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post #5 of Old 06-25-2007
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I have a 1973 Sabre 28 (hull #68) that suffered a minor rigging failure due to a softened bulkhead at the starboard chainplate. Since this is an early Sabre 28, the chainplate at the deck does not have the stainless steel collar on exterior, therefore must be constantly sealed or it will leak. I was lucky in many ways, the deck core was not damanged, the rig stopped short of dismasting by the interior chainplate boltheads catching on the underside of the deck. I steadied the rig, removed the turnbuckles and chainplate. The area of softness was restricted to a 3"x6" section of the interior starboard bulkhead (3/4" teak plywood) where the original chainplate bolts are 'swiss cheesed' into a very tiny area (thankfully, no fiberglass repair or bulkhead removal or $$$$$). I cleaned the deck hole out thoroughly and checked it with a moisture meter. No moisture or softness, whew.

I cut out only the soft area and replaced it with a block of maple very tightly fitted, shaped like an equilateral triagle with the top cut off (widest part at the bottom so any upward pulling would transfer the load to the bulkhead where it belongs). Then I had four 8"x11" hexagon pieces cut from T316 stainless by a local metal fabrication shop, drilled the holes to distribute the load much better then sandwiched two of the four chainplates over top of the original chainplate--using only 3 of the original holes in the (old) chainplate spread furtherst apart. Note, I made teak spacers 3/16" thick in the shape of the hexagons with the middle cut out to fit the actual chainplate (about 2-1/4" wide). I drilled 5 more holes wide on the hexagon plates to push the load outward. I used the remaining two hexagon for the port side to match. I rebedded the deck hole at the chainplate and now keep a vigilant eye on it throughout the year.

I did spend a lot of time on this, but mostly grinding down the raised letters of the new chainplate bolts, then polishing the bolt heads and the hexagon plates to a mirror finish. If it fails this time, the deck will simply detach from the boat.

In total, it cost me less than $200 (most of that to the metal shop to cut the stainless hexagons) and a couple days of my time spent polishing. Hope this helps other Sabre owners in similar situations. I think I have pictures from a full article I wrote a few years back. FWIW, RigRite has those stainless steel collars for the chainplates and a retrofit kit to add forward lower shrouds.

Last edited by Sailorcto; 06-25-2007 at 09:18 AM.
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