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Old 12-04-2012
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Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34


As others have guessed, that boat has major problems. The first picture is the port upper shroud chainplate, and it's really bad. The bolts at the bottom end have crushed the plywood -- very rotten. The chainplates themselves are probably in decent shape (but need inspection anyway). Josrulz replaced his for something like $400, so even if they are bad it's not an issue.

What has happened is that the chainplates have been allowed to leak. The water has run into the boat, and soaked the plywood knees, which have rotted. To get them out, you'll be removing cabinetry, and then the knee and glass, and then re-doing. If it's just this one, that may be an OK project (of course, to leak into the boat, it had to leak THROUGH the deck, so you may have deck core rot too -- a bad thing as well). But if it's more than one, you're going to have to pay big time for repairs.

If you go see the boat, each of the 6 chainplate knees are covered with a U-shaped teak cover strip along the edge. They are held on with very small nails. Grab ahold of the teak and pull -- it will come off in your hands. Then you can see the edge of the plywood, and assess the extent of damage. Note that my surveyor did not do this simple task (fortunately, I had and knew what I was getting), so just because a surveyor finds no rot doesn't mean you are all-clear. After you inspect, the covers push right back on.

'79 Sabre 34 MK1
Mill Creek, Annapolis
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Thank you Harry. From everything I've learned, yes, the boat has major problems. The worst could be the wet core in the deck. But it looked like it also needed a new engine. Dave said the engine looked neglected. That could be why the wood rotted too, neglect. Anyway, before I could make an offer someone else did.

Interestingly enough, the boat fell off the Yachtworld listing for a bit then reappeared. I've been told by a friend it's still under contract pending a survey. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes back on the market, unless the buyer wants a serious project boat and gets the boat for next to nothing.

We've postponed the boat search until the house is sold. Then we can decide where to move to and we'll take up the search again (if there's any money left!)
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Replacing Chainplates on a Sabre 34

Before I knew the boat had a contract on it, I had contacted Sabre to inquire about what would be the proper way to repair the rotted wood. They asked for pictures and I sent them a few. Here's their response:

In picture #01 I believe that the knee wall is one solid piece that continues down through that shelf into the upper berth back area. In order to achieve the structural integrity you really need to remove that entire piece and replace it with new. The hull sides should be ground to bare glass, and then glass in a new knee wall the entire length. You should use a VE (vinyl-ester) Resin to get a good secondary bond.

I was thinking cutting away the rotted wood and inserting a new piece with dowels or biscuits then tabbing that together by slotting the existing wood and the new wood and "sewing it" with glass tape and resin. Imagine the work involved in having to replace the entire piece? No thanks!
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