We recently acquired a 35-year old sailboat, and we're working on getting it shipshape. One issue is that the vast majority of through-deck mountings leak. I'm guessing that the deck hardware
has never, ever been re-bedded since it left the factory.
Upon checking the underside of the deck
, seems there are no backing plates
on any of the through-deck bolts. Not even fender
washers. Just small, standard-sized washers. Yikes. I'm afraid to pull very hard on the stanchions...
1. I know that SS backing plates
are the Cadillac way to go, but I understand that cutting SS plate is not for the DIYer. Even drilling is more difficult. A knowledgeable sailor recommended just going with aluminum
plate instead. Much easier to cut and drill. Of course, now we're talking about dissimilar metals. I could address this by applying some Tef-Gel, or perhaps putting a plastic sleeve in the hole and a plastic washer under the nut to avoid stainless-to-aluminum contact. (Note: boat is almost always in freshwater, have not seen much evidence of galvanic corrosion) Any recommendations? If SS, any suggestions where/how to get plate stock cut to size? Btw, since almost all through-deck locations are hidden from view, appearance is not a factor here.
2. In many instances using backing plates will be problematic, as the underside of the deck at the mounting location is contoured, not flat. Not just a little
curvature, but in some cases complex
surfaces. I was thinking of using some modeling clay to make an impressions of these surfaces, then using the clay models as templates to shape blocks of hardwood. In other words, construct filler pieces that would go between the backing plate and the underside of the deck. Is there a better way to do this? Epoxy
? Anyone else ever have this problem?