Rainwater seems to have leaked through my starboard chainplate mounting screw holes. The mounting still appears solid but the bulkhead veneer is delaminating and the fiberglass at the base of the bulkhead, where it joins the hull, seems to be soft and separating. How serious is all of this? I am particularly concerned about the fiberglass at the base. Will it affect the integrity/strength/rigidity of the hull? Any information you can provide would be appreciated.
Hard to say how serious it is but if there is FIBERGLASS deteriorating, or the fiberglass TABBING is letting go, that's something to repair post haste. Once you stop the leak (may need just caulking, may need a little more work) you can use CPES to repair some wood, fiberglass and/or epoxy to replace the rest. Probably a day of your time and $50-100 in materials--if you stop it now and fix it. If the bulkhead shifts and the chainplate lets go, that's gonna hurt.
www.smithandcompany.org/ makes CPES
http://www.westsystem.com/ makes the west system and gougeon epoxies
Both provide excellent tech support to potential customers.
You may want to have a look at this thread as there are also photos and a few ideas on how to fix it.
Re: Bulkhead Problem
I've replaced the bulkheads on my 22 twice in 20 years. Water leaks in through the chainplate through-deck (always seems to be the starboard side!!) and rots the wood. Luckily we've never lost the mast from it as we inspect it periodically. But, it is a serious problem. Best bet is to drop the mast, make new bulkheads and install them. Then clean out the through-decks, and recaulk the chainplates. Then put the mast up and you should be good.
For future reference, if you see evidence of water damage on the bulkheads, check to see if the wood has rotted. If not, simply clean and recaulk the chainplates. Obviously, drop the mast before unbolting the plates or it will drop the hard way.
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