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Old 09-24-2020, 08:42 PM   #1
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Windlass platform wood repair/replace, samson post corrosion

Boat project #3,271...

My ideal windlass, probably original to the boat, is mounted on a 3.5" thick, 12"x16" hunk of solid wood of unknown provenance. It looks okay from above, but is a horror show of rot and corrosion underneath (see pic).

Several of the mounting washers have compressed the wood where water intruded and rotted out the bottom.

Also, the brackets off the samson post are badly corroded.

I suspect what's happening is that water (and salt) is making its way down the bolt holes and hanging out soaking the wood and metal at the bottom washers, creating an oxygen free environment where both stainless steel and wood go to die.

Despite appearances, the platform is pretty solid & I anchor with a snubber so have back-burnered this for a while but do want to get it fixed. First question is the platform wood: I suspect if I took everything off, stripped it, dug out the rotten wood, filled it with wood filler or epoxy, then coated the whole thing with something durable that would be doable. Would it be better to start fresh?

The second is the samson post repair - it seems I'll need to get it off the boat and into the hands of a competent welder, right?
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:08 PM   #2
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It is difficult to make a recommendation without actually seeing the piece, but what you might try is to clean up the wood, getting the loose rotten wood off. Then get some penetrating epoxy, like Smith and Company, and soak the suspect wood until it wonít take any more. This will take multiple applications. Then use some epoxy thickened with some structural filler and fill the missing wood. Reinstall it and then use a huge backing plate on the bottom to spread out any stress loading. When you drill any holes in the wood seal it with either the penetrating epoxy or at least with some unthickened epoxy so if there is a leak in the future the wood will not get saturated but rather the leak will just run out the bottom. Also before you refinish the wood completely coat it with epoxy to seal up the wood. Check out the West System instructions about sealing the wood. Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
Boat project #3,271...

My ideal windlass, probably original to the boat, is mounted on a 3.5" thick, 12"x16" hunk of solid wood of unknown provenance. It looks okay from above, but is a horror show of rot and corrosion underneath (see pic).
I can see lots of mild steel rusting. Cant see rot. Are you sure there is even any wood in there?

Several of the mounting washers have compressed the wood where water intruded and rotted out the bottom.
Need to see pictures from above to see this?
Also, the brackets off the samson post are badly corroded. Those look like mild steel, so no wonder. Better pictures might help.

I suspect what's happening is that water (and salt) is making its way down the bolt holes and hanging out soaking the wood and metal at the bottom washers, creating an oxygen free environment where both stainless steel and wood go to die.

Despite appearances, the platform is pretty solid & I anchor with a snubber so have back-burnered this for a while but do want to get it fixed. First question is the platform wood If you doubt this, you need to drill into it and actually find out what is under the fibreglass.: I suspect if I took everything off, stripped it, dug out the rotten wood, filled it with wood filler or epoxy, then coated the whole thing with something durable that would be doable. Would it be better to start fresh?

The second is the samson post repair - it seems I'll need to get it off the boat and into the hands of a competent welder, right?
Some welders actually come down to your boat. find one of those first.
More and better pictures please.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:55 PM   #4
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Thanks!

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More and better pictures please.
This is what I have on me - I’ll be back tomorrow and can take more.

It’s painted wood for sure; there’s a chunk taken out of the fwd at stbd side where I can see the grain (see pic).

As for the rot, it’s clearly there - several of the washers are pulled 1/2 inch into the wood.
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:21 AM   #5
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Are you a woodworker? If so you might just start with new wood. But still do all the epoxy sealing treatment so that new wood will last.
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:25 AM   #6
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On the Samson post, it looks to me like they cheaped out and used mild steel for the mounting tabs. Certainly would not be the first time that's been done.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Are you a woodworker? If so you might just start with new wood. But still do all the epoxy sealing treatment so that new wood will last.
Yeah thatís part of the question. Iím ok, not great. Was thinking it might be best to laminate a new block together out of ply and epoxy the whole thing. I donít have a drill press.

On the Samson, I thought mild steel as well, but who makes the post out of stainless then welds on a couple of tiny mild steel tabs?!? Might it be a combination of heat damage during the weld plus anoxic environment? I dunno... it is pretty thoroughly corroded.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:30 AM   #8
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You donít want to use plywood but rather real wood and laminate it together with epoxy. A hand drill will probably suffice. Or go to a local woodworking shop and have them laminate the block and you do the epoxy work to seal the wood. I would rather build a new one than try to repair the old rotten one. Seal it up well from the beginning and it will last much better because you can never be sure that you got all the rotted wood treated. Use a good grade hardwood, something like mahogany. Have it laminated with epoxy rather than a wood glue since it will be out in the weather.
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:47 PM   #9
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The pads/tabs welded to the post that hold the wood piece look like just mild steel from the rusting. They should be possible to remove and have pieces of SS welded in place. Then the whole post taken to an electropolishing shop.

Just depends upon what kind of a job post removal will be. Carefully examine the mounting below.
A good fabricator may be able to remove and replace those pads in place. The electropolish won't be able to be done though.

Or just wire brush the daylights out of them and paint them.

As for the wood pad, Mahogany sounds good. But as suggested be suire to seal with epoxy , maybe a layer of glass also and back fill any holes so water can't fill them and be absorbed into the block.
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Old 09-26-2020, 11:04 PM   #10
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I agree on mild steel tabs. There are people that will come to your boat, cut and weld new SS tabs. But probably cheaper to wait until the next haul out. If it's easy to remove the post, it's much cheaper to take it to a welding shop.

I'd start with new wood and use the old as a pattern. Completely fiberglass it including coating the holes all the way thru with resin. Then paint it. Resin doesn't hold up well to UV light.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:00 AM   #11
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I would use sapele for laminating. Cheaper and stronger than mahogany.
Ideally holes should be drilled oversized, epoxied, and then redrilled to final dia in the epoxy. Coat through holes with epoxy at a minumum.

Use SS fender washers for all bolts. For press-n-snap fittings I wrap screw with a bead of butyl to seal it.

Looks like the steel tabs were welded onto 304 SS. Any MIG shop should be able to fabricate new tabs and send a truck out to weld them on.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:31 PM   #12
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I've been poking around for thick chunks of wood - tough to find! The platform is 3.5" thick.

Maybe a crazy idea: Anyone use UHMWP? I can get a 3" thick 12"x24" chunk for $250 - this is basically bearing material, used for chain guides too. Looking at its strength characteristics they appear more than sufficient. It sure as heck wouldn't rot. It'd need to be painted for UV resistance but that's probably it.



https://www.polytechindustrial.com/p...w-polyethylene
https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/buy/...ural/pid/15604
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:41 PM   #13
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Check out King Starboard. It doesnít require any finish like paint. It is UV protected. Buck woodworks sells it cut to size. The issues with it is that it isnít structural and you would have to put 2 - 1 1/2Ē and a 1/2Ē to get 3.5Ē thick. If you donít need structure then you can get the 3 pieces in 12X24Ē for $228 from Buck. I love Starboard since you never have to finish it and it works with standard woodworking tools. No affiliation.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
I've been poking around for thick chunks of wood - tough to find! The platform is 3.5" thick.

Maybe a crazy idea: Anyone use UHMWP? I can get a 3" thick 12"x24" chunk for $250 - this is basically bearing material, used for chain guides too. Looking at its strength characteristics they appear more than sufficient. It sure as heck wouldn't rot. It'd need to be painted for UV resistance but that's probably it.



https://www.polytechindustrial.com/p...w-polyethylene
https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/buy/...ural/pid/15604

The problem using a 3.5Ē thick piece of wood is that it is likely to crack. That is why I would laminate thinner pieces to get the proper thickness.

I donít know if you will get any paint to stick to UHMW. Maybe if you flame treat it first???
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:51 PM   #15
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I donít know if you will get any paint to stick to UHMW. Maybe if you flame treat it first???
This is a good point... I like the starboard idea - I think I could get away with epoxying two 1.5" pieces together. Nice not to have to worry about the consequences of the chain wearing through a coating where it goes through the platform.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:43 PM   #16
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This is a good point... I like the starboard idea - I think I could get away with epoxying two 1.5" pieces together. Nice not to have to worry about the consequences of the chain wearing through a coating where it goes through the platform.
Epoxy will not stick to Starboard, almost nothing will. They now make a glue but the dispenser is pretty pricey if you are not going to do a lot of it. I would just screw it together from the bottom and that will be good enough. Just don’t put the thin sheet on top so the screws don’t protrude. The best thing about Starboard is no finish required. I use it a lot to replace exterior teak. Also it machines very easily. We have made angled antenna mounts with it using a milling machine. I use a jointer to finish the sides after cutting and routers if you want a roundover on the edge. Some boat builders use Starboard where the chain comes into a windlass to prevent dings in the deck. It is pretty tough stuff.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:03 PM   #17
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For 3.5 inches thick, why not make it out of cored fiberglass? Either laminate in wood (even good plywood) or use a dense foam or something like coosa board. And then fiberglass over that. Should be easy to make it look good regardless of what the core looks like. And done right, it should be very strong. Just have to make sure the core can't get wet.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:08 PM   #18
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For 3.5 inches thick, why not make it out of cored fiberglass? Either laminate in wood (even good plywood) or use a dense foam or something like coosa board. And then fiberglass over that. Should be easy to make it look good regardless of what the core looks like. And done right, it should be very strong. Just have to make sure the core can't get wet.
The challenge with that is that there are nine (from memory) penetrations plus the hole for the chain. Thatís what makes the starboard option attractive, particularly for someone (ahem) not terribly good at glass and epoxy work.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:41 AM   #19
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That is one of the great things about Starboard is that standard woodworking tools and skills will do the job just fine. If you have access to a jointer you can clean up the edges after you screw the pieces together. Then a router fo finish the corners with something like a round over bit. Starboard can get a pretty sharp corner when you joint it so you will probably want to knock it down with the round over. No finish work required. It will need to be mechanically fastened together and to the deck. But then no maintenance ever.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:49 PM   #20
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Yeah thatís part of the question. Iím ok, not great. Was thinking it might be best to laminate a new block together out of ply and epoxy the whole thing. I donít have a drill press.

On the Samson, I thought mild steel as well, but who makes the post out of stainless then welds on a couple of tiny mild steel tabs?!? Might it be a combination of heat damage during the weld plus anoxic environment? I dunno... it is pretty thoroughly corroded.
If you cannot keep the wood try and keep in intact so you can use it as a template/sample
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