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Old 02-04-2014, 19:52   #1
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Looking for advice on companionway

So I want to fix up the companionway since the top wood slat just falls off. I would like to beef up the strength with a 316 stainless steel c-channel with 1" flange/base to fit inside. Reason why I want to reinforce the inside channel with stainless steel is I have the ability to get a security gate (stainless bars welded together to let air in). This particular item seems to elude my searches with most c-channels being 2" on the flange. I hope these pictures help clear up anything that could be misunderstood. So is there anyplace anyone knows of that I can get 1" flange 316 stainless C-channel with 1/2" sides? Should I just go with the larger flange and make new companionway doors? Should I opt for something besides 316 stainless that will come in the size but may not be as sturdy?

Any advice is welcome
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Old 02-04-2014, 20:36   #2
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

You can buy pultruded fiberglass or extruded aluminum or formed SS.

Try McMaster

McMaster-Carr ALUMINUM

McMaster-Carr FRP

McMaster-Carr 305 SS
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Old 02-04-2014, 20:58   #3
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

I called up McMaster-Carr and spoke with the sales rep. She recommended the 316 stainless for saltwater marine environment instead of the 304/305 stainless. I guess I was so fixated on the metal that I needed that additional perspective to think about using fiberglass.

Thank you for the advice
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Old 03-04-2014, 17:06   #4
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

Just out of interest, since I'm also remodeling my companionway - how do you plan to fix the c-channel into the wooden frame? Drill and screw it, or glue it with epoxy or ....?
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Old 03-04-2014, 18:49   #5
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

For this type of thing 304 stainless is fine. It may not last quite as long as 316, but since there is no stress normally corrosion will be pretty slow. The worst of it will be on the back side of the plate where is marries up to sidewall.
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Old 03-04-2014, 19:48   #6
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

Online metals

Order Stainless 304 Rectangle Tube in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

I could not find channel, but here is 1 by 1-1/2" 304. Carefully rip it into two sections with a grinder and cut off wheel.
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Old 03-04-2014, 20:21   #7
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

Posner industries could probably source it. Mcmaster carr you pay a premium but they have amazing stock that usually comes next day. 304 should be fine. I am playing with this same idea. Think I could do something okay with carbon . Looking more at how the hatch gets secured to the companionway.


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Old 04-04-2014, 01:00   #8
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

Thank you guys for your input. I was thinking of just getting a 2'2" piece of stainless steel rectangular tubing like hpeer mentioned and the sales rep mentioned how hard it would be to cut, as did the rep from penn stainless, as did the metal fabricator, and finally as did my brother the blacksmith. Yes I was thinking of using the big drill press and poking holes in to attach it to the wood- just trim off an 1/8" on either side and slide it right in. Epoxy with screwing I think would be overkill. This is where I was asked if it was better to build something that will last 20 years and cost a bunch or simplify it and use one of those 1" closet organizer upright tracts that only cost a few bucks. This somehow seems wrong fixing to a level below my standards. Easier absolutely but still feels wrong.

On the other hand if I am replacing the boards (sorry no pic but they are original 1969) then why not get the thinnest available stainless steel c-channel
McMaster-Carr
and build the boards and security gate to fit inside of it. 1 5/8 will make the boards a bit thicker- but then so will the security gate. I know with reading this forum the mentality of boat security and here I am using a metal gate on a fiberglass boat. People will get in if they really want to- I just think the noise of someone trying to get in will be absolutely enough to wake me.

I will admit that the idea about the security gate came from


Done by HoboTraveler and it is 1 min 10 sec into the video
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Old 04-04-2014, 15:44   #9
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Re: Looking for advice on companionway

I obtained something similar from an Industrial/Commercial kitchen supplier.
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