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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of replacing the gate stanchions on my new-to-me 1996 Catalina 28. I've been down this road before with a Catalina, and am baffled that year after year after year Catalina (and probably other makers), put these stupid one-piece stanchions on their boats.

Oh, how I miss the two-piece stanchions on my 1972 Grampian 26. Solid, cast and broad bases that served as receivers for the actual stanchions. In the event of an accident, the base would be unaffected and just the upright would have to be replaced or straightened. In the unlikely event that a base should be damaged, or need to be re-bedded, there was access to them belowdecks for easy removal.

Catalina (and others?) prefer to attach the stanchions to the deck BEFORE mating the deck to the hull, making it extremely difficult and often impossible to remove a stanchion.

On my previous Catalina, some of the stanchions could be reached from belowdecks with extreme difficulty, and some could not.

Now, as I work on my 28, NONE of them are accessible. To remove the gate stanchions I had to remove the cabinet in the head and the cabinet in the galley, and use a 3" hole saw to gain access to the nuts by drilling through to fiberglass headliner. Once drilled, access is good, and I'll figure out how to make some nice, plastic access covers for the holes that show once I've reinstalled the cabinets.

I have a dream where Catalina uses cast bases and beds them properly with butyl tape. They'd be good for decades. As it is, once I'm done fixing the damaged gate stanchions, I'll begin the process of rebidding the four forward stanchions. No big rush on that, but I'd really like to have them done by the end of next season.

I get how dollars are saved in the manufacturing process, but.....well, you know.
Rant over.
 

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In industry we use plastic snap-in covers for knockouts in electrical boxes.. while 3" size is unusual, somebody might make them that big. Here's an example/source, but in metal (not SS unfortunately)

Try your own search for knockout covers/fillers.

Knockout Hole Plugs, Seals & Reducing Washers | MSCDirect.com

Alternatively perhaps with another holesaw you might make your own out of Starboard-like material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tip. 45 bucks a pop is kinda tall, though. In a couple places I had to drill overlapping 3" holes to get proper access.

The holes under the head cabinet will be hidden by the cabinet once it's re-installed, but most of the holes in the galley will need to be covered.

I like the starboard-like idea, maybe 1/4", or so would be nice. I was thinking starboard, or who knows, a slow trip through Dome Hepot might turn up a similar material that can be shaped into an attractive access cover.
 

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How about a 3.5 in hole saw on starboard. Bull nose to taste with router and dado for inset in 3 in hole. Single centered screw for crossbar on backside. For odds shapes cut with bandsaw and then router.Make spares and sell them to friends.
 

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Office suppliers and stereo places sell snap in covers in larger sizes for cable conduit holes in desks & so forth. They also sell snap in plastic trim rings that would look O/K and leave the nuts accessible without removing anything at all.
 
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