Forward Stanchions

  • May 28, 2013 5:26 PM
    Message # 1303299
    Deleted user
    How do you possibly get the nuts on the front four stanchions, both port and starboard?  I can barely see the bottom bolt and there is no way to get my hand up there.  Is there a special curved tool?  I tried using a extended vice grip but the angle of the forward hull prevents that from working.  Any help would be appreciated.  Does the W32 have more room between the deck/hull?

    Frustrated! ;\

    David F.
    Last modified: May 28, 2013 5:54 PM | Deleted user
  • May 29, 2013 7:27 AM
    Reply # 1304375 on 1303299
    Deleted user
    I SO feel your pain, Dave.  We installed 2 new stanchions between what used to be the first and second stanchions.  We had a rack built to hold our diesel jugs up on the caprail and a new stanchion was required.  Well!  If Lulu didn't have such thin hands that she could somehow make as flat as a road toad, we'd probably still have empty bolt holes.  She was able to hold the nut long enough to get it started and then, using various combinations of vice grips and open end wrenches, we eventually managed to get the job done.  Got her hands nicely abraded from the rough fiberglass finish in the process.  The starboard side was way easier than the port side as the gap was a bit wider. I can't imagine how they assembled these at Westsail, unless they bolted the stanchions on before they dropped the deck in place.  Wish I had a solution for you but, unfortunately, short of flying Lulu out your way, I really have none.  And I'm pretty sure Lulu would balk at the idea.

  • May 29, 2013 9:18 AM
    Reply # 1304471 on 1303299


    It is a real bugger to get those nuts on.  Unfortunately Steve's wife Lulu was not available to help me so I resorted to duct tape and a openend wrench.  I placed the nut in the openend wrench and put a piece of duct tape on the opposite side of the openend to hold the nut in the wrench.   Then an assistant on the outside turned the bolt while I tried to get the nut positioned correctly and treaded, we managed to get everything bolted back in place.  As I recall there were quite a few salty sailorly words spoken during the process.

    Its been a number of years since I rebeded those stanchions, in recalling the adventure I think I may have put a slight bend in the openend wrench to aid in the process.  I also remember a small mirror being used to look up into the bulwark. 

    Take a close look at the stanchions before your reinstall them, or better yet mark them before you remove them.  There is a difference between the forward most and other stanchions.  The forward most stanchion has a spacer welded into the base that moves the stanchion inboard slightly and keeps it upright rather than angling outboard.

    This is also a good time to rebed your mooring cleats if they are mounted on the bulwarks.


  • May 29, 2013 11:17 AM
    Reply # 1304579 on 1303299
    Deleted user
    Thanks Steve & Kevin,

    Something so simple will require what looks like hours.  Robert Sutton, on my blog, recommended a SS Plate mounted behind the holes with 5200, drilled and threaded so I'd never have to worry about this again.  Not sure how thick they'd need to be but I thought that was a neat idea. there no easy way to do this...?  What about drilling all the way through the hull, longer SS Bolts with 5200?  Just a thought...

    Thanks... I'll post updates on my blog,

    David F.
  • May 29, 2013 1:08 PM
    Reply # 1304787 on 1303299


    I have seen boats where the owners have thru bolted stanchions and cleats thru the bulwarks, so that is a possibility.  The layup of the hull and deck are strong enough to support the loads on the stanchions.  Ideally you would have spacers inside the bulwarks to prevent compression from over tightening.  BUT, you will also be introducing three more holes per stanchion on the outside of the hull and those three holes will have the possibility of leaking at some point.  The fewer holes in your boat the better...

    The backing plate idea is sound and was used by a number of Asian builders during the 80's, it works.  But you will still have to figure out how to get the plate glued up into place(...5200 maybe...?) in the bulwark so you can drill and tap it.  5200 takes 72 hours to dry completely.  I suspect you can get those 12 bolts and nuts installed in less than 72 hours.

    My suggestion is you just accept that this is going to take a few hours to do correctly, but you likely won't have to do it again in your lifetime.  Some projects just take lots of time to do correctly and don't give much visual reward when done.  Aahhhhh, but the satisfaction of a job well done is......well....nevermind...!


  • May 29, 2013 5:35 PM
    Reply # 1304927 on 1303299
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have used what I call a ratching end wrench on the chain plates -- maybe it would work.  The upper tool below - lower tool is to bulky.



  • June 02, 2013 4:09 PM
    Reply # 1307652 on 1303299
    My suggestion would be to use a 3/8" thick aluminum plate as a backup.  Drill and tap the plate ahead of time to match the holes in the stanchion base.  Make the bottom of the plate long enough to use as a handle to be able to slide it up in place without hurting your hands.  Goop up the plate with 5200, slide it up into place, and install the stanchion with the bolts with lock washers and flat washers.  Put some caulking on the stanchion and the flat washer before setting the stanchion in place. 

    When you feel the need to re-caulk after a few years, the 5200 will keep the backup plate in place.