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post #25 of Old 05-10-2010
Over Hill Sailing Club
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I bought an A35 last year and have done much work to her, including replacing a forward bulkhead. It CAN be done but you will have interior damage to repair. Here's what worked well: 1. Remove as much of the rotten plywood as you can by hand/chisel/scraper, etc., leaving the fiberglass "pocket" in place. You can accomplish final clean out of the pocket very well with a drill mounted 5/8" or 3/4" rasp on a LONG drill extension. This will really clear out any remaining wood and clean up the pocket's glass surfaces. 2. Cut a template of paper to fit the curvature of the hull by trial and error, taping on pieces to get it close. You can measure to some fixed point to create the first arc of the hull. This is pretty easy with some stiff paper, tape and a flashlight. 3. Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood using the template. Trial fit and grind plywood in places until it fits snugly. The hull side seems to taper in the last inch or so. Actually I think the original piece was not fitted very well and there was a void in places near the hull. Mark it so when you epoxy, it is in proper place. I pieced the plywood longitudinally and epoxied the inboard piece with biscuits to make fitting the piece against the hull easier. This worked out well because the business portion of the bulkhead where chainplates bolt is in the outboard piece. 4. Saturate the pocket with lightly thickened West epoxy. You want to use enough to fill voids but not so much that it creates blockage pressure. 5. Hammer the plywood in so that it is at your marks. 6.Put second piece in with epoxy and biscuits. 7. As it is impossible to clamp this, screw from both sides to make sure glass is tight against plywood 8. Clean's a mess. Make sure you wear an appropriate breathing apparatus. The epoxy fumes are nasty in enclosed areas like this. I moved my chainplates outboard. There is no way to make the old chainplate deck penetrations permanently waterproof. With all the core rot I replaced, did not want to do it again. If you have a 40 year old boat, there is core rot.
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