One of the issues we noted when getting Elara surveyed was elevated moisture levels in the deck around some of the stanchions and the traveller. Not surprising, given that they were loose, and the bedding compound had dried and cracked. Fortunately there were no soft spots or signs of serious water intrusion in the deck core, so we resolved to simply remove the stanchions, rout out the core, fill with thickened epoxy, re-drill and properly re-bed the hardware using the technique here: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/rebedding_hardware. This technique ensures that not only is a good seal attained, but that even if there is water intrusion in the future it will not penetrate the core, as the core is “walled off” by the epoxy.
Basically we wanted to make sure we did it right, so as not to have to worry in the future!
Of course, as we left the dock on our maiden voyage back to Philly, a helpful soul tried to shove us off – and did so right from the (loose) port-side stanchions, which actually sheared right off! (on the Mk III version of the C30, the main stanchion bolt is actual part of the stanchion base – this had corroded, and sheared right off, leaving the 1/2″ bolt bottom in the deck and the stanchion held on with only the two small secondary bolts.)
The C30 mk III stanchion
The sheared off bolts from ours! (Note the undersized washers – we replaced them with proper backings!)
Now with 2 gaping holes in our deck, the rebedding issue became quite urgent! We still couldn’t do anything about it till we got back to Philly, so we did our best to cover the holes with duct tape and hope for the best. An order was quickly placed with catalinadirect for new stanchions – not only were there holes in our deck, but the weather was quickly getting cooler and would soon be too cold for epoxy to set up!
Fortunately we had a few warm days left, so we quickly got to work. The hardest part was actually getting access to the stanchion bolts themselves – the one in the head required removing the cabinetry to access it, as well as cutting away the fiberglass trim covering it up. Geez, it’s like they just assumed no one will ever need to rebed these things… Once the bolts were accessed, we ran into problem #2 – the bolts themselves were bent and jammed in the deck. Nothing some pliers, a hammer and much swearing couldn’t cure though! Once the bolts were out, we were able to see that, as suspected, the core was still in good shape. I routed out the core around the bolt holes and filled with thickened epoxy. Once the epoxy cured we could breathe easy as now at least our deck didn’t have holes in it, and our core was protected. Re-installing the new stanchions (once we got them) was probably the easiest part. We simply re-drilled through the epoxy filling the old holes and bolted the new stanchions in. We finished late in the afternoon, and were almost about to collapse but we decided to go out for a sail, as we realized it might be the last one of the year! The evening was beautiful, and we had a wonderful last sail. A very satisfying way to end the season.