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Hey all! We have a '74 Challenger 40 Ketch that has weird-shaped aluminum stanchion bases. Footprint is around 2 3/4" along the back, 3" back to front. The base "steps up" onto the toe rail, then fits underneath it. Nice for the boat, but hard to replace. And we need to replace 13 of them. Have checked with Garhauer and also TopQuality (I might have that name wrong but it's close), and they want around $65 for a base that we'd still have to modify. Anyone have any less expensive ideas? We have three bases now that we ordered; they take about 2-3 hours each to modify correctly, but cost only $13... not sure these pics will post but I will try....




 

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Aluminum is a horrible material for stanchion bases, and you're likely to have others fail due to the stainless steel and aluminum being in such close proximity. My suggestion would be to get a standard stainless steel stanchion base and shim the inboard end of it. Also, putting a layer of plastic between the base and the toe rail would be a good idea, since the toerail appears to be aluminum as well.
 

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de nada. :) Glad to help.

FYI—If you can avoid mixing stainless steel and aluminum, you really should. Using plastic isolation washers and TefGel/Lanocote really helps prevent galvanic corrosion between the aluminum and the stainless steel.

It is generally less of a problem if the stainless steel is small relative to the aluminum, since the greater the surface area of the stainless steel in contact with the aluminum, the greater the chance of a severe reaction.

That's probably what caused your stanchion bases to crack the way they did—since they appear to have cracked on the outer side where the stainless steel screw passes through the casting.
 

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Are you replacing them because of the crack I see in the picture? Those are castings, and most aluminum castings are very easy to weld repair. I've welded tons of aluminum castings over the years with good success, but don't own a welder right now. If you took them all to a good welding shop at one time you might get them repaired fairly cheaply. Also you could get them vibratory polished and reanodized, they'd look like new.

My Etap 26 has completely aluminum stanchions, no stainless. However they used a large stainless bolt to mount them and many are badly corroded due to electrolysis, way beyond welding repair. However mine are machined round pieces, and I do own a lathe and mill, so I will be making new ones.
 

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Gary-

IMHO, stainless steel ones would be both stronger and last longer... They're not that expensive either. Between welding, polishing and re-anodizing, the stainless pieces are probably less expensive. :)
 

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When we bought our boat, a base needed to be replaced with similar geometry. the previous owner had a sandcasting made and mentioned that it wasn't expensive. He had it done thru a yard in Marblehead, Mass - try a google search for a foundry nearby, may be a good way to go. I'd echo above posts about lanocote between dissimilar surfaces - the al & sst on the bases can make a real mess.
 
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