The previous owner must of had some leaks in the stanchions as he applied silicone over the the base of the stanchions and the bolts. I have been putting off rebedding them as they have not been leaking for me, but a month or so back we rafted up with a friend’s larger boat while in Port Jeff waiting for some torrential rain to ease up before we headed home, and ended up putting a good bit of stress on a couple of the starboard stanchions when the weather picked up before we could get the boats unrafted. No damage was done, but ever since then the stanchions that were stressed have been leaking. I ordered a some butyl tape from Maine Sail to rebed the stanchions with.
My stanchions have prefit permanent backing plates, this are not thrubolted so the rebedding was a one person project. Each stanchion is held in place with four 1/4″ pan head bolts, whatever remaining sealant from the last time they were rebedded (probably when they left the Hunter factory 21 years ago), and the silicone the previous owner used to improperly seal them.
As you can see from the picture below, the old sealant had failed almost completely and had let water in under the base as well as plenty of dirt.
I scraped as much of the old material off the deck and stanchion bases as I could, then finished the job with a dremel with the felt polishing wheel, and a little heavy duty rubbing compound. The felt wheel also did a nice job of removing the staining on the stainless and left the bases with a nice polished shine.
I applied the butyl to the deck so when the stanchion was reattached it would completely fill the underside of the base. I also wound a cone of butyl around the shank of the bolt in order to ensure a good seal all the way through to the hole in the deck.