Santorin helm seat support pipe loose


Craig Briggs
 

The support pipe for my helm seat has become quite loose and wobbly inside the bottom floor structure hole. It rotates and moves back and forth about 2-3mm, but not up and down as it seems there may be a bolt through the pipe inside the the base.

Does anyone know how it is constructed?  I haven't found any Amel drawings showing this. 

I could probably just fill the void around the pipe with epoxy, but if I could actually remove it I may rework the entire assembly to allow the seat to rotate 180° and lower to the level of the bench seating for better cockpit room. I am thinking of cutting a hole in the base to gain access but sure would like to know what I'm getting into beforehand. Any input appreciated.

Thanks,
Craig - SN68 Sangaris, back at Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Bernd Spanner
 

mine went suddenly down a while ago. when I remember right there are 4 bolts M8 or 10 holding the seat. you should find the screws under the insulation in the engine room.
--
Bernd
SN 119 / Cascais, Portugal


Ian Park
 

That is correct. I had to tighten mine up 4 years ago. Just make a cut in the engine room foam and you have access to the inside of the fibreglass seat pyramid.
My seat swivels on its pedestal. It sits on a Felton insert on the s/s tube. I don’t know if this was done originally or later.
Finally after making a full length padded seat back last year in the off season I can report it was a significant improvement to sitting at the helm this season. Well worth the small effort!!

Ian
‘Ocean Hobo’ SN96
UK


Craig Briggs
 

Thanks Ian and Bernd ! 
Ian - is there a locking device to stop the swivel?  Can you remove the seat from the insert just by picking it up?
 Also, does your padded seat back slip over the original fiberglass one? Good idea.
--
Craig - SN68 Sangaris


Ian Park
 

Craig, 
Don’t know if other Santorin seat posts are like mine, but here is photo. 



The second bolt at the base of the post was put there by me. There was a slight lateral wobble, so I added another bolt. The other single bolt hole had elongated. 

Ian


On 4 Nov 2021, at 13:38, Craig Briggs via groups.io <sangaris@...> wrote:

Thanks Ian and Bernd ! 
Ian - is there a locking device to stop the swivel?  Can you remove the seat from the insert just by picking it up?
 Also, does your padded seat back slip over the original fiberglass one? Good idea.
--
Craig - SN68 Sangaris


Craig Briggs
 

Wow - many thanks, Ian!
On my SN the support post is just a single length of pipe with no holes or bolts at the bottom. It just goes straight into the pyramid grp base.
I think our SN's are similar vintage, so it's possible a former owner of your boat may have cut the original post and added the two-piece "sleeve" over it and the two bottom bolts. Hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like there's a smaller diameter post showing at the bottom, which may be the original Amel one-piece post.
I haven't yet tackled tightening this from the bottom, but the sleeve would be a much easier solution to making the height adjustable, rather than replacing the entire post, as I initially had been thinking. Appreciate your pics.
--
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

So I finally got around to trying to fix the seat wobble. Cutting through the insulation in the engine room under the seat I found two bolts going through a plate welded to the bottom of the seat pipe (I could see the circular discoloration of the weld on the plate). When I tried to tighten the bolts I could hear some "crunching" as though there was maybe a broken rusted bracket or something into which the bolts were fastened. One bolt seemed to tighten but the other just turned and I could hear something rotating as I turned the bolt. The one that seemed to tighten actually became wobbly and would not tighten further.

Before I go to cutting an access hole in the pyramidal fiberglass base of the post, does anyone know what the actual structure is inside of it? My guess is Amel may have used a plain steel threaded backing plate embedded in the fiberglass floor that is inside the pyramid base. Water then has seeped down the seat post, where the sealant has cracked over the years, and rusted out the plate. Many of us have had that happen (Bill Rouse when he owned Bebe had it on his engine room hatch, which swelled the GRP, I've had it on a stanchion base that actually cracked the gunnel open, etc.)

Any insights will be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Ian Park
 

Craig
Just checked mine. No ‘crunching’ sound but the port side bolt is turning without tightening and the starboard tightens as it should. 
I haven’t seen another SN seat post but I know it used to have a replacement seat at one time (which I never saw). I wonder if my post is the same as everyone else’s as it has an outer sleeve which may have been an addition. However, it works well as the seat is removable and swivels on the nylon insert. It also seems to get additional support at the base because of the width of the sleeve. I’m curious to know whether mine is ‘standard’?

Ian





On 9 Apr 2022, at 04:23, Craig Briggs <sangaris68@...> wrote:

So I finally got around to trying to fix the seat wobble. Cutting through the insulation in the engine room under the seat I found two bolts going through a plate welded to the bottom of the seat pipe (I could see the circular discoloration of the weld on the plate). When I tried to tighten the bolts I could hear some "crunching" as though there was maybe a broken rusted bracket or something into which the bolts were fastened. One bolt seemed to tighten but the other just turned and I could hear something rotating as I turned the bolt. The one that seemed to tighten actually became wobbly and would not tighten further.

Before I go to cutting an access hole in the pyramidal fiberglass base of the post, does anyone know what the actual structure is inside of it? My guess is Amel may have used a plain steel threaded backing plate embedded in the fiberglass floor that is inside the pyramid base. Water then has seeped down the seat post, where the sealant has cracked over the years, and rusted out the plate. Many of us have had that happen (Bill Rouse when he owned Bebe had it on his engine room hatch, which swelled the GRP, I've had it on a stanchion base that actually cracked the gunnel open, etc.)

Any insights will be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Ian,
     Your picture of the bottom looks exactly like mine. On top, though, I have only a single pipe going straight up to the seat. It seems pretty certain that a prior owner of your boat must have cut off the original pipe a few inches above the base and a few inches below the seat and then added the sleeve so it could be adjusted up or down, swiveled, or removed. A fine idea.
     In my case of not being able to tighten either bolt, the seat is rotating back and forth about maybe 3° or 4°. That causes it to hit the lazarette seat when you open that and to be quite wobbly when you sit in it.
     Short of cutting open the base, I suppose I could copy your sleeve idea but weld a small metal tab on either side at the bottom going down an inch or so over the base and bolt those tabs into the base to prevent any rotation.
     It would be great to know exactly how that pipe was fastened into the floor inside of the base - Joel or Olivier, any ideas?

Best regards,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Ian Park
 

Craig,
It is bolted on to the original pipe which is still welded to the bottom plate. If I took the bolts out it would probably slide off. 
Mine was moving from side to side. There was only one bolt holding the sleeve on (fore and aft) which suggests the white nylon insert is only at the top. I drilled a new hole across the bottom which locked everything in place. I’d tried tightening the bolts in the engine room before this. 
I guess at some stage I’ll have to address the rusting plate issue

Ian


On 15 Apr 2022, at 17:07, Craig Briggs <sangaris68@...> wrote:

Hi Ian,
     Your picture of the bottom looks exactly like mine. On top, though, I have only a single pipe going straight up to the seat. It seems pretty certain that a prior owner of your boat must have cut off the original pipe a few inches above the base and a few inches below the seat and then added the sleeve so it could be adjusted up or down, swiveled, or removed. A fine idea.
     In my case of not being able to tighten either bolt, the seat is rotating back and forth about maybe 3° or 4°. That causes it to hit the lazarette seat when you open that and to be quite wobbly when you sit in it.
     Short of cutting open the base, I suppose I could copy your sleeve idea but weld a small metal tab on either side at the bottom going down an inch or so over the base and bolt those tabs into the base to prevent any rotation.
     It would be great to know exactly how that pipe was fastened into the floor inside of the base - Joel or Olivier, any ideas?

Best regards,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


JOHN HAYES
 

Morning Craig

A large crew member managed to sit in the steering seat and the whole arrangement dropped about a foot. Sorry no photos. We cut access from the engine room glued a new wooden support then fibre glassed the wooden support and base of the metal support pole (original and un modified) and it’s been fine ever since. 

The only movement now is about 1 mm where the seat pole comes through the fiber glass floor. It’s got no worse in 3 years in some pretty rough water in the pacific and sub Antarctic. 

It looked more difficult to fix than it was

John Hayes
Nga Waka (1991)

Currently in waikawa marina near Picton
 


On 16/04/2022, at 5:12 AM, Ian Park <parkianj@...> wrote:

Craig,
It is bolted on to the original pipe which is still welded to the bottom plate. If I took the bolts out it would probably slide off. 
Mine was moving from side to side. There was only one bolt holding the sleeve on (fore and aft) which suggests the white nylon insert is only at the top. I drilled a new hole across the bottom which locked everything in place. I’d tried tightening the bolts in the engine room before this. 
I guess at some stage I’ll have to address the rusting plate issue

Ian


On 15 Apr 2022, at 17:07, Craig Briggs <sangaris68@...> wrote:

Hi Ian,
     Your picture of the bottom looks exactly like mine. On top, though, I have only a single pipe going straight up to the seat. It seems pretty certain that a prior owner of your boat must have cut off the original pipe a few inches above the base and a few inches below the seat and then added the sleeve so it could be adjusted up or down, swiveled, or removed. A fine idea.
     In my case of not being able to tighten either bolt, the seat is rotating back and forth about maybe 3° or 4°. That causes it to hit the lazarette seat when you open that and to be quite wobbly when you sit in it.
     Short of cutting open the base, I suppose I could copy your sleeve idea but weld a small metal tab on either side at the bottom going down an inch or so over the base and bolt those tabs into the base to prevent any rotation.
     It would be great to know exactly how that pipe was fastened into the floor inside of the base - Joel or Olivier, any ideas?

Best regards,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

Thanks, John,
Just so I'm sure I understand, when you say you "cut access from the engine room", was that just cutting access in the "egg-crate" dimpled foam sound dampening material or did you actually cut through the GRP engine room ceiling into the Pyramid base of the chair support?  If so, did you just put a piece of wood (plywood I'd suppose) that was larger than the metal pole base up against the existing GRP with the base on top of it and then glass that in? Did you put some fasteners in first - up through the plywood and into the GRP "ceiling"? Sounds like it may be a good fix that would avoid cutting out the old floor or the existing pyramid base - is that correct?
Best regards,--
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


JOHN HAYES
 

Morning Craig

We definitely cut the glass under the seat mounting point to access the base and support for the seat

After putting in a wooden beam and bolting the base to that we bogged it up with epoxy resin mixed with a white powder which thickened the resin to cover the beam and to support under and around the beam and glue in the glass skin we had removed. 

The only thing we did not touch was the collar at the base that the pole protrudes through. There was a very small gap around it and I wondered about putting resin around that but in the finish left it alone. I had made a cockpit cover stretching from the front fibreglass wind screen back to the mizzen mast. The cockpit area is well protected and only gets wet when we hose the area or very occasionally have a  wave dump in from the quarter in big seas   The fix has shown no sign of movement since the repair about 4 years ago. 

Hope your repair goes as well

Best

John hayes 
Nga Waka hull 91

Nz


On 16/04/2022, at 11:38 AM, John Hayes <johnhayes862@...> wrote:

Morning Craig

A large crew member managed to sit in the steering seat and the whole arrangement dropped about a foot. Sorry no photos. We cut access from the engine room glued a new wooden support then fibre glassed the wooden support and base of the metal support pole (original and un modified) and it’s been fine ever since. 

The only movement now is about 1 mm where the seat pole comes through the fiber glass floor. It’s got no worse in 3 years in some pretty rough water in the pacific and sub Antarctic. 

It looked more difficult to fix than it was

John Hayes
Nga Waka (1991)

Currently in waikawa marina near Picton
 


On 16/04/2022, at 5:12 AM, Ian Park <parkianj@...> wrote:

Craig,
It is bolted on to the original pipe which is still welded to the bottom plate. If I took the bolts out it would probably slide off. 
Mine was moving from side to side. There was only one bolt holding the sleeve on (fore and aft) which suggests the white nylon insert is only at the top. I drilled a new hole across the bottom which locked everything in place. I’d tried tightening the bolts in the engine room before this. 
I guess at some stage I’ll have to address the rusting plate issue

Ian


On 15 Apr 2022, at 17:07, Craig Briggs <sangaris68@...> wrote:

Hi Ian,
     Your picture of the bottom looks exactly like mine. On top, though, I have only a single pipe going straight up to the seat. It seems pretty certain that a prior owner of your boat must have cut off the original pipe a few inches above the base and a few inches below the seat and then added the sleeve so it could be adjusted up or down, swiveled, or removed. A fine idea.
     In my case of not being able to tighten either bolt, the seat is rotating back and forth about maybe 3° or 4°. That causes it to hit the lazarette seat when you open that and to be quite wobbly when you sit in it.
     Short of cutting open the base, I suppose I could copy your sleeve idea but weld a small metal tab on either side at the bottom going down an inch or so over the base and bolt those tabs into the base to prevent any rotation.
     It would be great to know exactly how that pipe was fastened into the floor inside of the base - Joel or Olivier, any ideas?

Best regards,
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

Hi John - many thanks for the info. 
Just to be sure I understand correctly, did you cut out a section of the pyramidal base that the pipe goes through and that is above the cockpit floor and then did the repair work inside of that from the top, not from the engine room - correct?
I spent some more time examining mine yesterday, including drilling a small hole up from the engine room and looking inside with an endoscope and see only a hollow space inside the pyramid base and concluded the only way to repair is to cut a section out of the base and fix from the top, as I think you've described. I thought I'd cut out a section of the base so that it keeps the corners intact to make glassing it back in easier. That is, only needing to patch flat surfaces, not the corners.

Cheers,
Craig - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


JOHN HAYES
 

No no no Craig!!

We went into the engine room and cut through the fibre glass above your head and below the bottom of the seat support pole. 

We did not /not approach the issue from the cockpit floor

Our problem sounds a bit different to yours. Our seat had dropped about a foot caused by a heavy crew member so the original pole base had given way and dropped down
Hope I’m being clear

Best



On 22/04/2022, at 12:39 AM, Craig Briggs <sangaris68@...> wrote:

Hi John - many thanks for the info. 
Just to be sure I understand correctly, did you cut out a section of the pyramidal base that the pipe goes through and that is above the cockpit floor and then did the repair work inside of that from the top, not from the engine room - correct?
I spent some more time examining mine yesterday, including drilling a small hole up from the engine room and looking inside with an endoscope and see only a hollow space inside the pyramid base and concluded the only way to repair is to cut a section out of the base and fix from the top, as I think you've described. I thought I'd cut out a section of the base so that it keeps the corners intact to make glassing it back in easier. That is, only needing to patch flat surfaces, not the corners.

Cheers,
Craig - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

Thanks, John - glad I asked as I had indeed misunderstood. 

So it sounds like you cut out a rectangular section of the engine room ceiling that had held the seat pole base, presumably a bit bigger than the rectangular bottom plate (roughly 80 X 200ish) or maybe even smaller. Then you put a wood piece somewhat larger than the cut out section through the cut out opening so that it rests on the top side of the engine room ceiling which is about a 3/8" thick fiberglass surface.

Presumably that wood piece had a hole for the seat pole so you could re-insert the pole from the bottom up and bolt it to the new wood piece. Or did you have a "key-hole" for the pipe and simply left the pipe attached to the seat? (I have so far been unable to remove the pipe from the seat bottom, so would need the "key-hole" approace.)

Let me know if I've understood, please. 
Cheers,
--
Craig Briggs - s/v Sangaris / SN68  Tropic Isle Harbor, FL