Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Samson Post Repair"
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Thread: "Samson Post Repair"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Samson Post Repair

Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

Hi Bud,
Have a samson post made of teak (port) W32. The cap was off for awhile and a shallow bit of rot got hold. I estimate rot has affected 1/5 of the total top of the post surface area to a depth of perhaps 1.5 inches maximum, with roughly cone shape heading to a point at the low level. I've drilled it, and dried it well. The best plan I can come up with is to inject epoxy several times. I suppose the full blown WEST system, unthinned, is my best guess. Anyway, it's time to act. So, do you have any suggestions before I commit? Thanks in advance.

Bud Taplin

West System epoxy is probably your best bet.

Shan and Fran Kiger

What would your "cap" look like on the sampson post...is/was there a cap at one time?!

One of our posts is powdery for an inch or so under deck on our flushdeck #244.

We were going to replace entire posts, not sure yet.
Any pics from anyone?! ;-)

Bud Taplin

You just do not want open end grain on the top of the post. Attach a 3/4" thick piece of the sampson post wood (or a contrasting wood for effect) across the top of the post with epoxy adhesive. That should prevent water from getting into the end grain. Be sure to seal the posts well with saturating epoxy resin after drilling all the mounting holes, but before the final installation.

scott caskey


I've just encountered rot at deck level also on my starboard samson post. considering replacing just the one, what material do you recommend. If it's getting painted does pressure treated lumber make sense.


Bud Taplin

Straight grain kiln dried fir is the wood of choice.

I just happen to have a very nice pair of new sampson posts available for sale. 2" x 4" x 36", complete with caps on the top. Straight grain fir, well dried, since they have been in my storehouse, forgotten, for at least the past year or two. First come, first serve. You snooze, you looze. Contact me by email for price. btaplin@westsail.com.

Bud Taplin

The sampson posts have been sold to an owner who did not snooze.

Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

If anyone is interested, I have a made up a plan to tie my boat's two samson posts together down near the base just above the floor of the anchor locker. Plan is to use a single 1/2 inch silicon bronze bolt, 10 inches long, with plenty of nuts and washers. Hopefully, I can rig a heavy shock absorbing, anti-chafe line to a shackle on each side. You can also cut the line instead of having an anchor chained bolted to your hull. :-)

George and Rayna Shaunfield

On my W28 (no sampson posts) the original owner mounted a strong pad eye through-bolted to a bulkhead below the V-berth and attached about a 7 foot length of 3-strand nylon with eyes with thimbles spliced on each end. The all chain rode is then shackled to that. This allows about 2 feet of nylon to extend above the chain pipe on deck in case it needed to be cut (like Randy noted).

Can anyone think of a better setup on a boat without sampson posts?


Colleen Crystal

George - can you post or send some pictures of your setup, I'd like to get something figured out for my 28-footer (also no sampson posts).

Jeff Matthiae


My setup is similar to yours. A well backed U-Bolt on the bulkhead. The chain is tied to the U-Bolt with a 30 or 40ft polypropylene rope. I'd be a little concerned that the thimble and/or shackle might get hung up if you had to let the chain run out. I used the longer PP rope so that if I did need to cut it all away I'd have a better chance of retrieving the 200+ ft of chain and my Bruce later with the yellow tail floating to the surface.


Jeff Matthiae

I'll run the chain out this weekend and post a couple of pics next week. Right now all you can see is a pile of chain.


Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

I'm with Colleen. I'd like to see pictures of both of your setups George and Jeff.


Jeff Matthiae

I don't know that they show all that much but below are a couple of pictures.

The U-Bolt picture is looking down and back. The Dri-Deck lining the locker is to keep the chain from destroying the paint job. You can't really see it in the picture but the bottom of the locker is sealed off. There is a drain which has a hose going to the shower pan so the chain won't drain to the bilge. The shower pan drains to a sump.

The floating line with the chain run out. The 2x4's bolted together are to stiffen the 3/4" stainless rod that is supporting the bowsprit while I have the mast down. I have the pipe bowsprit that bolts to the hull and didn't want to leave it unsupported while I'm mastless.

George and Rayna Shaunfield

Here are pictures of the line from the chain to the bulkhead. (I have the chain off the boat right now.) The second picture is taken looking aft with the camera positioned at the end of the black reinforced hose that guides the chain into the locker below the V-berth.

Obviously I have not dealt with this line and it rusted thimble yet. As a result of this discussion I decided to check the backing of the U-bolt through the bulkhead. Hmm, just washers. If I were anchoring in a strong wind and the chain got away from me, do I want it to run it's length and then pull through the bulkhead, up the chainpipe, and go overboard? Or, do I install a large backing plate with the HOPE that the jerk would be spread enough that the U-bolt would hold and bring the boat up short, rather than ripping out the bulkhead?

What is the wisdom of you Westsailers? Is there some other senario to consider?

Jeff, I like the idea of Treadmaster or something under the chain to provide air circulation.

s/v Wings of the Morning


u-bolt in chainlocker

Bud Taplin

You really should have a sacraficial line going from the eyebolt to the shackle on the anchor line. The sacraficial line should be long enough for the end of the anchor line to reach the deck, and be able to cut it and tie a float to it. This would be useful if you have to leave the anchor down while you move the boat to a safer location, then go back and retrieve the anchor, chain, and rope.

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