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Discussion Starter #1
We took our new to us 1983 22' out today to learn & play in heavier winds. When we left the dock, we had a nice 15-20 mph breeze. I reefed the main with 4 wraps around the boom before we left the dock. This actually seemed about right at first... We had maybe 50% of the genoa out to balance us a bit.

The winds were nice, mostly steady, and building. About an hour later, we had a steady 20-25 and I was wishing for a bit less mainsail, but I was not willing to mess with the silly system of wrapping it on the boom. It's an old, tired sail. I don't feel too bad about luffing it as needed.

An hour later, we still had nice 20-25 mph winds, with occasional gusts to about 30. We were flying too much sail, but still easily under control and occasoinally luffing 30-50% of the main. In the gusts, the deck at the chainplates was noticeably flexing. Both sides seemed about the same, depending on the tack. I couldn't hear any cracking and didn't see anything changing above or below, but did ease the load and headed for the well. (My empty belly also played a roll)

I don't imagine we will ever place more load on the rig than we did today. But, I do want to have confidence in the rig and my judgement about what is prudent.

As part of my inspection ritual after buying an old boat, I did remove the chainplates. I found no evidence of water, rot, or nastiness. The backing plates were wimpy 1/8" aluminum plates about 2 inches square. I replaced them with somewhat larger 1/4" aluminum plate, and did the whole thing with drilling oversize holes in the deck, filling with epoxy, drilling and bedding.

Questions-
Was I just pushing too hard?

Is the deck flex normal?

Should I look more thoroughly for evil in the deck around the chainplates?

Time for bigger backing plates?

Thanks!


(I'm a semi reformed adrenalin junkie & former Windsurf instructor :)
 

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Chainplates on deck are generally connected to the hull via a bar, which transfers the load to the hull. In your case the chainplates are only loaded to the deck. Under these conditions deck flexing is normal. I would not trust a deckplate connected only to the deck. I once tore the deck of a similiar vessel in a much milder weather. It is best to improvise a connection system to the hull. The least you can do is to increase the area of the backing plates. You can install a large wooden backing plate between the aluminum backing plate and the deck which will distribute the load to a wider area.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Continued flexure like that is not great for your boat. If it has a wood core it may be time to tear into the decks.
Better/larger backing plates might help instead of adding additional laminate insde if it is uncored in the chain plate area to increas the thickness and strength.

Oh, and I'd encourage you to do away with roller boom furling method and try slab reefing which should result in better sail shape in higher winds.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks all!

I'll borrow a moisture meter & see what I find in the decks. Much bigger backing plates will happen soon, as will a traditional reefing system. The roller boom system was obviously designed by someone who never had to actually furl a sail.

I have access to lots of fun toys (full woodshop, metal shop, etc), and run a small canvas shop. The hard part is making time ;-)
 
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