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Author Topic: Mast step / stringer  (Read 7063 times)

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kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2017, 06:45:39 PM »

Installed a plate on top.
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kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2017, 06:47:08 PM »

And glassed in to surrounding area.
just need paint and done.
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Jon W

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2017, 09:17:51 PM »

You made it look easy. Really nice work.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

Bill Shreeves

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2019, 08:40:32 AM »

Sorry for the lengthy post but, this may be useful to someone else.

I too "had" a mast step stringer that was very wet.  This winter's project was to expose / remove the wet wood in the bilge on my ’87 C34 after seeing wetness in the wood small gaps around the keel bolts when I replaced the keel bolt nuts and washers last Spring.  From what I’ve read, the wood could be plywood or a hardwood and understanding that if wet, it needs to go.  As many who’ve researched this, they’ve found the drawing / directions from Catalina on replacing this wood in the bilge with fiberglass as well as drawings / instructions for replacing a wood mast step / stringer
With the mast step / stringer on top of the bilge, I figured that too could be wet and that I’ll probably need it out of the way to replace the wet wood in the bilge.

So, I had the mast pulled and removed the fiberglass cover of the mast step / stringer.  Sure enough, it was very wet wood.  Not soft but very wet and I figured, glad I opened it up and got to it before it rotted.  I carefully cut and chisel out the stringer aft of the exposed stainless-steel “T” flange.  I wasn’t sure how it was constructed so, I was careful.  All of the aft stringer was very saturated with water.  After getting that out I worked on the forward stringer.  It had far less moisture but was still wet.  Making plunge cuts with the multi-master was much easier than the aft stringer and after having removed a few pieces of the dryer wood I FINALLY realized that the wood was probably solid mahogany or teak.  If so, rot is not a concern.  At that point I let out a long fuuuuuuudge but, with a different ending.   I’m very disappointed that I didn’t sooner think about what kind of wood it was!  Unfortunately, I was committed and removed the remainder of the fwd stringer.  I'll doing a little research to try and identify what kind of wood it is.   I'll try a call to Catalina but, don't expect much from that.  A carpenter I know is much more familiar with different types of hardwoods so, I'll see if he can identify it.  I sure wish it was mentioned somewhere that the hardwood could be solid wood that doesn't rot.  When hardwood was mentioned and knowing plywood is something they have used, I was thinking oak or something like that.  It never occurred to me that it might be teak.  Oh well, lessons learned and now shared with embarrassment.

Both stringers did not go all the way down to the bilge but did extend down toward the bilge (see photo looking fwd with aft stringer removed) and I think, if I put my brain in gear instead of focused on extricating the “wet wood”, I could probably have trimmed out the bottom of the stingers to remove the bilge fiberglass cover and remove the bilge wood.   The rough dimensions of the stringers that spanned the bilge, not including what protruded down toward the bilge, are about 5-1/2” T x 4-1/2” W.  So, they’re pretty darn beefy along with a stainless-steel “T” flange.  I haven’t exposed the bilge wood yet and I will only remove an easily accessible section to see if that too might be teak.   If so, I may leave it.  Not sure yet.
So, the reason for this post is.  If your mast step / stringer is solid teak like mine, you might want to think twice before removing.  I also want to include that the fwd side of the fwd stringer as well as the aft side of the aft stringer were capped with a 3/4" piece of wood nailed on, likely teak too, over the stringers.

In advance of my stringer surgery, I wouldn’t have known it was solid wood or that it could be solid teak so, I’m sharing for others.   
I took a bunch of photos during this removal and could share if interested.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 06:05:14 AM by Bill Shreeves »
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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2020, 04:19:21 PM »

The front looks in much better shape than mine was, you should be ok drying out and replacing the aft piece.
I worked to remove all the wood in the sump of the bilge replacing it with aluminium or fiberglass.
You may want to check the other strings as I found them to be wet also.

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Bill Shreeves

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2020, 02:30:24 PM »

The front looks in much better shape than mine was, you should be ok drying out and replacing the aft piece.
I worked to remove all the wood in the sump of the bilge replacing it with aluminium or fiberglass.
You may want to check the other strings as I found them to be wet also.

I removed the stringer in front of the mast just after having taken that picture.  I've since verified the stringers under the mast are solid teak.

I removed most of fiberglass veneer from the bilge bottom to expose the wood.  (See attached pic. Note: This is a single piece of wood.  The line across is from shallow cuts made to help remove the fiberglass veneer).  The wood in the bilge also appears to be solid teak.  It's wet but, its not structurally compromised.  I'm seriously considering leaving it in place knowing its 32 years old and still structurally sound (read "not broken" ).   I haven't exposed the, two stringers aft of the mast so I don't know what they're constructed of.

So, I have a few questions to pose to the forum and I'd appreciate feedback / opinions etc.

*   Was the wet wood others have removed from bilge / stringers teak and structurally compromised or a different material?

*   Does anyone know of what and how the two stringers behind the mast are constructed?  This could save me from having to expose more.

*   Any thoughts on leaving the teak wood in the bilge and glassing over or just leave exposed as is or rip it out and glass

Regardless of what I decide with the wood bilge, I'm thinking of fabricating either large SS plates for each keel bolt as large washers and/or fab plates to span two bolts at a time.

-Thanks
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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2020, 05:35:30 PM »

Bill not sure what the stringers are made of. I have one picture of one.
I made a form in the shape of a 2x6 and laid-up fiberglass in it, then vacuum bagged it with
West System. The finished fiberglass 2x6's were then cut to replace only the lower part of the stringer.
These were fit inplace and the whole thing was covered with roving and mat.
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kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2020, 05:48:47 PM »

Never did post a finished picture.
Epoxied stud/screws in the base to hold the mast base.
Hopefully this will keep the water from finding its way into it
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Bill Shreeves

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #68 on: January 19, 2020, 10:59:02 AM »

Bill not sure what the stringers are made of. I have one picture of one.
I made a form in the shape of a 2x6 and laid-up fiberglass in it, then vacuum bagged it with
West System. The finished fiberglass 2x6's were then cut to replace only the lower part of the stringer.
These were fit inplace and the whole thing was covered with roving and mat.

Thanks!  your pic is very helpful.  I now have a better idea what I'll encounter if I dig deeper. on the other stringers  The pic of your completion looks great!  The height of the exposed keel bolts looks looks like you retained and glassed over the wood in the bilge, yes?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 11:00:05 AM by Bill Shreeves »
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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

kh3412

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Re: Mast step / stringer
« Reply #69 on: January 19, 2020, 01:13:57 PM »

Yes Bill did not pull the wood out. Did not k ow it went under the step or I might have.
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