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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 Catalina 25 Specific Forum
 Compression Post Removal
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alfreddiaz
1st Mate

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USA
37 Posts

Initially Posted - 08/03/2020 :  17:04:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am trying to find out how to remove and install the compression post on my 1980 Catalina 25 SK. I know about the four screws topside from the mast step. Once I take those out (the mast is down now), what do I do next? Will I need a jack to decompress between the base and the deck? Can I pound it out? Those of you who replaced it, how did you do it?

By the way, my post has a crack on the top. I am considering fixing the crack with epoxy or completely replacing with a new homemade solid wood post.

By the way, that post on my Cat 25 is not solid, which surprises. It seems a solid post would be much sturdier.

Thanks.

Al

Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
424 Posts

Response Posted - 08/03/2020 :  21:47:17  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote

As youíve already noticed, Al, the compression post is hollow. Itís four boards glued together. However, the combined cross-section area of that wood is more than adequate for any compression load that could be supported by that relatively thin-walled aluminum tube sitting above it, even with the added load of one or two persons standing on the cabin top in the vicinity of the mast. The additional cross-sectional area of wood, if you were to replace the post with a solid one, is altogether unnecessary. On the other hand, the hollow post can serve as a channel for wiring if you wish. Iíve installed two electric bilge pumps, and I placed the switches on that post as the most easily accessible location in an emergency (some photos are posted on my Smugmug account https://panza.smugmug.com/MYSAILBOAT/The-Boat-Renovation/The-bilges ).

The post sits on a square raised pad thatís cast into the integral liner that forms the interior of the boat. Beneath that, in my swing-keel dinette model, thereís a substantial square column of fiberglass extending forward from the keel case. Itís evident in one of the pictures at that link. I donít know about the traditional interior or the fixed-keel models, but Iím sure they have something similar to carry the compression load down to the hull.

When I installed an access port in the saloon sole adjacent to this, I got to see whatís under the interior liner (there are pictures of this, too, at that same link). I found that there was a mound of some kind of hard material that looked as though it had oozed out of the space between the interior liner and the hull. Iím guessing that a dollop of resinous material was put there as the liner was being placed into the hull during assembly at the factory, since it might have otherwise been difficult to assure solid bearing on the hull with this two-layer design.

As for installing a replacement, for whatever reason you think itís necessary, you might want to assemble three sides of the column, slide that into position around the raised pad (Iíd expect to find a similar pad on the underside of the overhead liner as well), and then affix the fourth side in place. Then, the bulkhead between the saloon and the head would have to be securely attached to it, as they work together structurally.

Iíd want to discourage you from removing that post, unless thereís some really serious problem. A crack shouldnít be an issue unless it extends most or all the way from top to bottom. In one of the pictures I posted youíll see that I cracked the bottom on one side as I was drilling-out a passage for the wires leading up to the switches. I forced some glue into the crack and clamped it, and I havenít had any trouble since. Thatís all Iíd recommend to you, unless thereís more that you hadnít mentioned.

I hope this is helpful.



The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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alfreddiaz
1st Mate

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USA
37 Posts

Response Posted - 08/03/2020 :  22:04:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lee,

Thank you for all that information. I searched "compression post" in the forum and did not find mention of the post being hollow in the threads that turned up. Thanks for verifying that. I also understand the dynamics of the post and that it is more than sturdy. The problem is that I was trying to fix the split by putting in epoxy glue and driving the wood back together with a screw. That is when I realized it was hollow. I will try again by injecting more epoxy and using C clamps to put them together.

I am curious, is the process for taking out the post really that difficult. If it is, I will try to avoid it. The only reason I would take it out is that I can repair that post much easier and better on my work bench, as well as inspect it better.

Thanks for the details. I really enjoyed the pictures of that section of the bilge, which I was curious about.

FYI: I also have the dinette model.



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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4688 Posts

Response Posted - 08/04/2020 :  10:57:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Alfred, I too have the dinette model and itís very easy to access the bilge area and underpinnings of the compression post beneath the forward dinette seat.

On Passage in that section, there is a bilge directly below holding the fin keel bolts, then a fiberglassed block at the forward end of the keel bolt channel where the compression post sits on.

Iíve drilled into the materials to check on the core in all these areas and it seemed fine to me.

Iím not sure whatís below the compression post block except the inside of the hull. On our boats, the hull is about 3X the required structural thickness, so that shouldnít be a concern.

If, however, you see any movement around the compression post, that would be worrisome.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 08/04/2020 11:03:22
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
424 Posts

Response Posted - 08/06/2020 :  00:37:06  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Al:

Maybe unnecessary, but just in case, remember to put wood pads between the C-clamps and the wood you're clamping.

As for jacking up the cabin top to remove the post, you'd have to raise it a significant amount to free it. You'd be trying to deform a structure made of material that doesn't stretch, so if the top goes up the sides have to come in. And forcing the top up would require jacking against something solid; other than that filler I mentioned between the inner liner and the hull, the liner isn't solid against the hull and it probably wouldn't bear much load.

I'm not saying it can't be done - I don't really know.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8635 Posts

Response Posted - 08/06/2020 :  06:21:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Voyager

Hi Alfred, I too have the dinette model and itís very easy to access the bilge area and underpinnings of the compression post beneath the forward dinette seat.
Different boat--fin keel--different bilge altogether.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4688 Posts

Response Posted - 08/06/2020 :  09:21:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dave, yes you are correct, didnít see a signature with the model, itís buried in the fine print!

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT
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