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post #1 of 6 Old 05-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Questions about bulkhead replacement

So, since the snow melted here in Idaho, I've been happily working on my Balboa26. This season I have focused on the interior. So far I have refinished the teak trim with a hell of a lot of sanding and 3 coats of Cetol Marine Teak finish. The locker and forecabin doors got 3 coats mahogany stain and are ready for a few coats of varnish. I painted the cabin with a one part polyurethane called EasyPoxy.

I'm really happy with how everything is turning out. This is the first time
I've ever worked on a boat and I'm loving seeing my Balboa return to her former glory.

On the to do list is

-to install carpet on the ceiling, the sides of the v-berth and along the
deepest part of of the sides behind the gallery railing (My nautical terminology
is failing me here).

-replace the bulkheads

-install a new electrical system and LED lights.

My question for you knowledgeable folks is about the flex of the hull affecting
the bulkhead replacement. The hull shape has distorted without the support of the old bulkheads (they are all removed). The support under the mast, which is now refinished and looking beautiful, is a full two inches too long to fit back into where it was.

I cut the new bulkheads with Marine grade AB plywood using the old shapes as templates. When and if I get them to fit, I will cover them with a mahogany veneer. The problem I'm running into is that, though the new bulkheads are a very close match to the old ones, they are not even a close fit inside the hull.

Is it safe for me to use a jack to push up the deck in order to get the right
fit? Is the fact that the boat is on a trailer going to distort the shape of
the hull differently than when it's in the water? Or do I need to stray from
the old templates that may have been over-sized and continue trying to shape the new bulkheads to fit?

Excuse the long post. Im trying to include as much relevant info as possible.

Kuna, ID
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Questions about bulkhead replacement

Sounds like a tough situation. I'd say that the original shape is what you want/need. If you 'jack' the deck to return to the right shape will you be able to get the bulkheads in place? Will that mean that the compression post will fit again too?

No reason I can see not to try to regain the original dimensions if you're certain you've reproduced them. But it may not be that easy to do.


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post #3 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Questions about bulkhead replacement

I would try to push the deck up and use the original shape. sounds like the hull and deck have warped from the bulkheads being left out for to long. fiber glass will take on a new shape if you apply pressure an wait long enough. it will also be affected by heat in the summer sun. the shape will be a lot easier to push back if you heat up the glass while you are installing the bulkheads. heat the inside with a electric heater and place black plastic on the deck and let the sun heat the deck.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Questions about bulkhead replacement

You need to jack the deck back to it's original height/shape so your bulkheads fit. They are a structural component of your boat.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Questions about bulkhead replacement

Thanks for the tips, guys. I will be wrapping this up in the next two weeks so I will keep you posted on progress.

This site has been an awesome resource throughout the whole project. Great community here.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-14-2013
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Re: Questions about bulkhead replacement

The hull shape of the boat will "relax" a bit when it is in the water vs in the trailer.
I'd stick with the original dimensions for the bulkheads, if at all possible.

Check the deck around the mast step for rotten Balsa core too.

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