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  #1  
Old 12-31-2009
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Catalina 27 bulkhead replacement

I am replacing the starboard bulkhead that the chainplate mounts to, and have a couple of questions. This is a 1975 C27.

1) When I removed the old bulkhead I noted that there was no padding as such to prevent hard spots. There was a leather like liner stapled to the edge of the bulkhead which was attached to a brown leather like trim piece that could be seen on only one side of the cabin. This appeared like a cosmetic thing. So, I have read that bulkheads should have some kind of rubber padding to prevent hard spots. Given that my boat has not had this for the past 34 years, do I need to add this now? If so, what kind of rubber would be suitable and how thick should it be, since I will have to shave down the bulkhead edges by a corresponding amount?

2) I want to replace the screws on the chainplate covers with bolts that go through the deck and into nuts on the inside of the cabin. The current screws are like wood screws which just screw in to the deck. To access the new bolts to tighten nuts on the inside, I would need to cut a notch in the bulkhead directly under the chainplate covers. Is this acceptable to do even though this cutout area should see a lot of load from the chainplates?
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Old 12-31-2009
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I have an '81 Catalina 27 but fortunately have not had to replace my bulkheads. I do participate in the International Catalina 27/270 Association; email list mailto:IC27A@yahoogroups.com / IC27A : Catalina 27 Owners Association). There are plenty of experts there who have replaced their bulkheads and will be able to answer your questions.

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Joe McCary
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Last edited by mccary; 12-31-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009
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I am in Riverside,CT. I sail the boat on Long Island Sound. Just signed up for the yahoo group, waiting for approval. I've seen you over at the trailer sailor forum, but it seems like everyone is in hibernation for the winter over there.
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Old 12-31-2009
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I replaced both of my main bulkheads on my '76 Catalina 27. I put in a 1/4" medium compression door seal like the kind you get at the Home Depot and it worked out nicely. I also rebuilt the trim pieces you mentioned (brown leather like trim piece) as they worked well to hide the imperfections in my "not so perfect" cutting. Ofcourse, I made them a little oversized and used them on both side of the bulkhead.

As for the deck plate screws, I would think you would be giving mother nature a whole nuther group of places to entrude into your dry space we like to call the cabin. The fewer thru-holes we have the more difficult it is for her to find a way inside. Those screws are only there to keep the covers from shifting until the sealant dries anyway.

Joe, I see you on the 270/27 group all the time. You have some interesting replies. Good to see you here as well. I am prepping mine for salt water this time. Doing a new refit. Will be running out of Corpus Christi, TX. Hoping to be ready in 2011.

AJF10, take lots of pictures so everyone can see what you did. I look forward to seeing it.
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Old 12-31-2009
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Old 12-31-2009
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Bulkheads move, and laminating fiberglass does not produce exact dimensions on the inside. The leather like strip prevents the bulkhead from squeaking when it moves. The trim strip hides a sloppy fit, much cheaper that actually cutting the bulkhead to fit the hul on a pduction boat.

If your chainplate is a flat strap passing through the deck then that plate is jst a trim strip, and just about the stupidest idea anyone ever had. If it it fits tightly to the chainplate it looks nice, and it serves to shear the sealant off the chainpalt causing a leak. Chainplates move. If you don't want a leak at the chainplate you need a gap for sealant wide enough to take all the motion without peeling the sealant off. So when you pull the chainplate, enlarge the hole through the deck to provide a 1/4" gap all the way around the chainplate. Then seal the edges of the hole inside the deck with epoxy to prevent water from getting into the core.

When you put the chainplate back in put putty around it below decks to seal the opening. I'd tension the stay before sealing the chainpalte because then it will be closer to where it will live. Then fill the gap with sealant from above and leave a fillet up the chainplate a 1/4" or so. That'll encourage water to run away from the chainplate. Remove the putty below when the sealant is cured. Now if you want to put the plate back on I'd grind out the opening so it just touches the edge of the sealant. If the edges of the hole are close to the chainplate it'll shear your nice sealing job right off.

I didn't mention what kind of sealant to use, lots of strong opinions about that around here. However virtually every flexible sealant will work if the gap is appropriate to matching the sealants ability to stretch without pulling loose.

Hope this helps.
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