Join Date: Jul 2000
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Re: Pearson 26 bulkhead delamination
If this is NOT the main bulkhead then the problem is minor and the bulkhead is easily to replace and re-tabbed in with filled epoxy and cloth. Just angle-grinder away all the years accumulation of paint and other debris and 'rebuild'.
HOWEVER if this is the main bulkhead ... the 'compression post' and main bulkhead are INTEGRAL then you might have second thoughts about the boat, especially if the bulkhead has shifted ..... and the 'head door' does not close without binding !!!!!!!!
If the main bulkhead has shifted, the companionway door hardware (door passageway knob, etc.) will no longer 'match-up'. What happens to the compression post/bulkhead combo is .... When Pearson installed the C-post and main bulkhead into the boat, they drove a wooden wedge under the base of the C-post (in the bilge !!!!) and simply 'tabbed it over' with fiberglass to hold the wedge in place. Being in the bilge and after all these years the wedge rots, the rot grows into the base of the post, the compression into the bulkhead 'relieves' (the bulkhead takes all the stress of MAST and coachroof, not 'just' the compression post) ... and the bulkhead shifts out of place.
Look carefully at the head door and does it close without 'binding' and does the door hardware line up reasonably, then look in the bilge and push a small screwdriver into the tabbing to look to see if that wedge is still there, Also inspect the BASE of the Compression post .... if its rotting it will show darkening on the outside surface. Just about ALL pearsons of the early 70s used a wedge under the compression post in the bilge .... replace it with one made out of fiberglass, then 'tab' it in place to hold it there.
If the C-post IS rotted but the bulkhead is not shifted ... its an easy repair --- just cut the bottom of the post off, make up a solid FRG 'pedestal' base, jack up the 'coachroof' and slip in the new base, etc. ... prevents the inevitable Pearson bulkhead 'shifting'.
Rudder bearings, etc. are still available from drmarine.com ... they are delrin and seriously abrade when the rudder shafting becomes roughened over time. Dig a pit under the rudder, drop the rudder and do a 'complete job' when replacing the bearing .... polish the shaft too !!!!