Midwest Puddle Pirate
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Gardner, KS
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While I have no doubt that Halekai's method would result in a dry boat, I did mine a little differently, and I too have a dry boat. The use of any method for sealing chainplates may be affected by the chainplate design and thickness of the chainplate itself. My chainplates are thinner steel than the ones pictured above, and I have one mounted on an odd bracket that attaches to the bulkhead about 6 inches away.
I don't have pictures so I'll do my best to describe them properly. I have 3 chainplates on each side of the mast. The forward one never leaks, so we don't need to talk about it. The aft chainplate is a flat piece stainless, it is bolted to the aft side of the center bulkhead and protrudes through the deck. The center chainplate is part of an odd bracket that bolts to the forward side of the bulkhead and shares the same bolts as the aft chainplate. Needless to say, this arrangement has a lot of leverage on the center chainplate and causes the whole mess to move a lot in relation to the deck.
I tried multiple times to seal this mess, with poor results. I will say that I used 4200 on the advice of people here and the owner of the one and only local sail shop. IMO 4200 is a poor choice. It doesn't flex enough. In fact, I would say it flexes less than 5200, but I wouldn't use that either.
The fix went as follows: I removed the offending chainplates on both sides. I used an air powered die grinder with a rotozip DC1 bit in it. The spiral cut rotozip bits will not do the job, get the DC1. I ground out the slots in the deck to remove any old sealant that was hiding in there, and opened up the core beneath the outer deck skin as much as I could. Be careful not to exceed the size of the cover plate. Then I coated the chainplates with Johnson's paste floor wax to act as a release for the epoxy. I temporarily reinstalled the chainplates. I taped off the bottom of the chainplates to prevent epoxy pushing through then I injected thickened epoxy into the chainplate slot.
When the epoxy dried I removed the chainplates. I used my DC1 bit to create a small "dish" in the epoxy around the chainplate hole.The chainplates were then reinstalled and bolted down tight. In the dish that I created, I packed butyl tape around the chainplate. Then I reinstalled the covers.
The butyl tape remains flexible, and even if it were sheared off the chainplate due to movement, it would reseal itself. It worked for me.
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John USYacht 27 "Cora Lee"