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      To start the ball rolling – I have a June 2000 boat and have the following problems –

      1. Wobbly stanchions
      2. Thin deck gelcoat (going ‘grey’ in places). 😥

      Does anyone have similar problems and are there any tried and trusted solutions you can recommend ❓

      Overall, though, we still love the boat, especially the rear cabin (stateroom!) and the galley which works very well, both at sea and in harbour. 😀


        On our B32 I have the wobbly stanchion base problem (2 so far) along with a leak which I think is coming from one of them. A preliminary investigation (feeling in the back of a locker!) reveals no nuts to tighten. Do they really just screw to the deck?

        Shaun Webb

        B32 Minna


          Hi Shaun

          Mine have a single bolt with the nut accessible from underneath – there is a removable narrow panel at the back of each locker/wardrobe to give access – albeit quite fiddly.

          The single bolt is on a 2 inch stub that projects above the deck and is secured underneath the deck with a washer and nut. The 2 foot stanchion fits, rather sloppily, over the stub and is secured with a single short bolt through the stanchion into the stub.

          The wobbliness comes firstly from the loose fit of the stanchion over the stub and secondly from the leverage of the 2 foot stanchion on the 2 inch stub. It is the latter that worries me – I get the feeling that a hard shove at the top of the stanchion could damage the deck around the fixing hole. I’m pleased to say, though, that in 7 seasons, this hasn’t happened yet.

          I have had to reseal each base, using Sikaflex, to ensure a waterproof joint between the stanchion, stub and deck. This is quite easy to do – about 10 minutes per stanchion.

          Hope this helps.


            Thanks for the post.

            The stanchions on Minna (B32 2002) are different from how you describe.

            They are secured using two screws which can be seen on the deck. I also found rummaging around in lockers fiddly but I found no nuts. I need to do a more careful check when I have some more time to do it properly with a torch and a small mirror.

            I agree with the thought on geometry, a 2ft stanchion on such a small base is bound to work loose over time.


              Hi Shaun,

              Our B32 ( Nov 2003) has two securing bolts which go through the deck and through the wooden inner gunwhale rail. None of ours have worked loose, but we had a slight leak on one this year, so removed the back of the locker and got a small socket on the nuts and removed the stanchion. Easy job, completed the whole thing having re-sealed with sikaflex in a few minutes.




                Thanks for the post, I need to go and look again when I get some time.

                The last time it was sailing or stanchions and sailing won!


                  I have just found a large leak – we have had torrential rain here over the last 48 hours. Water was seen running from the after side of the port hanging locker. I removed the thin ply panels which where wet and found a couple of stanchion studs with nut, washers and split washers. There was evidience of leakage here. I removed the nuts and washers and found corrosion (crevice) on the back face of each washer. The stanchion is held in with two small locking bolts, on ford and one aft. On removal of these two bolts the stanchon can be pryed of its support pillar. Once removed it’s easy to removed the pillars and studs. I then cleaned up the holes, removed the old sealant and wiped the area with acetone to remove any oil. This done I filled the holes with a sealant – not sikaflex as I might want to get them off again. The sealer I used is a cross bewteen silicon and sekaflex but does not completely harden. Once filled I placed the pillars and studs back in their respective holes and knocked them home. I then placed more selaant on top of the pillar flange and repalced the stanchions and wires. Once doen I refitted the nuts and washers ensureing that I placed selaant on the washers – messy but worth while. Tightened the nuts and job done. Now I need rain or a hose to check to see if my handy work has stopped the ingress of water. I’ll revert when I have had chance to water test them.



                    Hi Nashira,

                    I have succesfully carried out the same stanchion repair job. Make sure you also check the seal between the pulpit and the deck. Even in light rain the water runs from the whole pulpit down to the four deck fixings. After you have hose tested the toerail and stanchion bases, play a hose spray on the pulpit rail and watch how the water forms and runs down. Once inside the water can travel towards the stern making it appear as if the leak is from the stanchions. A small smear of flexible sealant around the four base fittings each year will prevent this leak. I also found that this was the main source of water that was making the front bunk cushions wet.

                    Regards, Loblolly



                      Thank you for your valued advice. I have had to re bed another two stanchions, next in line up the deck. I have taken down some of the very flimsy ply linings in the lockers and can see the bead of sealant that seals the deck to the hull. There are signs of water ingress which has probably been there for a long time. I am going to lift all o fhte S/S plates fastened to the toe rail and re seal with a flexible sealant and I will pay particular attention to the pullpit.

                      I’m in the UK at the moment – dismal and dark! But hope to be home end of this month when i will have another go at it.



                        Have not had any stanchion leaks on my B34, which i have had from new in 2000 but you should hear me curse anyone who pushes my boat off using the gaurd rails and stanchions. Get everyone used to pushing at the toe rail to give the stanchion bases the best chance of survival. I learned this from my two previous boats and believe that no boat builder has ever made a stanchion base capable of taking the load you can apply by using the stanchions as a 2 foot lever.

                        I am very interested in your comments about thin Gelcoat as we do have a problem with our B34 in the cockpit coaming area. We have noticed that no matter how we polish and maintain the gelcoat, the top is a different colour white and deteriorates to a dull finish very quickly.
                        We suspect that when the deck moulding was built there were imperfections in the coaming area, wghich would have been in the base of the mould and that these have been touched up by some sort of sprayed gelcoat finish, which weathers more quickly and is a slightly different colour.

                        Could this be the case and if so has anyone else got the same problem. If so is this a latent defect that should be dealt with by the manufacturer, even though the hull warranty period has just expired.

                        Would like to hear from anyone interested before i speak to Opal.


                          I would support any action with Opal as I have the problem in the port side of the cockpit and around the port side of the hatch garage on deck. It is clear to me that the gelcoat was too thin and the smallest amount of polishing (to ‘remove’ grey areas) actually exacerbated the problem.

                          I suspect Opal will duck and weave but may, at least, suggest what can be done (at our expense, no doubt) to give some cosmetic improvement.


                            Now back down under after 3 hectic weeks in the UK and Europe.
                            Found more water leaking in to the after hanging locker – see post above. So I have now completed re sealing all stanchion bases. Leaks stopped. To be safe I will address the Starb side as well.

                            Gel coat.
                            I have a couple of areas in way of the toe rail and the centre set of cleats that have small longitudinal stress cracks. I imagine these are relatively easy to repair with gel coat, but colour matching could be an issue? Has anyone had good results in colour matching? Off white.
                            Polishing gel coat can be a problem especially if you use a vehicle type polish or cutting compound. These products are much harsher than marine type compunds and can degrade the gel coat and sometimes cut right through it. I have not noticed any areas of thin gel coat but have not yet done any serious polishing.

                            Fair winds,



                              After completing re sealing all of the Starb side stanchion bases I thought I clear of problems. another down pour and noticed more leakage in to the aft cabin locker. This time I enlisted the help of the shore side water supply and carefully checked each individual deck fitting. Low and behold I found the centre set of toe rail cleats on the Starb side to be the culprit. The forward bolt which is held captive by the cleats appears to have never been sealed. I attempted to remove the bolts from the cleats but due to access problems gave up. My only recourse now is to seal the bolt head within the cleat. Hopefully this should fix this outstanding problem.

                              The previous Owner of Nashira had the boat up in QLD and used a boom tent to ocver most of the deck. It is conceivable that he never realised that there was a problem. Anyhow hopefully this is the end of the saga and no more leakage.

                              Fair winds.


                                Hi Roger,

                                Have spoken to Opal and as you predicted they did not show a lot of interest. They suggested sanding down the gelcoat with very fine wet and dry, then giving a good coat of wax.
                                I still feel that this is quite a serious latent defect. Whilst i appreciate that some making good is necessary to the finished deck moulding, the process used should provide fiberglass that is fit for purpose, not a material that weathers rapidly.
                                What do you think.


                                  Well done for trying with Opal!

                                  In my case I believe the problem is very thin gelcoat. I tried 400 grade wet and dry some time ago and it just made the problem worse.

                                  Since my boat is 7 seasons old I anticipate that Opal would show zero interest although I agree it is a latent defect. However, it would probably need solicitors letters etc in order to get them to accept it as such.

                                  What I would appreciate is some advice, from anywhere, on what could be done to improve the cosmetics. Whatever solution is suggested doesn’t need to be too hardwearing as the areas in question aren’t subject to much wear and tear.

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