If the original chain plates only attached to the deck, then the bulkhead may not be structural, but the boat can't be all that big, and is poorly designed IMHO. If the chain plates had been attached to the bulkhead by the manufacturer, they would have to be structural. It is a pretty stupid idea to attach chainplates to the "lid" of a box rather than the bottom of the box. If there's a problem with the hull-deck join, the chainplates fail by default.
I'd note that you never said the chainplates had been modified and that the attachment to the bulkhead was done by the previous owner. Having chainplates attached to a bulkhead is a pretty standard thing and it is very unusual to have them only attached to the cabintop. Must be a pretty small POS boat to have them that way.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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