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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question, and I've tried searching a bunch of different things, but looking to get another few opinions, since I wasn't able to find much.

I'm refitting my Excalibur 26 and changing to a hinged mast step. I've purchased a stainless hinge from Ballenger Spars, and now I'm faced with finding the best way to attach the existing aluminum mast step to the upper hinge plate, with regards to sealing off the two different metals. I'm no expert, but I've gathered that having the two touching is less than ideal. So... any particular material I should look for, to make a sort of washer between the two? And as far as sealing the stainless bolts as well? This is my first venture into these things, and I want to make sure I do it as close to right as I can.

And then I have to decide what to use for backing plates for the stanchions. I need 14 in total, and while I would love to use SS for all of them, it's a little much of an outlay at the moment. The existing bolts are a little long, but not sure they're long enough to add anything too thick, such as a 1" whatever.. I've heard people mention using aluminum plates, and if I go that route, I'm faced with the dilemma of what to do with having the steel bolts mated through aluminum.

Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions?

Many thanks!
 

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I suggest you to go with zinc materials. Its now the summer time and the aluminum or zinc can corrode quickly. Aluminum will be bit on costlier side, but got a long life as compare to zinc in marine world.

Also you can try for the combination of both. Aluminum plates with zinc bolt.
 

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I always try to at least put some sort of bedding where s.s. contacts aluminum. Putting Locktite on threads also probably helps. Some electrical dielectric paste like Penetrox might also be effective. Having s.s. and aluminum in contact is not disastrous. Many s.s. masthead structures, spar connections, and cleats directly contact aluminum masts.
 
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I just finished pulling and rerigging my mast on my Islander 26. I used gorilla glue duct tape as gasket between stainless spreaders and aluminum mast and Lanocote on all bolts and nuts were it can come in contact with dissimilar metals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright, gives me some ideas. The stainless plate was pretty much the ideal one for what I'm looking at, and the existing step was aluminum already, so am trying to avoid having to build a new step, though that's also a last-resort option. Saw someone do that, but trying to avoid it. I'll check some of those suggestions to use as a gasket between them.

Thanks all!
 

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A thin sheet of ultra high density polythene (aka ultra high molecular weight etc.) will insulate the two and block galvanic action. Some tefgel or other galvanic isolation paste can also be used in addition to that, especially on any hardware that goes through.

And for something that small...cut open a 2-liter soda bottle, unroll it. Now you've got a sheet of high density stable plastic, makes a great insulator, easily replaced. As the greenies complain, it never decomposes or breaks down.
 

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I use military grade Cosmoline, also known as Rust-Veto 342, to prevent corrosion in very tough spots. It is a very sticky paste which forms a thin film between parts, and is absolutely waterproof, rust proof, and stays flexible forever.
 
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