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82sabre 06-11-2008 11:29 PM

Chainplates, Bulkheads, and Woodwork
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I have just started to really get into the repairs and I decided that this should be the first one. I took off all trim in hopes of removing the entire piece of wood here, but things are a bit tight. As I checked for soft wood I pushed my fingers right on through to the other side. I know I have to replace the wood here and re-mount the chain plates, but any suggestions?

82sabre 06-11-2008 11:42 PM

Little bit of further background before you all get to wondering how the boat ended up like this. The boat is a 1982 Sabre 28, it was given to us by a neighbor for free. He has a heart condition and hasn't been able to use the boat for a few years. It's been through Wilma and Katrina. After reading through a few other posts I feel that the best replacement for these bulkheads would be marine ply. Also plan on replacing the chain plates along with resealing the them on deck.

SVDistantStar 06-11-2008 11:54 PM

Ouch, your in the same place as me on this. I just made a post over in the Sailboat Design and Construction forum. My plan of action is to cut out the bad area and add in a new piece. Im going to fibreglass the repair in place on my boat.

82sabre 06-12-2008 07:57 AM

yeah we're just gonna yank the entire bulkhead out and start a new, tabbing and all

cnc33voodoo 06-12-2008 08:03 AM

are you sure the water is not comming thru the chaninplate and leaking into the bulkhead?
if so your deck is probably delaminated around the shrouds and youll have to pull that apart too.
i would get a moisture meter and go thru the whole boat to assess all the damage before you start.
the cost of repairs may outweigh the cost of replacement.

SEMIJim 06-12-2008 08:26 AM


If you search hard enough, I think you'll find where another Sabre owner replaced the entire bulkhead on one side, due to the same kind of problem. At least I think it was a Sabre owner. Could've been a Pearson owner. It was the same scheme, anyway.


I'm no boat construction guru, but ISTM those bulkheads, being primarily what holds those top shroud chainplates in place, really ought to be of one piece. But she's your boat...

cnc33voodoo makes a good point. This is damage typical of leaky chainplates. While a wet core in the vicinity of those chainplates is undesirable, it might not be a show-stopper, since, if you notice, all of those chainplates' anchoring is via those bulkheads.

82sabre might wish to have a survey done, anyway, to access the condition of the boat before putting a lot of money into her. Find a surveyor that relies not only on a moisture meter (they have been known to get it wrong), but that also does soundings.

We almost bought a Sabre 28, but the owners had painted those bulkheads, chainplates and all, to *ahem* lighten-up the cabin.


sailingdog 06-12-2008 08:56 AM


A properly scarfed in piece that has been epoxied and then fiberglassed over, should be sufficiently strong to handle chain plate loads. However, I think you're better off replacing the whole bulkhead.

SVDistantStar 06-12-2008 09:09 AM

I would replace the whole bulkhead IF i could. Its the largest bulkhead in the boat and wont really fit in the hatch.

AlanBrown 06-12-2008 09:13 AM

I agree with the plan to replace the chainplates.

Had one break on my 1981 Hunter 30, so replaced them all. Wise decision! All of them were corroded on the inside and were an accident waiting to happen. From all outside appearances, they were in great shape.

Good luck with your project!

SailKing1 06-12-2008 09:28 AM

DStar, Iwent through the same process with my boat after I got her. I sailed her from where i picked her up to her new home (25 miles) in 15 knot winds. During the sail I noticed a lot of slack in the shrouds and sway in the mast.
I new the boat had water intrusion, just not how bad. My chain plates had leaked into the deck core, through to the bulkheads that where partly enclosed in glass (they turned out to be dust) and through to every thing else.
As it turned out I gutted the entire inside of the boat. Taking each piece out carfully and usind it as a template to make a new one.

It is a big job, did it over the winter months. There are a number of good sites out there i=on the net with fairly detailed instructions from people that have done this on their own. One is a triton site and you can also find info on the west system web page. I just typed in "repairing leaky chainplates" into my search bar and found loads of step by step info.

Good luck on your project.

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