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post #1 of 9 Old 04-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Splitting Compression Post

Hello All,

I have done some poking around the forum and it seems those before me have had trouble with metal compression posts.

I have a 1981 Crealock 37 and was curious if anyone had an issue with their laminated Oak Compression Post separating.

If so, any recommendations for a full removal? Or possibly just through bolting it back together.

The cabin sole is a little soft at the bottom of the post. Does anyone know if the post rests on the sole or if it rests directly on the fiberglass block that is directly under the post.

Thank You!

Splitting Compression Post-compressionpost2.jpg

Splitting Compression Post-compression-post.jpg
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-23-2016
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re: Splitting Compression Post

Oh my. That does look bad. It looks completely different than what's on our Pacific Seacraft 37.

If the photo is of the compression post area at the sole, beside/behind/outside the head, on our boat at that location there's a teak cover that's easily removed (in one minute) to access wiring. That is, the wood visible there is not actually the post (on our boat).

Was your Crealock 37 built by Pacific Seacraft? Regardless, you may want to contact Pacific Seacraft for help. They are great about giving advice and I believe they specialize in refurbishing older boats.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-26-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

I would thru bolt and use stainless backing plates. Not the most pretty but it would serve it's purpose. I would be worried about finding where the water that caused the split was coming from. Only a short term solution.

Indecision may or may not be my problem.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-26-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

Same year...81, 37'. I purchased 2, 6' x 3" x .25" stainless bars and drilled holes every 12 inches then through bolted one on cabin side and the other in head. Mine hadn't delaminated as bad....prob 1/16" or so. The base is encapsulated in glass under the sole hard to tell if theres a problem but no other signs of issues. If the oak is in good shape, you prob dont need the stainless bars and could just through bolt. Dont forget to loosen the rig first and re-tension after.

If your base is rotting, Id replace the post.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-27-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

We have a 1980 C37 that also had some water damage to the base of the compression post. Not as bad as yours but it would have been had we not fixed the water intrusion problem. On the early boats the aluminum plug the mast sits on does not have a stand pipe to keep rain water from entering the wire recess in the post. Water enters at the mast head and pools inside the aluminum plug and drains down the wire recess into the bilge. This keeps the wood wet and eventually leads to delamination and rot.

LeFiell sold us the newer style plug (see pic) for $50 already painted white. This fixes the water intrusion problem but requires the mast to be off and the bolts holding the SS plate and plug to be removed. There are other posts detailing what this entails. A stop gap for us while we were in Mexico was to use Dow Corning 734 Flowable Silicone Sealant put in through the access plate at the base of the mast. Two tubes did a good job of filling the aluminum plug about 1/4" thick and sealing around the wires and slowing if not stopping the water intrusion.

Our rot was limited to one face of the base under the head sole. I injected West epoxy thinned with MEK (couldn't buy GitRot in Mexico) in all soft wood I could find. This set up hard and stabilized the wood. If you intend to through bolt the post you might consider SS barrel nuts and truss head screws to dress up the repair.

Hope this is of some use.

John Newcomer
s/v Pelagic
1980 C37 Yawl (#22)
Lying Lake Union, Seattle

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-27-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

Here's another attempt to upload the photo of the LeFiell mast plug. For some reason the site is not taking my upload.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-30-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

I had this issue on my '95 Crealock 37. I talked to Thumper and he said it is common on the white oak compression posts, something about the epoxies used and the white oak didn't work well together. His cure was to thru-bolt and pump the cracks full of Gorilla glue. Mine had only split about 10-12 inches down from the top, I just put 3 bolts in a sideways V with large area washers and as much Gorilla glue as I could work into the voids.


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post #8 of 9 Old 06-05-2016
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Re: Splitting Compression Post


I completely replaced my compression post that had the same issue. The biggest difficulty was removing the existing post - there are screws that attach the post to the plywood bulkhead that are hidden behind the piano hinge of the door to the head. I also had to cut into the head liner a bit.

The post rests on the plywood of the cabin sole which sits directly on the fiberglass liner. The liner is supported underneath by a short compression tube glassed in between the liner and the hull.

This plywood sole was compromised in my case as well. I carefully chiseled out this plywood to the opening of the fuel tank hatch. I had a custom SS plate fabricated for the void this left in the sole with a u-shaped slot cut to accommodate the wiring. I fabricated a new post levered it into place tight against the cabin top and then screwed it into place. Lastly, I tapped (banged) in the custom 1/2" SS plate underneath the post from the tank opening. The plate is screwed down into the liner with flush screws.

It goes without saying that I completely removed the aluminum mast plug, sealed and re-bedded the bolts and caulked everything as best I could with 4200. Finally I made a small collar where the wires go through the plug by gluing a piece of PVC to the hole. I will carefully monitor this area for water intrusion.

Good luck!

Not a fun job.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-20-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Splitting Compression Post

Thank you all for the good advice. The more I began to dig, the worse things got.

In the end I did completely remove the compression post. I am glad I did. The glue/epoxy that had been used to laminate the oak together was crumbly and dry.

The largest problem I found was actually a piece of 3/8" ply beneath the compression post. Rather than sitting on the fiberglass pan, the post sat on top of a small piece of plywood. This plywood was soft and spongy.

So in my case even if I had just through bolted the existing post, it still would have been sitting on a soft foundation.

Right now I am looking at getting two 2.5" 1/4" wall square tube stocks from McMaster. To use as a replacement.

I will get photos and measurements up in a separate thread when I am able.

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