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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Grampian
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Old 08-10-2013
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Chain plates

I am the owner of a Grampian 30 and pulled a chain plate in high winds. Anyone have experience repairing a chain plate. It is the forward starboard plate. You know the hardest one to get to.
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Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Chain plates

Do you have pictures?
Is it connected to a bulkhead?

Actually pulling a chain plate indicates some serious deterioration with the attachment points which is almost always rotted wood that has to be replaced.

Tell us about the event. The mast held, why?
I assume it is the forward upper stay.
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Re: Chain plates

Yes I do have photos and yes it is connected to the starboard bulkhead that makes up the wall of the V-berth. It is very definitely caused by rotted wood. Water must have been leaking into the area for some time without notice.

I was sailing her in about a 30 k wind with the main only with literally no apparent problems. After about 30 minutes we decided it was perhaps a little too rough for my novice passengers so we lowered the sail and motored about for another 30 minutes before returning to her slip. As I went forward to secure the forward lines I reached up to steady myself grabbing the forward stay and realized that there was no tension on the cable. When I went below to check it was obvious what had happened.

I will try to attach the photos. One is the chainplate attachment looking forward (the one with the bolts clearly visible) and the other is the attachment looking aft.

My intension is to drill holes on both sides of the attachment as close to the inside hull as possible. Then slide a saws all blade in and saw down following the line of the hull until I hit good wood. From there I will use a much longer chain plate to both secure the plate to the good wood and splice a newly configured of wood to what is left of the rib. Then reglass making sure there are no leaks from above. I will also check the other five location as well while I am at it.

Any and all comments are more than welcome.
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Chain plates-bulheadfore.jpg   Chain plates-bulkheadaft.jpg  
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Old 08-11-2013
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Re: Chain plates

actually as the photos turned out, the one on the left is the view looking back toward the stern and the other is looking forward in the closet.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Chain plates

A word of from someone who has already had this experience - you must replace the entire bulkhead, not just do some patchwork.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Chain plates

Can you give me a verbal description of what you did and how you did it? Thanks. Any pictures would be appreciated.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Chain plates

Pretty much any thing you can do to get the wood replaced and strong will work.
Sometimes replacing a whole bulkhead is the the easiest best way to go.

You can however patch plywood and have it as strong as original by cutting a piece out and tapering what is left (scarf) back 8 to 1. so for a 1/2" thick board taper it back 4 inches.
Then fit in a new piece with a matching taper and set it a bed of epoxy.
The fein multimaster or good quality clone is a good tool for close work and may even help in some places with the taper.
The taper don't have to be perfect it can even be chiseled in places. The thickened epoxy can fill and eight inch easy.

Then if you cover the plywood with a couple layers of epoxy and glass cloth it will be very strong.

All depends on exactly what you can get to and what is rotten.

Good quality plywood with a lot of layers with no internal voids is much stronger than lumber store wood too if you can find it and are willing to pay for it.

It is worth getting a book or two on the subject as their are lots of ways to do it wrong.

You are unbelievably lucky you didn't get hurt or break the rig.
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Last edited by davidpm; 08-12-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Chain plates

davidpm,

You are right, I was very lucky.

Thank you all for you contribution, I certainly appreciate your assistance. Now to begin.
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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Chain plates

Rather than me writing a bunch of stuff, I suggest you visit this website (index) where you will find all the details of repairing or replacing chainplate bulkheads.
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Old 08-13-2013
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Re: Chain plates

OK, I don't claim to be all that knowledgable on marine terminology, so just to make sure I know what everyone is talking about, can someone define bulkhead, please? To me a bulkhead is a walled barrier between compartments, such as the barrier between the head and the V-berth. The chain plate seems to be not anchored to the bulkhead, but to one of the boats ribs (my term). So the boat would have a wooden rib helping to form the plane of the hull, sandwiched by the chain plate, covered by epoxyed fiberglass. Wrong?
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