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Old 19-02-2010, 19:13   #1
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Rotten Bulkhead! Opinions of Those Who Have Strayed Down this Dark Path

Ok, so I've finally sealed (I think) all of the deck leaks, and re-wired the whole boat from top to bottom. In doing so I discovered that the bulkhead that the stbd upper is attached to is soft. the 3 5/16" bolts that hold the chainplate on pass through the tabbing on both sides.
I need to know if others who have had something similar just "solidified" the plywood with MEK thinned epoxy or If I need to scarf in a new peice of Ply?
You would think I would have noticed this when I built and installed the new chain plates
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:14   #2
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and I meant to say ROTTEN!!
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:28   #3
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Major Surgery recommended - in the meantime surveyor's sharp screwdriver - if you have access to a moisture meter, survey other parts of the hull. West epoxy once all the bad material is removed.
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:36   #4
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For a piece around a chainplate I'd recommend replacing a major portion of the plywood. When I went to fix a small area around a leak 12 sheets of plywood later all the areas of soft wood were taken care of. The water migrates inside the tabbing once the wood is compromised.
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Old 19-02-2010, 19:45   #5
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For a piece around a chainplate I'd recommend replacing a major portion of the plywood. When I went to fix a small area around a leak 12 sheets of plywood later all the areas of soft wood were taken care of. The water migrates inside the tabbing once the wood is compromised.
That's a warm fuzzy......thanks.......
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Old 19-02-2010, 20:25   #6
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If you have time before your next sailing adventure I'd certainly recommend major surgery and repair rather than a "try to fix inplace" solution. It'll always be a mental issue if not a physical one.
kind regards,
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Old 19-02-2010, 21:46   #7
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Which is more fun? Replacing a mast and plywood? Or just the plywood?
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Old 20-02-2010, 00:40   #8
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I'm with the "fix it right" crowd.
Sounds like one big advantage you have is that the chain plates bolt through the tabs..that tells me that when you rebuild that area you'll have a chance to thicken the new tabs and that may help compensate for any questionable splicing of the bulk head...not that you work will be questionable...its just a safety net!
Good luck with it.
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Old 20-02-2010, 08:47   #9
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I am almost positive that my scarf will be questionable, I've only done this twice and both times I was working with full sheets of ply laid out on concrete. This time around I'll be cutting the 8:1 taper with a sanding disc on a grinder while inside of a cabinet that is also tabbed to the hull..........everything else is attached to solid glass knees.......I wish the builder had just continued on with the tradition!!!!!
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Old 20-02-2010, 09:40   #10
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A couple of thoughts:

How are those chainplates? That rotted area is a great place for crevice corrosion to have started. One idea would be to replace the chain plate and make it long enough to reach past the rotted wood.

Your structural challenge here is simple tension (from the shroud). Epoxy and fiberglass is a lot stronger than any piece of plywood (with or without a scarf joint) under tension.

I'm a great believer in CPES epoxy (or one of the competitors) to stabilize areas where the effort and cosmetic damage to remove the wood is too great. A combination of CPES, epoxy with high strength filler, some pieces of new plywood, and a half dozen layers of biaxial fiberglass tape (maybe even with a few layers of carbon fiber tape thrown in) will be a lot stronger than the rigging. The CPES site has some great "how to". Look at the one for replacing a plywood transom

Wood preservation, rot repair, and restoration using epoxy resin on boats, homes and log homes.

Carl
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Old 20-02-2010, 09:50   #11
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We replaced the whole thing on a Puma. I bet one can just cut out part of the bulkhead and re-build, but it might end up being the same amount of work with just less pleasing, visually, outcome (unless we verneer the repair, which is then loads of work).

In any case - if structural, fix it. The better the fix, the better the sleep!

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Old 20-02-2010, 09:51   #12
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cpes rule!!!!!! having a leaky teaky taught me that lol....i would use them on the new pieces before the scarfing so the wood isnt as prone to rot after the fix.....prevention??!!.
also check the reason for the rot --fix that problem so it doesnt recur....
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Old 20-02-2010, 18:13   #13
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9 hours spent today to remove the bad wood, cut a new section, curse, scream, kick, bleed, 1 layer of glass mat, 5 layers of glass tape with the fibers in an orientation that makes sense with the load..........I have a new section of bulkhead that should be stronger than the rigging.
Now I think i'll go shave my arms since I can't think of any other way to get the epoxy out of the hair!
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Old 20-02-2010, 22:27   #14
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Good on ya ...sounds like you attacked the problem head on and won....except for the hairless arms.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:45   #15
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Quote:
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Good on ya ...sounds like you attacked the problem head on and won....except for the hairless arms.
they wont be hairless for long--will grow back..lol...have fun!!!
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