new stanchions

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As long as I was replacing the old cracked stanchion bases and remaking the stern rails,
it sorta made sense to make some changes to the gate location. I added an extra stanchion amidships so that jerry cans of fuel could be securely attached.
The lifeline drawing helps explain my odd stanchion design.

The new stanchions were made by Tops-In-Quality.

Click Here for a PDF of the drawings I sent to order them.

They did a good job at a very affordable price.

I'm going to sink 1/4" bolts through the bases into the stanchions, to hold them solidly in place. The new bases came with set screws, but set screws tend to come lose over time. Welding them onto the bases seems a bit much, and will really be a pain if the stanchion ever bends or needs replacement.

So I decided to drill holes in the stanchions
and use set screws.

I had originally planned to extend the stern rails even further forward, but at the last moment decided that would be a bit too much, so just put a gate brace aft.

But I'm still going to leave the amidships gate, since it's handy for raft ups.

Plan "A" was a bad mistake.

I wanted to avoid using the bases as drill guides, to avoid messing up the existing threads and to avoid getting drill filings on the deck. (I have enough rust spots already.) So the proper spots on the stanchions were marked with a Sharpie.

Then I set up this dowel jig to drill a 1/4" hole.

But of the first four holes, I only got two perfect, and had to hack a bit on the other two.

Also, having a 1/4" hole left the stanchion a bit loose in the base. That isn't a horrible thing, but it could be better.

So I decided to risk rust spots and do it the easy way!

So I just drilled through. . .
Then tapped very, very carefully
with a 1/4-20 tap. Being this close to the rail,
I had to turn the tap with a wrench.
But I held the tap itself when turning, because torqueing it the wrong way could snap it.
A broken tap is a real pain.

The bolts were set
in place with
Blue Loc-tite. The rag kept it from dripping onto the gelcoat.

The bolts hold the stanchions in tightly, so they don't rock in the bases!

It might have been a mistake to have the gate brace bases welded on. Perhaps I should have made them come down straight and sunk them into stanchion bases, but at the time it seemed like a whole lot more money and work, and I figured the stanchion would be strong enough to keep the brace from wiggling.

Time will tell if they are prone to leaks.

The braces have big
backing plates and fiberglass reinforcement under the deck,
like the stanchion bases.

It's hard to get the big picture, but it will work. The "H" shaped stanchions provide support for the gates on either side, and also provide a low handrail when working forward in rough stuff.

Also, they'll provide a nice place to hook on a swim ladder!
The bases are strong enough
to take it.

Below, you can see where the main gate will go.

Now, time to do the lifelines.