Rot in Bulkhead C&C Invader 36 (Frigate)
I recently discovered rot in the main bulkhead where the upper shroud chainplate attaches. This is a fairly substantial bulkhead - about 1" thick. The roted area is roughly 2 inches wide by 12" high at the upper hull edge of the bulkhead.
Do anyone think that I can fill the area with thickened epoxy or should I be attemting to replace the area with a shaped piece of plywood? Replacing the total bulkhead would be a major piece of work as so much of the interior joinery is attached to this bulkhead.
It seems like (and is) a big job right now, but this is probably one of the most important junctures of your boat. The bulkhead is that thick because it is responsible for transmitting the stress of the rig and distributing it to other parts of the boat.
I think that filling it with epoxy is a really dangerous idea. In the end, you are liable to end up with an even weaker boat. The bond formed between old, deteriorated wood and the epoxy will not be strong enough to deal with the load.
You might be able to cut away the rotted part, replace it with new, well-sealed wood, and then sandwich that between two EQUALLY STRONG pieces of wood that are through-bolted (lots of bolts here - not one or two) holding all three pieces together. Make sure that the pieces on either side are much larger than the one in the middle, and make sure there a lot of bolts on the perimeter, as it is these bolts that are taking and distributing the load - not the sandwiched piece in the middle.
Good luck and let us know what happens...
The sooner you deal with it - the better.
That's what I having been leaning to - replace a section of the bulkhead. The adhesion of just epoxy would be an issue that would haunt me for all future sailing days.
Thanks for your input.
Of course, the best solution would be to remove the bulkhead and replace it completely.
However, whatever method you use to fix the problem area... don't forget to seal the plywood with epoxy and then to pot the holes for the chainplate fasteners, much like you would with a cored deck. That way, any leaks at the chainplate will result in a wet interior, but won't cause any future deterioration of the bulkhead.
Re: Rot in Bulkhead C&C Invader 36 (Frigate)
I found your post about rot in a Google Search for Invaders. You list the Frigate as being an Invader and it's my understanding that they are different boats, very similar, but not the same boat. Yours is a little bit heavier and the rudder is different.
That doesn't matter but what I keep an eye out is for Invader owners to make contact. There are one 3 of us that I can find and we are trying to see how many of the original 25 that were made are still alive. Here's my site if you are curious.
Relating to your post. Did you get the rot fixed in the bulkhead? All of my shrouds are bonded to the hull and none of them are chainplated to a bulkhead. I had a rig on a Columbia come down once when the chainplates pulled out of a rotten bulkhead. It was not pretty. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that now. I hope you got your fixed. It's a mess if it pulls out.
I'd be interested in seeing photos of your boat if you have any. It looks very similar to the Invader.
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