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Author Topic: Loose Companionway Stairs  (Read 432 times)

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dselec

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Loose Companionway Stairs
« on: September 22, 2021, 11:27:40 AM »

Iím evaluating repair options and would appreciate input from the group. I did a search here and did not see this issue addressed

The companionway upper stairs are wobbly in my MkII hull 1450 because the 2 screws holding the right-side bracket no longer fully tighten into the fiberglass companionway back wall, i.e. stripped.

Iím considering using spring loaded anchors with machine screws (see image) but I am hesitant to drill the required half-inch diameter holes which leave little material between the two bracket screws. Also, I have no information on the load rating of the anchors or screws.

Other options would be masonry anchors such as Tapcons, but donít know if these would hold in fiberglass.

Would filling in the holes with some kind of epoxy (5200, JB Weld etc.) and drilling new holes be a better way to go?

Thanks,
Dave
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Dave Siegel
1999 C34 mkII, hull #1450
Home Port: St. Clair Shores, MI

Jim Hardesty

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2021, 11:44:52 AM »

I'd fill with thickened epoxy and redrill.  Not sure but you may be able to access the other side from the motor compartment.  If so, would use a backing plate and epoxy.  Temporary fix may be plastic screw anchor.
Hope this helps,
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Noah

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2021, 11:50:36 AM »

I agree you should try and fill with thickened epoxy and re-drillóbefore you decide to use anything that would make a larger hole. Might want to bevel the hole with a countersink bit before filling to give more area for epoxy to bite.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 11:53:16 AM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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waughoo

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 01:11:19 PM »

Mine are thru-bolted on my mk 1.5.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

rmjohns

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 02:07:02 PM »

I have this same issue. A couple weeks ago I used a plastic insert on the top hole that expands when you put a screw in it. It was a good temporary fix, but I don't think it's going to hold long term.  I was nervous about drilling out both holes as it didn't leave a lot of fiberglass between them.  Unfortunately you can't get behind that area, at least not that I could find.

I think ultimately it's going to be a case of filling with epoxy. I've heard of soaking foam in epoxy, like one of those foam ear plugs, and squeezing that in the hole and letting it expand and cure in the hole.  I might try something like that..

Another option might be putting something on the bottom step to prevent it from pushing forward when weight is applied, like a door hook or maybe a pin on the bottom step that goes into a hole on the engine cover. I might do this in addition to fixing the support.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 02:08:21 PM by rmjohns »
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Rob

1998 Catalina 34 Mkii 1390 - Miss Allie

Ron Hill

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2021, 02:48:53 PM »

dse : I'd first try filling with epoxy and redrilling the holes. 

If that doesn't hold then do like Alex mentioned and thru bolt with an acorn nut to finish off the cockpit side!

A thought

 
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Noah

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 03:19:52 PM »

Mine are through-bolted as well.
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2021, 04:59:51 PM »

................................
Another option might be putting something on the bottom step to prevent it from pushing forward when weight is applied, like a door hook or maybe a pin on the bottom step that goes into a hole on the engine cover. I might do this in addition to fixing the support.

Nope, you'd regret that when, not if, the top support pulled out.

Mine are thru bolted, too.  Much easier "fix" to do it right in the first place.

Good luck.

PS - Dave, that's why we suggest you add your hull # to your signature or avatar.  Could be an early boat before they learned better...:D ?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 05:01:23 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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KWKloeber

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2021, 08:06:54 PM »

Dave,

What you have is a "Molly" anchor -- throw that in the junk drawer.

The fix depends on whether you want it permanent or a cob job (e.g., slather some 'poxy in the hole) that will eventually fail.

What I don't know is how much void space is between the skins (both distance and extent.)  There's a few ways to do a POSITIVE, PERMANENT fix and it works for other locations where there's a (relatively) thin skin in front of a void.

The below had to do with securely replacing a stripped-out canvas snap -- but you'll get the idea and adapt them.  I'd probably opt for two well nuts/machine screws first -- there's nothing to loose.

https://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,10711.msg83347.html#msg83347




 
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rmjohns

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2021, 05:29:35 AM »

The MKii boats must be a little different than the earlier models. The screw attachments are below the floor level of the cockpit floor and you can't get to the back side of the mount point as the bulkhead is right below it. (See Dave's first picture above) So thru-bolting is not an (easy) option.

I mentioned I did try the plastic inserts, but they tend to have a lip around them so they can grab the fiberglass and not turn with the screw. Unfortunately that lip keeps the mounting bracket 1/8" or so off the wall which makes the stair feel loose.

I'll try the foam in epoxy this weekend, which I notice is in KW's link. That seems like the best option.

Rob
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Rob

1998 Catalina 34 Mkii 1390 - Miss Allie

Stu Jackson

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2021, 12:12:03 PM »

The MKii boats must be a little different than the earlier models. The screw attachments are below the floor level of the cockpit floor and you can't get to the back side of the mount point as the bulkhead is right below it. (See Dave's first picture above) So thru-bolting is not an (easy) option.
....................................

Good point.  That's why I suggested that Dave add his boat information, so we'd know.  Looking again at his photos, it becomes more evident that it is a Mark II because of the finish on the interior.  But you'd have to know both boats to be sure, and would be a lot easier if it had been mentioned.
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dselec

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2021, 12:20:02 PM »

Thanks to everyone for suggestions on fixing this.

I'm going to try beveling the holes, filling with Marine-Tex epoxy and re-drilling pilot screw holes.

If this works, I'll do the left bracket as well, because while the left-side screws are fairly tight, one of them does turn continuously. Another interesting thing is that there are slotted screws holding the left bracket and Phillips screws on the right. I'm not sure which are Catalina original - I would think they would use the same screws for both sides.

Per Stu's suggestion, I added boat info. Will let you know how this repair turns out.

Dave


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Dave Siegel
1999 C34 mkII, hull #1450
Home Port: St. Clair Shores, MI

Ron Hill

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2021, 01:41:30 PM »

Dave : I'm sure that the Phillips screws are the original and the slotted heads are someone's replacements!!

A thought
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dselec

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2021, 10:33:34 AM »

I filled the bracket screw holes with JB Weld Cold Weld formula epoxy, drilled 7/32Ē pilot holes for the #10 screws and remounted the bracket. The stairs are rock-solid at this point. Thanks for all the suggestions. Dave
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Dave Siegel
1999 C34 mkII, hull #1450
Home Port: St. Clair Shores, MI

Ekutney

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Re: Loose Companionway Stairs
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2021, 07:06:30 AM »

I have viewed many pics of the companionway but mine is a bit different.

I assume this is the original configuration since my hull # is a very early C34.

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Ed Kutney
1986 C34
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