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Old 24-04-2014, 10:10   #1
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Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Today I realized that the forward, starboard chainplate, which is bolted onto the (wall thingy?) in 3 different places has a problem. A 3" x 3" square has been cut out of the wall and replaced with an A/C recepticle. This missing section of the wall used to bolt into the chainplate. But there are still 2 more bolts that are securely fastened to the wall. This wall is 1" thick! About 1/8" of one side has rotted out, and the rot has been removed and painted over.
My question is, how much does this compromise the integrity of the whole boat? That is, what wind-speeds are likely to rip that turnbuckle out of the wall? This is a 50 year old, overbuilt Alberg 35. There are 2 stays, and 6 shrouds. This turnbuckle I'm talking about isn't one of the shrouds that connect to the spreaders.
The rot isn't due to the water leaking into the chainplate.
It is possible to cut out a square of board and glass it in, but is that required?
What sort of work can I get out of this boat? How reliable is that setup? What precautions can I take when sailing to take it easy on this old rig if I don't repair it? I already know to reef early with this model. Is it better to go under bare poles than to heave to if caught in a strong storm? I read that in a fastnet race a gale caught many ships off guard and many sunk, but this model Alberg 35, just went under bare poles and the ship was fine while the crew played cards.
If you don't have a shortwave radio & the VHF goes out, how can you tell if it's going to be a 35 mph gusts, a gale, or a hurricane? It must be quite difficult to remove the sails in the middle of a strong blow! Especially a roller reef sail. You have to set the sail into the wind so its flapping alot & then lower the halyard and try to keep the sails from ripping into pieces while you remove the pins that hold the sails to the forestay. It seems risky and dangerous to the sail to remove them in the middle of strong winds. If the barometer goes down and the skies look scary w/ dark clouds, a big storm looks rather obvious coming at you doesn't it? Or can they sneak up on sailors with little forewarning?
The main seems easier to take down in strong winds. I'm not going to do anything dangerous or stupid, but I want to know in advance what my options are if caught off guard.
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Old 24-04-2014, 11:27   #2
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

I would recommend paying a qualified surveyor or very experienced rigger to survey your rig.

Also, I would recommend hiring a good Captain/Instructor to go offshore with you and spend a day going through the paces of your particular vessel.
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Old 24-04-2014, 11:43   #3
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

I assume you mean the Bulkhead when you say wall? So the chainplate is bolted to the bulkhead but someone somehow cut off the chainplate and one bolt to put an AC outlet in?
A pic would help a lot. Not sure I'm understanding...
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Old 24-04-2014, 12:17   #4
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

2 bolts holding the rest of the chainplate and a rotten bulkhead, well yes the integrity its compromised, you need to replace the bulkhead or cut the rotten área until found healty Wood and epoxy glue a new piece, fiberglassed in place, the chainplate can be rotted to, wáter ingress and cracks .....
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Old 24-04-2014, 12:50   #5
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

The forward lower shroud, if that is what you described, is probably fine for local sailing and may even be good for more ambitious voyaging. I'd want to have a rigger check it out and the bulkhead before I'd take the boat gale force winds, however. It's probably an easy fix to cut a piece of plywood to fit the puka and fit with thickened epoxy, laminate a layer of cloth over both sides and rebolt the chainplate back in place.

The dry rotted part of the bulkhead is another story. Without a close look, can't tell how serious, or not, it is. It might be nothing, putting in a filler and laminating it to hull and deck or R&R'ing the whole bulkhead.

I was in your shoes when I first started sailing though it wasn't quite so large a boat. Sailing every possible moment, reading voraciously, practicing the techniques from the books in moderate conditions, modifying the way the boat was set up to work, purposely going out in crappy conditions for practice, and sailing progressively longer distances, I learned. Probably could have shortened the learning curve drastically if I'd had a mentor to go out with me a few times and bounce ideas off of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
Today I realized that the forward, starboard chainplate, which is bolted onto the (wall thingy?) in 3 different places has a problem. A 3" x 3" square has been cut out of the wall and replaced with an A/C recepticle. This missing section of the wall used to bolt into the chainplate. But there are still 2 more bolts that are securely fastened to the wall. This wall is 1" thick! About 1/8" of one side has rotted out, and the rot has been removed and painted over.
My question is, how much does this compromise the integrity of the whole boat? That is, what wind-speeds are likely to rip that turnbuckle out of the wall? This is a 50 year old, overbuilt Alberg 35. There are 2 stays, and 6 shrouds. This turnbuckle I'm talking about isn't one of the shrouds that connect to the spreaders.
The rot isn't due to the water leaking into the chainplate.
It is possible to cut out a square of board and glass it in, but is that required?
What sort of work can I get out of this boat? How reliable is that setup? What precautions can I take when sailing to take it easy on this old rig if I don't repair it? I already know to reef early with this model. Is it better to go under bare poles than to heave to if caught in a strong storm? I read that in a fastnet race a gale caught many ships off guard and many sunk, but this model Alberg 35, just went under bare poles and the ship was fine while the crew played cards.
If you don't have a shortwave radio & the VHF goes out, how can you tell if it's going to be a 35 mph gusts, a gale, or a hurricane? It must be quite difficult to remove the sails in the middle of a strong blow! Especially a roller reef sail. You have to set the sail into the wind so its flapping alot & then lower the halyard and try to keep the sails from ripping into pieces while you remove the pins that hold the sails to the forestay. It seems risky and dangerous to the sail to remove them in the middle of strong winds. If the barometer goes down and the skies look scary w/ dark clouds, a big storm looks rather obvious coming at you doesn't it? Or can they sneak up on sailors with little forewarning?
The main seems easier to take down in strong winds. I'm not going to do anything dangerous or stupid, but I want to know in advance what my options are if caught off guard.
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Old 24-04-2014, 14:06   #6
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

The only reasonable advice is to have it inspected by a qualified person then repair or replace what is found.

Rotten structural bulkheads are really bad news. When it is in the chainplate it isn't just bad news it is mast falling down and killing someone bad news. When combined with a major cutout in the chainplate bulkhead it is going to jail for negligent homicide when the mast falls down and kills someone (and your insurance won't cover the mast replacement either since the boat isn't seaworthy).

I'm not trying to scare you, but I would not take that boat out of the slip anywhere except to a boat yard to fix the problem. It may be that the issue isn't as bad as I make it, but without someone who really knows what they are dong looking at the problem....
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Old 24-04-2014, 18:48   #7
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

the a/c outlet is screwed into the chainplate's missing bolt's hole.
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:02   #8
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
the a/c outlet is screwed into the chainplate's missing bolt's hole.
that's a hack job....., and the bulkhead is toast. You need to replace the rotten wood before you lose the mast.
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Old 24-04-2014, 19:20   #9
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Take two halyards to that side of the boat and put some tension on them to ease any pressure off of the chainplate. Then call a boatyard about fixing it. Your boat is structurally unsound and the entire mast is at risk. Not to mention the electrical plate looks like a wiring disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 24-04-2014, 20:03   #10
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Take two halyards to that side of the boat and put some tension on them to ease any pressure off of the chainplate. Then call a boatyard about fixing it. Your boat is structurally unsound and the entire mast is at risk. Not to mention the electrical plate looks like a wiring disaster waiting to happen.
I dunno, Greg, that seems a bit over the top to me!

It is a somewhat compromised chainplate on one of four lower shrouds. Even if it failed totally, it is unlikely that the mast would fall straight away, even under sail, let alone wandering around in harbour on the way to a boatyard.

But, I do agree that it should be addressed by a competent professional for evaluation and then remediation... and also that it looks like the PO was a bit of a hamburger DIY stuffup!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 24-04-2014, 20:24   #11
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Actually Jim, that wasnt me that did that! It was the guy I bought the boat from. He was a big time DIY. Only problem is, he didnt know he sucked at it!

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Old 24-04-2014, 20:28   #12
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

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Actually Jim, that wasnt me that did that! It was the guy I bought the boat from. He was a big time DIY. Only problem is, he didnt know he sucked at it!

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Kevin, my comment was directed at the "PO"... previous owner... not you!

I hope that you have done some searching for other "really good ideas" that he may have bequeathed to you!

Hang in there, mate!

Jim
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Old 24-04-2014, 21:28   #13
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

Watson, I submit that the only possible explanation is that the ownership history of the vessel is thus:

TheAntiMacGyver > Kevin84 > liveaboardL

I'm right innit?
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Old 24-04-2014, 21:47   #14
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

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Kevin, my comment was directed at the "PO"... previous owner... not you!

I hope that you have done some searching for other "really good ideas" that he may have bequeathed to you!

Hang in there, mate!

Jim
Lol. Jim, I am the PO of that boat. Louie owns it now. The guy I bought it from made a number of "interesting" mods to the boat.

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Old 24-04-2014, 21:51   #15
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Re: Chainplate's isn't mounted right. Is it still OK to sail?

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Lol. Jim, I am the PO of that boat. Louie owns it now. The guy I bought it from made a number of "interesting" mods to the boat.

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This is confusing!

At any rate, whoever did the neat electrical emasculation of the chain plate didn't do any favours to subsequent owners, whoever they were to be!

Jim
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