which is also the time the stancheons are vertical. Coincidence? I don't think so Tim. Best to trust the long unemployed marine architects, IMHO.
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

With 4-6, I would look at removing them and having them bent x degrees, not messing around with changing the base.
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

Good thought, RU... I can't recall if the stanchions and bases are separate pieces or not...

Ron

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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

Yeah, they are separate pieces, and I do think that bending them is probably a better alternative. A particularly salty friend of mine suggested the same.
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

They will leak, since no bedding will stick to PE. Wood will rot and crack eventually, and these will be thin, making splitting a certainty. You will then have a rotten deck.

Instead, use precast fiberglass (Mc Master Carr) and bondthe shims to the deck with thickened epoxy. Now it will last as long as the boat.
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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

If you want to consider changing the bases, I am sure Garhauer would modify their stock ones or make custom ones up for you. They are great about things like that.

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Re: Change the angle of stanchions with UHMW PE shims, idea

What altair said. Buy a small sheet of 1/2" structural fiberglass from Grainer or McMaster. Cut it into shims using standard woodworking tools, grinders, etc. Glue it in place with epoxy glue, and overpaint that with something to match the deck. Won't slip or rot.
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