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Old 02-01-2013, 02:56   #16
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

It can be tricky to fit an entire one piece replacement bulkhead, but it would certainly make for the best possible repair. The problem with through-deck chainplates secured to a bulkhead is that there is often water intrusion, and this is bad news for plywood. So, whether you do the entire bulkhead or just a piece, I suggest a layer of mat and one of cloth, and cheap polyester resin over the piece, especially the edges. When securing a bolt through the piece to attach the chain plate, drill the hole way oversize, fill with resin and some wadded up scrap of matting, and then drill through this fiberglass potting. Oversize replacement chainplate and backing plate, with extra bolt holes, is a good thing. Also take a good look at where the chainplate passes through the deck, and do what you can to prevent water intrusion. I should say, moisture intrusion. It usually isn't a steady dribble... more like a seep.

You might also consider moving the chainplate to the hull itself, with proper reinforcement and backing. I have done this a time or two. Sometimes it is the best way out of a dilemna.

While you are messing with this project, carefully inspect your chainplate for crevice corrosion. These things do fail, sometimes.
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Old 14-01-2013, 09:39   #17
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

I've decided for sure to replace both port and starboard main bulkheads. I will have to cut through the fiberglass tabbing that holds the bulkhead to the hull. I know I can use a cutting wheel on a angle grinder to do this. I am wondering if I could use a hammer and chisel instead. Mainly to cut way down on dust and glass particles flying around. Thoughts?
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Old 14-01-2013, 10:01   #18
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

If you cant get the new bulkhead through the companionway (?) as one piece... why replace the whole bulkhead.... as a 2 piece unit? Just offering that thought.
I share your dislike of the grinder for that. Possibly a Sawzall? Maybe one of those 3" diameter skill saw tools? Maybe not, those are battery powered and probably arent up to the job...
Bottom line is you are going to have to grind the tabbing area before and after layup so dust will be all over. You need to strip the boat and seal off those areas not needing to open.....
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Old 14-01-2013, 11:15   #19
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

I've used a sharp chisel and hammer to cut through tabbing. It does work if the tabbing is not too thick. The blade on an angle grinder makes very quick work of it but is messy.
Save what you can of the bulkhead for a pattern. If the new bulkhead you cut out will not fit through the companionway then build it in two or three sections and epoxy them together when they are in place. Make certain you've dropped the mast and that there are no loads on the hull when you do the replacement.
Good luck on your project. Been there, done that with a 42 footer.
kind regards,
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Old 14-01-2013, 11:37   #20
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

There are a number of cutter available with a dust collection fitting which is normally hooked up to a shop-vac. They aren't perfect, but should collect at least 80% of the dust/chips.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:31   #21
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

SkiprJohn...the mast is off the boat and the boat is in the water. Should be able to remove and replace the bulkheads without much hull/deck flex. I think...?
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Old 14-01-2013, 21:28   #22
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

You can use a Fein Multi-Tool or one of the many imitators with a carbide blade. You can do it with a saw blade but Fiberglass eats saw blades so it could be costly if you go that route. It would be less messy to use a saw blade though.

It may be possible to rip the bulkhead off and chisel whatever is left of the tabbing. Just grab hold of the bulkhead and rock it back and forth vigorously after cutting any tabbing to the over head, if any. The tabs probably can be chiseled off but you'll probably have to tackle it from the bulkhead side after the bulkhead is removed to get the chisel under the tabbing. Polyester resin doesn't bond all that well to cured FRP layup. That's the reason I only use Epoxy resin to bond to FRP.
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Old 15-01-2013, 13:37   #23
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

I like the multi-tool idea as it relates best to what I'll have to deal with...cutting the tabbing to free the bulkhead. I've been looking at various tools and the Bosch seems to be a good price/value choice. Which cutting accessory should I use? I'm thinking the semi-circular carbide cutter would be the best choice. I've got to cut about 5 feet of tabbing to remove both bulkheads. Any idea how many cutters I'll wear out?
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Old 15-01-2013, 14:11   #24
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

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Originally Posted by rhr1956 View Post
ok guys...seems to me that I really need to remove the entire bulkhead. Trying to cut a piece out of it seems more difficult that a removal. Once it's out, why not just make a new one piece bulkhead. Thoughts?
I did that exact repair on my boat. The bulkhead was rotted around the chainplate from water ingress. Cutting out the rot and glassing in a new piece of ply made for a strong but not too pretty repair. It's out of sight inside the hanging locker so no biggy. I did the repair with the bulk head in place.
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Old 15-01-2013, 14:50   #25
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

one thought! A friend removed the windows on one side of his boat and cut though the pillar between the windows to slide in the new bulkhead. I was Impressed. good as new when completed
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Old 15-01-2013, 14:53   #26
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

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one thought! A friend removed the windows on one side of his boat and cut though the pillar between the windows to slide in the new bulkhead. I was Impressed. good as new when completed
That is an interesting approach for sure. I think I will be able to deliver the new bulkhead through the companionway.
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Old 15-01-2013, 17:39   #27
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Yes on the multi tool. Finished the job this past summer. I used the $40 multi from Harbor Freight and two blades at $10 each and my shop vac. Fast and no much dust. Cuts like butter.

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Old 16-01-2013, 00:36   #28
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

If your mast is removed then you shouldn't have too much of a problem with cabin top depression or compression of the sides. If you build your new bulkhead the same dimensions as your old one you'll be able to force any deformation out of the hull when you put it in place. Make certain you allow a bit of space between bulkhead and hull so you don't create a hardspot where they intersect. I used foam strips 1/2 thick to keep the bulkhead that far from the hull while glassing.
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Old 20-01-2013, 12:59   #29
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

One option for cutting the tabbing we havent mentioned here is an air hammer with chisel point.... if you have air available. Not messy and quick. the V shaped chisel point keeps you in the cut well. and you could cut pretty close to the hull/deck.
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Old 20-01-2013, 19:30   #30
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Re: Bulkhead Replacement-Advice Needed

Update for port bulkhead: Compression posts and transom (horizontal header piece) removed without to much difficulty. Using an oscillating multi tool I cut through all the tabbed area as deep is the blade would go...about a half inch. Something is holding the bulkhead fast. I can't get it to budge. I'm wondering if some resin ran down some gaps and glued the thing in areas I can't see. I'm thinking of trying a slide hammer bearing puller to attempt breaking it lose. What do you think?
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