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Old 07-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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Question Replacing Sampson Post

Looking for any feedback & ideas concerning replacing the Sampson Post.

Removed old post that was a 4" x 4" x 7' - went all the way down to the keel.

Should I replace with Stainless Steel, Aluminum or Wood?
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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If it were me I'd use wood. For me it would be easier to work with.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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I'd be inclined to use wood, too, making sure it was the right wood for the job.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #4
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OK . . . What type of wood would be best for this application? Not sure what the old post wood is.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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I would be inclined to replace it with stainless steel. As others have stated, it's the material I would be most comfortable working in. Aluminum would be a close second.

Wood has got it this far in life, I'm sure it would serve well in the future.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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OK . . . What type of wood would be best for this application? Not sure what the old post wood is.
I'd talk to someone very experienced with working with wood on boats. Like a shipwright or two. I can pose your question to the shipwrights on the Grand Banks owners forum who are very experienced in working with the older wood GBs as well as the newer fiberglass boats.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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The post looks just like ours, it is made of 2 teak 2"x4" laminated together to make a 4"x4" post. Looks like the same top cap and cross bar, 27 years old and still going strong.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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OK . . . What type of wood would be best for this application? Not sure what the old post wood is.
Teak would be considered by many to be the best choice, but it is very expensive and probably isn't necessary unless you expect the portion of the post under the deck to be exposed to water regularly. A much harder, denser, stable and beautiful wood that can be substituted for teak is Jatoba a.k.a. Brazilian Cherry, which you could order from most lumber yards. Here's a source that can supply you with 4 x 4 stock Link . It has been used for planking on piers and railroad sleepers and has naturally occurring anti-fungal chemicals in it. I've used a lot of Jatoba, and the key for a Samson's post would be to get tight grain wood. Specify that you do not want sapwood, as that is less dense and less rot resistant. I would use epoxy for gluing.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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Three replies from the GB Owners forum....

From Bob Lowe, former owner of Oak Harbor Boatworks in Oak Harbor, WA--- "Oak is probably a good choice. Many of the hard woods used on boats are actually a bit brittle. Oak has been used successfully for centuries. Be sure to seal the wood well and make sure it has no way to trap water at deck level. Oak is not particularly rot resistant."

From another member--- "Make sure you use white oak as red is more apt to rot. Not only seal soak the foot of the post with CPES but bed the base with 5200 or 4200. Most posts appear to rot just after they enter the deck. The strain and movement placed on the sides of the post appear to push out and break down sealants over time."

And a response from Bob Lowe--- "The post should not bear on the sealant. It should be installed solidly against the framework. This can be accomplished with thinly tapered hardwood wedges if neccesary (preferable), or grouted in with fiber-reinforced expoxy (second choice). The seam should be created and then sealed with something like 4200 or Sikaflex and coved at deck level to shed water."
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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This sounds like something you could have some fun with. Laminate some different woods together. Use a strange colored wood like Purple Heart or Sapodilla. Use your imagination and make it a show piece.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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If a wooden boat: go wood. Otherwise, go steel.

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Old 07-06-2012, 12:09 AM   #12
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This sounds like something you could have some fun with. Laminate some different woods together. Use a strange colored wood like Purple Heart or Sapodilla. Use your imagination and make it a show piece.
Not a bad idea. On a prior boat, the post was such a lamination of hardwoods with a stainless steel 1" pin through it which looked quite good. I would stay away from oak, since it shows mildew spots, is less hard and dense than alternatives, isn't particularly rot resistant and doesn't look that interesting.

Never used sapodilla, but it looks really cool.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:51 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Marin;92860]Three replies from the GB Owners forum....

From another member--- "Make sure you use white oak as red is more apt to rot. Not only seal soak the foot of the post with CPES but bed the base with 5200 or 4200. Most posts appear to rot just after they enter the deck. The strain and movement placed on the sides of the post appear to push out and break down sealants over time."

As well as better rot resistance, White Oak has a denser, longer grain, providing much more strength than Red Oak.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:33 AM   #14
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If the post is to be used , the loads will make the seal at deck level hard to maintain.

SS rots less than wood.

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Old 07-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #15
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If you are down in Tampa, Fl.... ask around to what the old time wooden boats were made from.

While strength is a consideration for a sampson post...often the sheer size (for convenience of tying line to it) of it makes up for lack of the wood strength or how it's tied in to the boat's structure.

There could be local woods you could use rather than using something "exotic", even if the exotic wood is white oak from up north. Local wood might be available in one piece and save you the laminating time...although one advantage of lamiated structure is it can often take longer to rot to the point of disaster.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #16
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How long do you want it to last?

I would go with the most affordable choice. As long as it will serve the purpose.

If you went with something like Stainless, that post will be around long after you and your use of the boat.

I have taken to fixing things with a 20 year life span in mind

If I am still boating in 20 years It should give up about the same time I do.

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #17
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Teak

Mine is solid 4x4 teak and is original to the 1977 M/T. With that said if I were to replace it I would use 316 stainless steel.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:01 AM   #18
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I agree with the teak as mine was installed in 1979 and is as strong as ever. If you get a teak 4x4, make sure it is straight grain,NOT flat grain, it will out last you if installed properly.BB
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:33 AM   #19
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Another response from a member of the GB owners forum----

"Many of the sampson post, bow post, and stern (horn or post) timbers on older commercial vessles are replaced with purpleheart. It's not as cheap as it use to be but it has the strength of steel and is very rot resistant. It can also be had in some pretty hurky dimensions."
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:19 PM   #20
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Thanks to all for the very different opinions, which of course creates more questions. I do want it to be useable so SS would probably be best.
Thanks again
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