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Old 07-21-2014, 12:24 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Boat: 1982 Mastercraft Stars & Stripes Powerslot
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1982 S&S Pylon Reinforcement Mod.

I was noticing a little fore and aft movement on the tow pylon in my 600-hour 1982 Stars & Stripes Powerslot. When I say "a little" let me quantify it with about 2 inches of play at the top of the pole. Enough so that it was getting close to touching the engine cover with a load on it.
So beginning last weekend I undertook what I thought was going to be tightening a few bolts. I had done this once before when I bought the boat last year with 498 hours on her, but found it quite difficult to reach under the floor and access all the bolts from the engine opening. So I removed the driver's and observer's seat bases to give myself some room to work, disconnected the battery and removed the battery tray.
When I pulled out the battery box I noticed 30+ years of accumulated bilge crud in the forward bow that I couldn't leave uncleaned. At this point I decided I was just going to remove the floor panel in front of the engine that the pylon pokes through to get good access to the forward bilge, and pulled back the original carpet very careful with full expectation of putting it back in place within the hour.
After a good cleaning and hosing everything aft, I noticed 3 problems;
1. Water accumulates in the bow area of the bilge and the fiberglass buildup under the pylon mount acts as a dam to keep the water up there from draining aft.
2. The floor mount for the pylon was loose and moving in the fiberglass bedding in the hull, squeezing water and muck out with each push and pull of the pole fore and aft.
3. Of the 8 bolts that mount the trans-stringer pylon brace in place, 3 of then were totally "wallered" out and had no hope of being tightened.

Here is the pic of the original floor mount after I cut away the little bit of fiberglass that had it mounted in the floor:
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:26 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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You can see the 4 thru-hull holes, 2 each fore and aft of the pylon base, which is where the bolts for the forward-most tracking fin come through to bolt it in place.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:35 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Since fiberglass resin doesn't adhere to metal very well, I decided that the 4 bolts that mount the tracking fin would make an outstanding way to really strengthen the base mount's installation. The idea being that I sandwich the fiberglass hull between the tracking fin underneath, and the pylon mounting base above.
I found that a 6" x 6" steel plate 1/8" thick would provide the perfect size to accommodate this. I cut the plate, measured, drilled and tapped the holes for the 3/8-16 bolts and set it in place to check alignment of the holes.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:38 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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I used the plate to trace the outline where I would grind away the surrounding fiberglass to provide a level and flat surface for the new bigger plate to mount in.
Upon removal of the base plate I found that there were a few voids where the factory glassers had left an air bubble or two in the resin. These pockets were full of muck. After cleaning you can see that the bubbles are the cleanest spots (look at the elongated pocket on the port side).
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:39 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Next I used a rotary rasp on a cordless drill to grind away the high spots and prep my mounting area.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:40 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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I also opened up any voids I could find between the 'glass layers to ensure there were no loose spots.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:43 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Next I layed a layer of 24 oz. fiberglass filler cloth into the hole that the original base mount had come out of, mixed a batch of resin, and poured it in to bring the low spots up to the level of the surrounding ground-down surface.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:45 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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I removed any rust or residue from the bottom of the base mount and mig welded it to the center of my 6'x6" plate.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:47 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Now came setting my bigger base to the hull. I cut a piece of 6oz cloth oversized from my base and cut holes to match the thru-hull holes.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:50 AM
Olaff Olaff is offline
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Here is the new post-machine, welding, grinding, primed, and painted base mount setting in it's new bed of resin.
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pylon, reinforcement, s&s restoration

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