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Thread: Commander Compression Post Discussions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    56

    Commander Compression Post Discussions

    Does any one know exactly how the bottom of the compression
    post is held in place? Do you have to remove the sole to inspect
    it? It appears to be glassed in and sitting on the lead but its
    hard to get an idea peeking through the bilge hatches.
    I have cut out the core above the post to reveal rot and some
    dampness. The top of the post is free and it can move around
    somewhat. As I am soon to bed in a 1/4", tapering to 1", 8"
    diameter , solid glass pad above the post I wonder what might be
    done to the bottom while at this junture. Any Commander owners
    that have had their compression posts out or any thoughts as to
    what might lurk at the posts bottom would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers, B.
    Commander#215

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
    Posts
    151

    Commander Compression Post cap/top

    The top/cap of my compression post show signs of needing replacement. It is pie shaped and is slightly wider at the top. There is a metal washer about the same diameter as the bottom of the cap that appears to be through bolted to the mast mount on top of the deck. I am guessing that that washer spreads the compression load over the cap and supports the mast mount on the cabin top. The only through points are the small pipe lead the cabin top and the mast mount bolts.

    There are several open cracks on the edge of the cap and the washer appears to have crushed into the bottom of the cap. I believe that the situation has gotten slightly worse over the past year.

    Has anyone removed and rebuilt this cap? Has anyone made a mold to fabricate it? Is it possible to have this turned from wood and then glassed?

    Suggestions anyone?
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    If I remember correctly, that pad is just a wedge of plywood. A replacement wouldn't need to be any fancier than that.

    The sides of the pad are tabbed to the cabin ceiling. That fiberglass tabbing can crack or seperate from the pad. If that's all you're seeing, don't worry about it, its not important.

    I would pull some loose tabbing away and see if the pad is rotten. Maybe its actually a deck core problem.

    Got any pics? Is the mast off?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
    Posts
    151

    Commander Compression post & pad

    That title does sound like a bed and breakfast doesn't it. Join us for a fun filled day at the Commander Post & Pad...Water sports are available for the adventurous. Hmmmmm...

    The mast is still up and I hope that I will get some more sailing in. My shrouds are barely taunt. I might be talked into tightenng them if it blows like it did last night. I was forced, mind you, into racing with a friend in one of these weeknight series. I was a gracious guest and didn't comment about how 12-15 was so delightful in my Commander...But there I was on a Catalina 36.....The cockpit was not 10 ft larger...but was a tad wider. They did roll their eyes a bit when I suggested that real boats had tillers.

    I will take my digital camera out to the boat this weekend, and try to take some pictures. I was thinking I might also probe one of the cracks with an ice pick to see what is underneath.

    Thank you for the information on the pad. If that is all it is, then I can, at the worst, cut the tabing, drop the pad and cut a new pad out of regular ply and glue it up with some epoxy. And then tab it back into place.
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Manchester, MA
    Posts
    151
    Here are the pictures of my compression post. First is from below and the second is almost direct on.
    Attached Images  
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  6. #6
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    Here is the cap from the side looking forward.
    Attached Images  
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    That does have the general look of water damage.

    What troubles me is that the tabbing has not only seperated from the pad, but has dropped down below the level of the pad.

    It may be more than the pad getting rotten and squished. The deck core may also have gotten soft and the two skins are crushed together.

    I would go ahead and cut away the tabbing, which serves no real purpose anyway. I would also drill some test borings into the underside of the deck. Just carefully pierce the lower skin and see if the drill produces balsa shavings or mush. The area between the pad and the forward hatch hinges would be most suspect.

    Scrape the paint off the metal plate and see what's going on there.

    Not much else you can do until the mast is unstepped.

    I still wouldn't consider any of this to be a safety issue.

    I have a bit of concern about the compression post on my boat. The steel is partially corroded where the post goes through the cabin sole. I don't know how to fix it, so I'm gonna ignore it.
    Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Manchester, MA
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    CommanderPete,

    I had some soft spots fixed around the forward port 14 years ago. Maybe it's time to do it again? My mast covers the mount but my recollection is that the bolts are what keeps everything from moving. It sounds like you have not removed the compression post either. I am thinking I might take my calipers and measure the amount of crush by the washer. If part of that is mast load, then it should recover some with the mast down.

    Did they just take some wetted out cloth and lay it down over the pad?? I am trying to imagine the process of installing the post. I bet it was done before the floor was in. Your post is right on the seam.

    Btw, what did you use on the floor? It looks great.
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    I can't figure out how they installed that post, unless they put it in before the deck went on top.

    The pad just had some layers of glass wrapped around it and stuck to the ceiling/ bottom skin. Its certainly not needed to keep the pad in place.

    The cabin sole is finished with Gymseal nonskid varnish. Good traction, wet or dry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
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    My post has a trim ring that sits at floor level, but essentially is the same as yours. I pulled at the tabbing and that washer appears to be at least 1/4 in. That is an unscientific estimate. And dusty crud came out. Trouble in River City.

    Do I take a saw and cut out the pad. I looked at the floor this weekend to see if I could pull those two center planks, and that may be possible. One thought I had was to turn the pad very slightly oversize and then make a diagonal cut through the center. You could tap that in and fill it...I dunno. I keep hoping someone has done this and will speak up.

    We had nice sails on Saturday and Sunday, but the winds were strange. Saturday I looked at the weather bouy on Stillwagen Bank and it was seeing 12-13 knots with gusts up to 16 kn. When we got out there about 2 PM, it was 5-7 knots but from the South. Sunday it was blowing a bit harder and from the E x SE and we got hit by a squall. Went back to Manchester under the main at 5 + kn. With lumps from Francis at 2-3 ft. Who needs roller coasters.
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
    Posts
    151

    Commander compression post removal - HELP

    Is there anyone on the forum who has removed or repaired the compression post on the Commander?

    I am faced with either tearing up the floor or removing a lage section of the cabintop in order to pull the pole out.
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
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    Still no solution in hand, but the boat is in the yard. Because I am a chicken, I am having my glass guy take a look. The step is loose, and I will post pictures tomorrow.

    The post is still in place. I am more convinced than ever that the reason the pad is tabbed to to the cabin ceiling is because the post was inserted before the cabin top deck structure was put in place. The tabbing kept the pad in place until the step was bolted to the compression post. I think that if I need to replace the core over the entire area over the post, I will have it done from the top and then be able to place the pad from the top.
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  13. #13
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    Manchester, MA
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    Here is my mast step....before
    Attached Images  
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  14. #14
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    The scene of the crime!
    Attached Images  
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

  15. #15
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    A closer look. It does look like the core has been compromised.
    Attached Images  
    John G.
    Valhalla
    Commander No 287

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