Coming off my swim grid at the stern is a ladder which gives access to the swim grid and back onto the rear deck. Right beside this ladder is my stern light post, attached to rear of the boat and reaching up into the air. The stern light post is just too easy to grab when you are using the ladder. This has led to stress cracks at the base of the light post, and as well the cracks have allowed rust from the set screws to follow the cracks down and spread out. So we have both a strength and an appearance problem.
I had previously made some flat fiberglass panels which I knew would come in handy for various projects. The panels were made using a sheet of melamine fiberboard as a layup table. Fiberglass resin will not stick to the melamine so no waxing or prep is needed. These panels were made by painting on a layer of white unwaxed gel coat, letting that set up, and then overlaying this with 2 layers of 1.5 oz fiberglass mat. However these stock panels were quite flexible, thus I added a layer of combo mat to stiffen up the fiberglass for this project.
The base of the light post was then used as a template to match drill holes in the fiberglass panel. A hole was also drilled for the wires to come through. For the inside backing plate I used a piece of 1/4” ABS, a circle 1” in diameter bigger than the base of the light post. In the ABS I then drilled a hole for the wire and one bolt hole. To the back of the fiberglass plate I applied some caulking around all the holes, which along with some masking tape held the plate to the stern of the boat. I then inserted one bolt through the metal base, through the fiberglass plate, through the wall of the boat, and eventually through the ABS backing plate on the inside of the boat, and put on a nut and washer. With everything now all lined up I could drill through the existing holes from the outside to make the final 2 holes in the ABS inside backing plate. Now everything could be tightened up, wiring completed, and the light post reattached to the base.