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Old 22-12-2009, 10:52   #1
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Chainplate Inspection?

Ok, after advice received here, I have taken the time to inspect my chainplates. Looks like all stainless, all hardware matches (no odd ball fasteners) nothing bent, no cracks in the deck, no soft spots around the chain plates.

I then found the undersides of the chainplates in the V-berth's overhead for the shrouds and the forestay. Again, dry, no cracks, no soft spots and all of the hardware matching and undamaged. No evidence that water has ever leaked by or around the hardware.

I can't quite get my head in position to see the underside of the backstay. the outboard engine sits in a well and it's in the way.

There are no broken strands in the rigging. I believe it was replaced in the last few years.

I've been working down below, in the cabin on the boat in 25-30kt winds and I don't seem to experience the "pumping" others have mentioned so I'd like to believe that the rigging is at least somewhat in-tune.

Have I given attention to the proper items or am I not looking for the right symptoms of potential failure? Hm..now that I type this, I think I should look at the turnbuckles again...

Thanks!
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Old 22-12-2009, 11:01   #2
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Hey Bubble
My chain plates looked great and so did the fasteners........until I removed them and found a third of the bolts broken inside.
I'm no expert by any means....but I'm convinced that had I not taken them off and found the damaged bolts...I would have lost my rig.....at a minimum.
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Old 22-12-2009, 12:10   #3
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I agree you really have to remove them for a a full inspection. The problem spots are where they are below deck level and starved of oxygen, this is where pit corrosion occurs. Not having any leaks is not always a sign there are no problems. They need to be pulled I think every 5 years or so cleaned and inspected carefully for pit corrosion and cracking.

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Old 22-12-2009, 12:23   #4
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Your chain plates were stainless? I thought all the C25s used bronze.
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Old 22-12-2009, 13:02   #5
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Frank,

Where they plated in nickel or something? If not, then perhaps mine have been replaced at some point in the boat's life.

Ok, so if I were to remove and inspect the chainplates, I will be disrupting the watertight seal. This means I'll have to re-bed them when I re-install them?

How far do you dismantle a sailboat for inspection and repair before you decide it's safe to venture out? I worry that I could be introducing a problem where none currently exists.
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Old 22-12-2009, 13:36   #6
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I understand your concern and it depends on the boat age, degree of difficulty and how good your insurance is. You have a small boat and loads are not that great. If you are just doing coastal cruising, little if any racing then you might be ok. I recently posted some pics of a boat that lost it's rig in light conditions. This guy have no clue there was a problem. I would say if they are not hard to get to do it. Recualking is not a big deal. A lot of times these things look harder than they really are. In the case of the boat that lost it's rig it took me 15 min to pull the broken chainplate, I would guess if replacing another 20 min to put it back in. Your for stay and back stay might be harder so you just have to weigh the difficulty against the other facts. Pull a couple of easy ones first if all looks good you might skip the harder ones. This is no guaranty but might give you an indication. But yes I know sometimes we do more damage trying to fix something that is not broken. All I can say is follow your gut feeling and comfort level. If you are planning on crossing an ocean or extended cruising I would say do it for sure. I hope this helps and does not confuse you more.

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Old 22-12-2009, 13:56   #7
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All the C25s I have been on have been straight bronze. If I remember correctly you have a later hull. If it is one of the Columbia built ones then they might have done something different. It could also be a PO has changed things as well. Got pictures?
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Old 22-12-2009, 13:56   #8
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Thanks sailvayu, it does help.

Yes, the cruising will be light and coastal, at least to start. If I start doing anything more strenuous, I'll either overhaul this one, (no matter how painful) or upgrade to something larger and newer.
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Old 22-12-2009, 13:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
All the C25s I have been on have been straight bronze. If I remember correctly you have a later hull. If it is one of the Columbia built ones then they might have done something different. It could also be a PO has changed things as well. Got pictures?
There are several things I should take pictures of so I can ask questions. I'll try to get some over the long weekend and post them.

The boat's a '69...not sure if that's new enough to be a Columbia. The builder plate says Coronado.
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:04   #10
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1968 is when Columbia took over so it is likely you have one of those. My C25 had a Wesco builder plate. I have been on pre-Columbia Coronados.


Take tons of pictures and get those questions asked.
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:53   #11
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There seems to be no indications of a problem....based on the report of your initial inspection....no leaks, no soft spots....

How are they attached? Are they stainless bolts? can you remove one easily..?
inspect it, inspect the bulkhead to which it's attached....if everything looks good there..I probably wouldn't worry too much..
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Old 22-12-2009, 20:21   #12
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I used to deliver sailboats and there was never time to dismantle a rig before taking it off shore. The routine was to sail her lightly for the first few hours and check the rig really carefully, then if possible we would ride her hard thirty deg or more and run around and check for movement and such. This way if the rig showed problems we were still close to port. Not very scientific but hey it was the best I could do.
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Old 22-12-2009, 20:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleHeadMd View Post
Thanks sailvayu, it does help.

Yes, the cruising will be light and coastal, at least to start. If I start doing anything more strenuous, I'll either overhaul this one, (no matter how painful) or upgrade to something larger and newer.
One of the most difficult things with a new to you boat is to find out the maintenance history. One of the "more" difficult things is to find out her limits.

When we first got our boat we sort of did what Ocean Girl says. I inspected the boat thoroughly, identified things I thought were weaknesses and then we commenced to sailing harder and harder.

We broke lots of things I suspected would break - stand up blocks, turning blocks and so forth. Someone said, "Maybe you shouldn't be pulling on things so hard."

I replied that I should be able to pull on anything on the rig and not break it. Eventually, our main traveller broke. We repaired it and 12 months later replaced it.

The worst thing that happened was a chain plate failed. We had 6 people on the rail and the boat fully powered up. We came disastrously close to losing the rig boat the Gods smiled and we didn't.

We replaced all the chain plates and now have a baseline for the age of the rig. Well we sorta already did because our boat had already lost its rig about 5 years before we bought the boat.

From this experience we reckon the standing rigging lasts 7 years in this environment. You can bet I will be replacing the chainplates at 6 years.
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