andykane

How to remove this pulpit

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My boat uses these trick stanchion bases that lock into the toe rail and are held in place with one big bolt. This is a pretty slick setup, except 35 years down the road when I need to remove the pulpit and the stainless posts are corroded into the aluminum bases. I can't remove the post, so I can't pivot the base because the other side of the pulpit locks it in place. 

Any idea how to deal with this? I need to seal a wiring penetration under one of the bases, which I can't really do without removing it. And yes, I've removed the set screws.

PXL_20201115_223349590.jpg

PXL_20201115_223358575.jpg

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looks like it's a friction fit to the toe rail? you could try pulling those bolts and making a spanish windlass from one side to the other and pop the stanchion base out of the toe rail. you're not like to deform the stainless, and you only need to move them a little bit to get them free so it shouldn't affect your wiring.

Otherwise, I think you need to seal it from below. Had a similar issue on my F45 this summer and it was a royal PITA.

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How is the access inside?  Might want to put a hole in the tube with a rubber gommet and a wire gland on the deck. Make life easier down the road.  Looks like the fitting is a cast aluminum alloy and probably will need a bit of heat to release.

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42 minutes ago, ryley said:

looks like it's a friction fit to the toe rail?

Not super clear from the photos but there's a downward lip on the toe rail, so they need to rotate outboard about 45deg before they release. There's a bit of flex in the pulpit but not nearly enough.
 

22 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

How is the access inside?  Might want to put a hole in the tube with a rubber gommet and a wire gland on the deck. Make life easier down the road.  Looks like the fitting is a cast aluminum alloy and probably will need a bit of heat to release.

Access is (of course) poor. I'll try a torch on the base, see if that's enough to loosen things up. A wire gland is a good idea, but I'd still need to seal the old hole.

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Didn't realize it was a existing hole.  Even if apart and repaired I think I would go with a grommet in the SS tube and gland on the deck.  Worse case if you get no headway on the fitting you could put the hole in the tube and fill the base and tube up to it with a runny west mix. Taped on the bottom should seal it all and done slow with a syringe no bubble's.

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Why can't you seal it from below? Long applicator tip on a tube of Life Caulk and you're done.

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The amount of effort to remove these legs will be high and difficult. I'd totally vote for going around the problem.

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You will never get the ss tube out of those cast aluminum bases. They are permanently joined now.

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Cut the pulpit in half on the centre line. Should be able to roll each pair of feet together.

Weld and/or sleeve the pulpit back together

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18 minutes ago, teamvmg said:

Cut the pulpit in half on the centre line. Should be able to roll each pair of feet together.

Weld and/or sleeve the pulpit back together

If you're going to cut, may as well just cut the one leg, it would be easier to sleeve a straight piece together.

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Often when those things are assembled they use a paper thin sheet of plastic wrapped around the stainless part that goes into the aluminum socket to prevent this happening.
If they didn't do that and its 35 years old, then its probably going to be impossible to remove without destroying it.

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Often?

I don't think so - maybe in the highest quality boats but I've never seen it.

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Explain again what's wrong with the pulpit that you have to remove it?  After about six hours of mangled attempts you will get to a point of diminishing returns; Zonk is 100% right on this one. With the metals bonded as solidly as they are, you should be able to apply enough caulk to any seams to keep your wiring plenty dry without having to remove the pulpit. 

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The deck/hull flange joint there will be solid GRP, no core. just squeeze caulk in from below.

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Wrap it with unsought rope hitches to get sufficient anti slide friction.

cut a slot in a piece of aluminum or steel to make a fork in the end so that fork can sit on the base

set the other end of the metal on a 2x4 or whatever it takes to ...

set up a bottle jack that is parallel to the vertical pole, sitting on your fork, and lifting in the rope wrapped around the pole

tension the system and make certain you won’t kink the pole as you apply more pressure 

add pressure and tapity  tap tap on the base and pole 

Dribble in some acid 

try a heat gun 

try rubbing ice cubes on the pole while heating the base

tap tap tap

 

tighten the jack 

cuss a lot

smack it one last time 

leave it under tension and go have a few margaritas

tap it more

let the pressure off and smack it repeatedly

try the same system on a different pole and  socket 

cuss louder 

If  all else fails, cut off all the poles a couple inches above their bases and rebuild it after by adding a sleeve of larger tube over each of the poles 

bill the customer for  every single minute you spend. 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Why can't you seal it from below? Long applicator tip on a tube of Life Caulk and you're done.

No reason other than a little voice saying "no, that just can't be a good idea". But I'm quickly coming to think it may be the best option.

 

13 hours ago, teamvmg said:

Cut the pulpit in half on the centre line. Should be able to roll each pair of feet together.

Weld and/or sleeve the pulpit back together

That's a great idea. With it off the boat I think I could get the bases off. I'll store this in the "long term plan" file.

 

1 hour ago, longy said:

The deck/hull flange joint there will be solid GRP, no core. just squeeze caulk in from below.

Good point - no risk of redirecting the water into the core. Sealing from below it is.
 

1 hour ago, PaulK said:

Explain again what's wrong with the pulpit that you have to remove it?  After about six hours of mangled attempts you will get to a point of diminishing returns; Zonk is 100% right on this one. With the metals bonded as solidly as they are, you should be able to apply enough caulk to any seams to keep your wiring plenty dry without having to remove the pulpit. 

The pulpit's fine, the problem is the small gap under the base which is not really enough to caulk without resorting to the "bathtub fillet" method, but plenty big for lots of water that runs down the deck to drain through the hole, down the wires, and into the v-berth. 

 

Thanks everyone, sounds like the winner is just goop it up from below.

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Just cut the "legs"above the bases. Unscrew the bases, Dremel out the rest, refurb the bases, find someone to weld 4 new short legs, grind, polish, fine.

You can take the bases home ...one each evening .

 

 

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You could also try repeated applications of Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure, but I would still go in from the bottom first and see if a good serving of goo works.

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I'd leave the bases on the tubes.

Have you backed the phillips head screws out and confirmed that you can't pull the base out the 1/4 inch it takes to be clear of the toe rail?

Pulpits are wet spaghetti noodles once you get the bolts out, and all you really need is a 1/4 inch of pre-load that will hold pressure while you give it a tug, and a pop with a dead blow hammer to break any corrosion to the toe rail.

I'd give a spanish windlass a try between the bases, so you can pull it together and hold it there.  You can use a zip-tie or hose clamp to hold the rope down low by the bases, so it doesn't slip upward and get a finger pinch... 

 

 

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There's no corrosion between the base and the toe rail - there's a lip on the toe rail that the base mechanically locks into. With the phillips bolt out I can flex the whole thing pretty good, but it needs to pivot around 40 degrees outboard before the lip disengages.

You can see the lip a bit in this photo - notice how there's an upward hook on the cleat that locks into it. The pulpit base is the same deal.

IMG_20200223_115627.jpg

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Can you grind a relief (to remove the lip) into the toerail aft of each stanchion base and then slide the entire pulpit arrangement back, then up and out?

Might be worth the effort if you really think you can remove those bases down on a bench. I am not sure that's happening though.

 

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On 11/17/2020 at 7:08 PM, SloopJonB said:

Often?

I don't think so - maybe in the highest quality boats but I've never seen it.

I wouldn't say MG yachts were known for their quality finishing touches but they did it on mine (or at least someone did down the line), the plastic was pretty manky but it did the trick.
Either way its a clean way of doing it if the OP does manage to disassemble it, no mess unlike Duralac.

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Those look like bases that C&C used - if they are, I believe they are still available from an outfit in Ontario - check the C&C owners group.

If so, that one could be carefully cut away from the tube and replaced with a new one.

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8 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Those look like bases that C&C used - if they are, I believe they are still available from an outfit in Ontario - check the C&C owners group.

If so, that one could be carefully cut away from the tube and replaced with a new one.

Nope, not a C&C base.

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Looks like the bases are vertical? Cut the tubes flush with the top of the bases. Take them off and bore out the stubs. Drop the pulpit back it - yeah it'll be a couple inches shorter. 

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57 minutes ago, Ishmael said:
9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Those look like bases that C&C used - if they are, I believe they are still available from an outfit in Ontario - check the C&C owners group.

If so, that one could be carefully cut away from the tube and replaced with a new one.

Nope, not a C&C base.

Calling Cristoforo to the white courtesy phone.

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It might be relatively simple to remove the fasteners from the front few feet of toerail but I already described what I would have done. 
it has been a few days. By now, with acid soaking and tapping and lubricants and bottle jacks, and numerous acceptable bailout plans if I couldn’t get the feet loose,  I would have already done the fixing and  reassembly .

i sm not. Ragging or complaining. I am merely stating, many solutions have been offered 

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Let’s backup. What was your original plan? Assuming you were able to bribe the Sailboat God to undo decades of corrosion. 

1. loosen the set screws. 
2. remove stainless pulpit

3. Waterproof your wire penetration.
4. Reinstall pulpit with grease. 

#3 How? What product? 
 

Currently, you are fucked. Drill a smallish 3/16” hole carefully into the stantion base as low as possible. Fill the fucker with a tube of silicone sealant. Fill the hole with an aluminium epoxy filler. 
 

Don’t hit the wire. 

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Don't use silicone. Anything but silicone. Congealed mammoth smegma, whatever. But not silicone.

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I wouldn’t use silicone for anything else on a boat. In this case gutter silicone is really easy to get out of a tube, sticks to anything, cures easily and is $5 a tube. It will touch nothing else that you care about. 

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11 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Don't use silicone. Anything but silicone. Congealed mammoth smegma, whatever. But not silicone.

Does that mean I can't use Dow 795 anymore?

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5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Does that mean I can't use Dow 795 anymore?

That's a different application, and the 795 is excellent for trimming window installations. My thinking is if the silicone doesn't work on that leak, nothing else is going to stick there ever. That's why I referenced Life Caulk upthread, you can try again with some hope of the second application working better.

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I agree with the couple of posters re Spanish windlass-compress with bases on to get the bases out from underneath the lip of the toe rail. You might also be able to knock the pulpit back with a soft hammer to unwedge it, as the toe rail widens when you move aft. All of this presumes you’ve chiseled the bases away from the bedding compound.

I also agree w just goup it from underneath...that is make sure it’s thoroughly dry, seal the wire intrusion above deck/on pulpit then eventually from below deck.

 

 

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The OP said there is a lip on the base that requires it be rotated under the toe rail - it can't just be pulled on to disengage it.

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Well this turned more popular that I would have guessed. Maybe it's time to start up a Patreon account.


I did my best attempt at the seal it from below approach, now just wait and see. I don't have high hopes as you can probably see from the photo. Access is very tight, and the hole isn't much bigger than the wire. But I pulled the washer (which has a notch cut for the wiring...) and gooped it in there as best I could. Judging by how I could easily slide the wiring up and down, there was zero sealant in there before.

Plan B is flex the pulpit outboard enough to clean under the base, and inject some caulking from on deck. My go-to butyl tape can't get far enough under the base but I think some injected sealant might.

Plan never ever going to happen is Gouv's idea to unbolt the toerails, complete with the total lack of access and glued in place with 5200 fun that that would entail.

PXL_20201121_211305645.jpg

PXL_20201121_210824872.jpg

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Did you take the nut and washer off for the gooping?

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1 minute ago, Ishmael said:

Did you take the nut and washer off for the gooping?

Yessir. And scrubbed everything clean too, so ugly as it is, there's at least a theoretical chance it will hold.

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