How does one reinforce bulkheads? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-16-2011 Thread Starter
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How does one reinforce bulkheads?

In looking at the bulkheads on my hunter 25, it appears they are fiberglass mostly, joined to the hull skin up to the waterline, then not joined above the waterline. The bulkhead under the mast seems to be flimsy plywood, not well tabbed to the hull either. I thought this would be the most important bulkhead but it seems much weaker than the others.

I have read of people reinforcing their bulkheads, how is this done on a production boat like mine?
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-16-2011
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Get a copy of Don Casey's "This Old Boat". He describes how to tab (or re-tab) a bulkhead in great detail.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-16-2011 Thread Starter
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I just ordered it from amazon. Looks like a great resource thanks.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-16-2011
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Here is a good article from west systems I used when I replaced the bulkheads in my islander.

WEST SYSTEM | Projects | Fiberglass Boat Repair and Restoration - Replacing damaged bulkheads

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-16-2011
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Here is a good article from west systems I used when I replaced the bulkheads in my islander.

WEST SYSTEM | Projects | Fiberglass Boat Repair and Restoration - Replacing damaged bulkheads
That article looks exactly like what I went through on my old Quarter Tonner. I did one extra step though. After the glass had fully cured and been painted I drilled through the tabbing and bulkhead every 6" and put 1/4" hex head machine screws through, backed by large diameter fender washers on each side and acorn nuts on the back side.

I polished all the fasteners first so it looked good (at least to my eye) and it added a significant amount of backup to the bond between glass and plywood. I had a number of very positive complements on it.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-21-2011 Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I have realized that my stays don't end in chainplates bolted to the bulkhead. They go down into u-shaped bits of steel, bolted through the deck/hull join in an area reinforced with fiberglass. This seems weak to me...
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-21-2011
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Where are you planning on going with the boat? I think the chainplate arrangement is strong enough for the boat's intended purpose.

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Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-21-2011
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I just ordered it from amazon. Looks like a great resource thanks.
It is, in fact it is so good I even bought the revised addition after owning the first from day 1. BUT - COMPLETELY IGNORE his procedure for bedding deck fittings. His "gasket" method sounds very good but in reality it is next to impossible to prevent some or all of the fasteners from turning a little when you do the second tightening of them. This will compromise the seal.

Instead, after potting and redrilling the fastener holes, drill a small countersink on the top of each hole. This will retain a small O-ring of sealant under the fitting no matter what movement occurs later. Then put sealant down, install the fitting and tighten down completely in one go.

This works much, much better than Caseys' recommendation.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-21-2011
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Here's a great link to the method SloopJonB described.
Re-Bedding Deck Hardware Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-22-2011 Thread Starter
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thanks for the great advice. I'll have to remember to print that and keep it with the book.


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Where are you planning on going with the boat? I think the chainplate arrangement is strong enough for the boat's intended purpose.
It might be. I will be cruising new york bay and li sound next summer. Hopefully I will get to florida (towed) and cross to the bahamas in a few years.

I have missed alot of sailing days this season due to high winds. The furling jib is near useluss, a parachute, when reefed. The main has no drive at all without at least some jib out. When out in these conditions, if I have to release the reefed jib because it is a big parachute edging me to a knockdown, and it goes flapping in a loooong gust, I see the whole rig being seriously stressed. It has never been replaced since 1981. I will be re-rigging anyway in a year or two (saving for it), so I was thinking why not replace with upgraded rigging?

But truthfully, I may remove the roller furler and replace with hank-on jibs. That way I will be able to reef effectively, and still have control of the boat. And the properly shaped jib probably won't stress the rig nearly as much...
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