Chain Plate Bulkhead Repair
I posted this on AS as well I figure the more input the better.
So this weekend after I get the motor running I am going to carefully remove a chain plate teak plywood bulk head. I pulled all the trim off in the head side of the bulk and I didn't like the spongyness of the wood. My plan is to pull the bulkhead out and see if I can repair it using penetrating epoxy.
Here is my plan for repairs.
1) Cut and remove fiberglass tabs that hold bulkhead in.
2)once bulk head is out inspect entire bulkhead for dry rot.
3)every three inches or so drill a hole into bulkhead from the edge about 10inches into it.
4) inject penetraing epoxy into each hole.
5) let cure for a few days in the garage.
6) reinstall bulkhead using west system epoxy and glass.
I am open to suggestions if anyone has any input. I figure I should do this project while I have the entire interior torn apart.
Wrote this reply on AS, and posting here as well...
Considering that the wood is spongy, I would do one of the following:
1) re-place the bulkhead, or
2) cut out the spongy area and scarf in a new wood, or
3) cut out the spongy area, scarf in new wood and sister an additional board to it.
Method 1 is probably the nicest looking, but the most work. Method 3 is probably considerably stronger than method 2 and well worth doing. I'd also recommend you do whatever you do on the port side to the starboard side or vice versa.
If the wood is spongy, it has started to rot and probably lost significant portions of its strength. This is a chainplate that holds your mast up.... do you really want to just repair it with penetrating epoxy instead of doing a proper repair.
I will take some pictures this weekend and post them with the progress of this project so that It may helps others here in the forums.
The only soft/spongy areas of the bulkhead are along where it is tabbed to the hull. If I were to cut that part of the bulkhead off use it as a template to replace with 3/4 in marine plywood then do a sistering board on the forward side of the bulkhead so its in the head and not very visible.
When sistering the two together should I use epoxy and thru bolt it all together for added stiffness?
This is a repair I want to do the right way the first time for in the future I plan to keep this boat a long time and do some coastal sailing with her.
If the bulkhead is truly rotting near the tabbing, then it may well separate from the tabbing quite easily. If the original tabbing itself is sound, you might consider leaving a couple of inches of the original tabbing in place, leaving a double ribbed flange into which you can insert the new/repaired bulkhead. The rotten wood can be dug/scraped out of the resulting cavity.
This would give you the ability to be certain that you've put the bulkhead back in the same place, an exisiting, original (presumably well bonded) basis for bolting into after you've retabbed over the entire assembly, with less reliance on a totally secondary bond. You could epoxy the new bulkhead into the old tabbing flange, retab, AND through bolt...
All this assuming the original tabbing is sufficient, and still well bonded to the hull.
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