Originally Posted by L124C
Thats why the water marks on the header trim and the warped door concerned me. In my brief inspection, it appeared to me that the the header is supported by framing members and that the bulkhead was more of partition. Is this true?
This issue is one of the reasons I wish Alberg had gone with a Keel stepped mast. Without getting into the keel vs. deck step issue, given the age of the design and the style of the boat, that puzzles me.
That's why I mentioned it. Those water stains may indicate that water has penetrated through. Once water gets into the bulkheads, it has no way out and saturates the plywood, eventually rotting it out. There is a large laminated header over the door. It is wrapped with 1/2" teak. Its strength comes from the two posts which form the door jamb and the bulkhead structure. The clear span is actually quite short. The mast wires are also BURIED in there and virtually impossible to access. When I re-glassed solid under the step, I removed that asinine, inaccessible in-mast plug set-up and ran all my mast wires over the deck, into the port dorade box. Now I can access all the wiring which runs right into a new terminal block in the head. A keel stepped mast would be right in the middle of the v-berth door.
Weather helm IS an issue with these. I have a Norvane steerer and have to be very particular as to the amount of sail and trim of sails. The halyard must be good and tight, with no stretch and the belly of the sail has to be moved forward. I have a Cunningham which makes a big difference in moving the c/e forward. She will balance out but you have to reef early, at about 10 knots to avoid excessive rounding up on puffs. A lot of these boats, like mine, have huge mainsail with a big roach and, of course the 160 genny. They were designed for club racing in light winds and are not too useful for cruising in any kind of wind. I just sewed up and beefed up a much smaller main (by about 40 sq'), dumping the hump and shortening the foot. Some day I may actually shorten the boom as some people have done on the A35.