Rotting Bulkhead - AGGGHHHH - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2007
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Rotting Bulkhead - AGGGHHHH

Every time I go to my boat to do some work, I end up finding more little projects. To date, nothing I cannot handle in stride. However, tjis morning I was pulling out some trim around the bulkhead and noticed there is some soft wood in the corner of the bulkhead, right by where the chainplate is mounted. Is it possible to inject epoxy into the bulkhead like is done on a deck?

If injecting epoxy is not an option, am I totally forced to rip this out and redo the bulkhead? How much work would that be? From What I can tell, remove the chain plate, saw off where the bulkhead attaches on the floor and side of the hull, re-epoxy/glass a new piece of plywood into place and re-attach the chainplate. Am I being naive here?

Hey, either way it has to be done, just a little frustrating coming across another multiple hour project. (Don't tell anyone, but I am having the time of my life redoing this old boat! I have learned an absolute ton in the last 6 weeks about sailboat repair.)
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Old 10-30-2007
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and she said "we are all just prisoners here, of our own device".

Back to the thread I did this last year and if you have good access to both sides of the bulkhead it is not really all that bad. I used a sawzall all to cut out the bulkhead. Then the worst job is grinding the hull smooth where the bulkhead was glassed to it. Then grinding all the paint off the glass about a foot on either side for the new glass. then just a nice piece of marine teak plywood cut to fit and then the required layers of glass on each side.

Good Luck
Gary
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Hi
Your options are depending of a lot of things.

First you must find the source, and a way to prevent more water leaking in.

How large is the affected area?
Can you access this area from one of the sides of the bulkhead?
Does this area of your bulkhead transmit loads to the hull/deck?

You can do lots of good/strong repairs with epoxy combined with wood and/or glass fibre mats.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuterikt View Post
Hi
Your options are depending of a lot of things.

First you must find the source, and a way to prevent more water leaking in.

How large is the affected area?
Can you access this area from one of the sides of the bulkhead?
Does this area of your bulkhead transmit loads to the hull/deck?

You can do lots of good/strong repairs with epoxy combined with wood and/or glass fibre mats.
The water seems to be coming in due to an improperly sealed chain plate. There are a lot of improprer things on this boat, and I am discovering them all as I disassemble it. I can reseal the chainplate pretty easily.

The affected area is about 4inches by 6 inches,so it is not the whole panel that is wrecked.

I can access both sides of the bulkhead to work on it.

As for loads....no clue other than the force the chain plate will put on the wood. I guess I will take a look tomorrow. I would really prefer at least trying to epoxy/glass it to save having to rip out the front bench seat and shelves by the V berth as they are all glassed to the bulkhead.
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We went through the same problem on my son's O'Day27 a few years ago.
Instead of removing the entire bulhead which is the proper fix, we choose to scarf in new wood by bolting wood "plates" to the existing bulhead where it is sound - not the most pleasing look but it worked. If you try something similar, make sure you use proper backing plates and sufficiently large bolts/washers to spread the load created by the chainplates. In retrospect, by the time we finished, it would have been less work to simply replace the whole thing.
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I don't see how you can patch repair a rotted wood area with epoxy and glass, as you would have to use a lot of glass, since you can't count on the original wood to carry any load. Chainplates are subject to a lot of stress and you need a solid footing for them, both to attach to, and to spread their load over the bulkhead area. If you don't want to replace the bulkhead (don't blame you on this...) you might consider cutting out the bad area and scarfing in a plug piece. Attach the chain plate to the plug. Then support the plug by installing "sister" panel(s) 3 or 4 times larger than the plug, covering the plug on one or both sides of the bulkhead. Through-bolt the sister panel(s) to solid sections of the original bulkhead. Also through-bolt the plug.
Good luck.
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Old 10-30-2007
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Sandwich the bulkhead between two new pieces of wood. Cut away the bad stuff and clean up the area. Put one side of the sandwich on, fill the area that you cut away with glass and epoxy, fair it smooth and then put on the other side of the sandwich. If you cut the new layers to match the original, you will end up with a stronger boat and if you do it neatly, it will be difficult to know that it's been done.
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