CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome - SailNet Community
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CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

Hi SailNet. I've decided to try my hand at fixing up a well used CAL 25 in need of a round of repairs.

My sailing experience: four summers aboard the 50'LOA Steel Schooner Francis Crow in the Chesapeake, the last two as first mate, working with Maryland juvenile delinquents after the boat's builder/owner/captain began working with the state of MD juvenile services department. These days I sail my Triak trimaran kayak. My boat fixing experience: Nil.

Good things about the boat:


Longtime owner a woman who ran sailing schools for women and maintained the boat herself. Everything in the boat is neat and tidy, and clearly owned by someone who knew how to sail and care for a boat. She has raced it, and it is obviously the opposite of a dock queen in a good way. The boat was dry and not musty on the damp rainy day when I first looked at it on its stands. Newish Main from North Sails. All the stuff is on the boat. Canvas over-boom cover. Man overboard systems. Lines look modern and newish and ready to sail. Standing rigging looks good. (Did not go aloft) Yamaha 9.9.

The problems with the boat:

1. Apparent leaking at starboard chainplate. Laminated beam that runs under deck and mast has some delimitation under that leak. Center of beam seems strong. This beam is already a replacement for another; I understand that this is a standard problem on the CALs.

2. Boom was somehow torqued were the cast metal part of the main aluminum extruded section of the boom attaches to the articulated knuckle at the mast. Owner states that it happened when kids were swinging out over the water on it and jumping in. It looks like one could take a large crescent wrench and simply torque it back into position -- it seems to be simply twisted on the bolt that holds those parts together. No metal is bent or damaged; the boom is simply uniformly askew along the way.

3. Some give in the decks on that starboard side. Not mushy or spongy, but not factory strong.

4. hairline crack in the finish of the back edge of the rudder. I read (on SailNet) that the laminated construction of the rudder
can be a problem, so I looked. Good tip.

5. All the usual cosmetics. Teak. Interior paint flaking, etc. Low on my list, though the teak around the hatchway will get attention right away to keep it functional, it's well worn.

Our plans for the boat:

We're a family on a budget but plan to spend our usual summer travel money on keeping this boat for at least a couple summers at a nearby small yacht club that is within bicycle distance. Our boys are 10 and 12 and we'd like for them to have the boating experiences that kids growing up on Long Island Sound ought to have.

So we'd like to fix things as necessary rather than pour money into it at the outset, especially while I finish a doctorate.

Looking for advice/confirmation on what to tackle first.

I think the decks and the beam can wait until spring or -- maybe hopefully -- next fall after a season of sailing and making sure that it is the right thing for our family before doing a major repair.

I think that the main thing I should do before winter sets in is to dremel out the small crack running along the back of the rudder and fill it. Since the rudder will be exposed all winter, letting more water in and having it freeze seems a very bad idea. A new rudder sounds expensive and very un-DIY.

So... How much material should I remove? What should I fill it with? What should I seal it with?

Thanks for reading this newbie's long post. I will get photos up when photo bucket gets its act together.

Last edited by Quercus; 10-24-2016 at 08:32 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-24-2016
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

Welcome to SN

Sounds like you're off to a good start - esp on the attitude and assessment front.

Can you tarp the boat in such a way to keep the rudder dry over the winter? or wrap the rudder itself to prevent further water access?
Drying it out should be priority one, then there are plenty of options on how to deal with, grinding and filling with epoxy, or perhaps sanding the entire rudder, fairing the damage and then wrapping the whole thing in cloth and epoxy.

Fixing the deck leak that's causing the beam some grief should be at the top of your list, IMO.

Is there any visible depression in the deck at the mast? If so that beam may be failing structurally and that would move that item up right next to the rudder as a 'must do', after eliminating the problematic leak. Assuming the mast is still stepped?

The boom 'twist'.. wondering if (since nothing looks to be bent or broken) if you have a former roller reefing boom and it's simply managed to roll over a tad. A picture of your 'articulated joint' (aka 'gooseneck') would help.

If yours is a 'two year plan' I'd not worry too much about the deck 'sponginess'. It doesn't sound too bad.

Fix what you need to now, spend at least a season with her before deciding what else to do...
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Last edited by Faster; 10-24-2016 at 08:50 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-24-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

Thanks, Faster, and thank you for the welcome.

The prev. owner dislikes roller furling. We sure got to talking! I have a pic, but need more posts I think to get links going. That is a job that won't get any worse over winter.

Wrapping the rudder is a good idea. And fixing the leak at the chainplate is definitely job one, but I do not think that I can complete it before cold weather sets in. Plan is to get the boat well covered for winter, and take care of that first thing in the spring.

There is no visible depression on the deck at the mast. The beam isn't 100% fairly curved looking at it from below decks, in that it is slightly flatter under the mast, but it looks to be stable and gives the impression of probably having settled to that shape upon installation. The starboard shrouds are looser than the port, but owner advocated having them "hand tight" (I always assumed that they should be rather tighter) and everything looks otherwise square and lined up standing directly behind the boat etc. I'm thinking that they simply loosened. She has failing eyesight....
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-27-2016
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

I think that sealing the deck/chainplate leaks is important to reducing further damage. I did that this summer using butyl tape. You may want to check that out, the info's available on line. When I pulled out the old sealant, actually some not that old, it was clear it wasn't doing the job. Butyl tape gets high marks, but I won't know until after our northwest winter rains.

Walt Elliott
Kingston WA
Puget Sound
Cal-29
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

Part one of the plan would be, if you can't complete any leak sealing then you should at a minimum get it covered up so as to stop any further water / moisture intrusion. I would be inclined once weather sealed to run a portable electric heater in the cabin to possible drive some of the moisture out of the wetted areas. Sounds like the goose neck is an easy fix, you may have to once straightened, drill out and put new rivets in.
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

The prior posters have offered quite good advice.

For the cracked rudder, I would offer to 'test' the integrity for internal damage by drilling (3/8") into the bottom of the rudder structure in order to ascertain for water accumulated inside it. If water is inside, it will drain through that small test hole; and, you can pretty much visualize any problem by noting the color of the water that drains out. The drilling hole can be sealed using simple epoxy and 'touch' of barrier / filled epoxy ... in the spring.

You already have a quite good and well thought out plan. Good luck and best wishes on your project!
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

I know it's a little late but do not leave the rudder outside over the winter. Mine was and it would fill up with water during the sailing season. I dremeled the cracks, epoxy and barrier coated. Still fills with water over the summer but much less now. I'm in freshwater so I'm not too worried.

Butyl tape for the chainplate. I think that you're going to find a fair amount of water in the deck due to that leaking chainplate. It is a bit of a job to put a new deck and main beam but worth while. The beam has a radius of curvature of 32'.

The casting on the front of the boom has spring loaded rod for the goosneck attachment point. Never figured out why. Should be able to pull it out a little and rotate the boom.
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Re: CAL 25 - Tweaked Boom, Chainplate Leak - Advice welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgs113 View Post
The casting on the front of the boom has spring loaded rod for the gooseneck attachment point. Never figured out why. Should be able to pull it out a little and rotate the boom.
These boats had what was referred to as roller reefing, in which the mainsail was reefed by wrapping the foot of the sail around the boom. As you note there was a rod which connected the casting on the boom to the slide on the mast. The parts were machined so that the boom could rotate when the boom is pulled aft from the mast and then would lock in place at that point of rotation when the spring pulled the boom back towards the slide. Typically the lock would engage at four points; 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees of rotation.

Jeff


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