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Old 17-09-2021, 18:28   #1
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Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Iíve got a 1987 C25 thatís in great shape except I discovered some apparent rot or at least some mold/mildew on about the lower 4-5Ē of the cabin bulkhead. This was found after removing one of the cushions that was hiding the problem.

I suspect this is from a leaking chain plate cover. I re-bedded the shrouds and stanchions about a year ago. The main shroud goes through the deck and attaches to the bulkhead on the upper part of the bulkhead.

My first order of business is to re-bed that chain plate and the next is to repair the lower bulkhead damage.

My question is how involved is this repair. Does the entire bulkhead need replacing or just the damaged wood? Should I attempt to do this myself or should I have a professional do the work? I have a fair amount of woodworking experience but not on bulkheads.

Thanks in advance for any guidance!
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Old 17-09-2021, 18:59   #2
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Hi n5ama,
Do you have a couple pictures to post? That should generate some conversation.
Also, have you 'sounded' out the bulkhead, tapping on it to see if the issue is a surface stain or genuine rot? After a little deeper look, I'd be tempted to clean off the mold to get it out of the boat while working on a plan of action.
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Old 17-09-2021, 19:38   #3
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Thanks Spot!

I havenít sounded the rot out yet. Iím mostly basing this on the mold and mildew that has turned dark on the wood where the cushion was limiting the air circulation.

Iíll take some pictures and post them tomorrow.
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Old 17-09-2021, 20:53   #4
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Find the Catalina 25 Association website & forum, they KNOW everything you need help with.
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Old 17-09-2021, 21:39   #5
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Will do. Iím a member but just donít get on the site much and donít think about them for help.


Stu Jackson;3484760]Find the Catalina 25 Association website & forum, they KNOW everything you need help with.[/QUOTE]
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Old 18-09-2021, 00:46   #6
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Hi n5ama,
Do you have a couple pictures to post? That should generate some conversation.
Also, have you 'sounded' out the bulkhead, tapping on it to see if the issue is a surface stain or genuine rot? After a little deeper look, I'd be tempted to clean off the mold to get it out of the boat while working on a plan of action.



I think this is excellent advice


I used to teach Business Admin and I used to emphasize the need to defining/quantify the problem (if any) in the first place!


Six step guide to help you solve problems
  1. Step 1: Identify and define the problem. State the problem as clearly as possible. ...
  2. Step 2: Generate possible solutions. ...
  3. Step 3: Evaluate alternatives. ...
  4. Step 4: Decide on a solution. ...
  5. Step 5: Implement the solution. ...
  6. Step 6: Evaluate the outcome.
If you are good at wood work and you need to do some repair you should be able to do it yourself after seeking expert advice re materials to be used.
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Old 18-09-2021, 05:31   #7
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
I think this is excellent advice


I used to teach Business Admin and I used to emphasize the need to defining/quantify the problem (if any) in the first place!


Six step guide to help you solve problems
  1. Step 1: Identify and define the problem. State the problem as clearly as possible. ...
  2. Step 2: Generate possible solutions. ...
  3. Step 3: Evaluate alternatives. ...
  4. Step 4: Decide on a solution. ...
  5. Step 5: Implement the solution. ...
  6. Step 6: Evaluate the outcome.
If you are good at wood work and you need to do some repair you should be able to do it yourself after seeking expert advice re materials to be used.

Iím going to the boat today (40% chance of rain) and my first task will be to re-bed the main shroud pass through the deck. I will try to determine the extent of the damage, clean up the area, probe with a ice pick, sound the area with a hammer, start drying it out and devise a plan to correct the issue.

I also checked into the Catalina 25 forum and hope to get some feedback from them. Iíll take some pics and post later today.

I suspect the damage to be contained well below the chain plate attachment to that bulkhead.

The base of the bulkhead appears to set on the fiberglass with some sort of plastic ďinsulatorĒ between the wood and the fiberglass. I guess to act as a bumper between the two at the contact point.
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Old 18-09-2021, 10:52   #8
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by n5ama View Post
Iíve got a 1987 C25 thatís in great shape except I discovered some apparent rot or at least some mold/mildew on about the lower 4-5Ē of the cabin bulkhead. This was found after removing one of the cushions that was hiding the problem.

I suspect this is from a leaking chain plate cover. I re-bedded the shrouds and stanchions about a year ago. The main shroud goes through the deck and attaches to the bulkhead on the upper part of the bulkhead.

My first order of business is to re-bed that chain plate and the next is to repair the lower bulkhead damage.

My question is how involved is this repair. Does the entire bulkhead need replacing or just the damaged wood? Should I attempt to do this myself or should I have a professional do the work? I have a fair amount of woodworking experience but not on bulkheads.

Thanks in advance for any guidance!
You can do this yourself, but you have to get the panel out and reinstall in one piece. There's a trick to it.
Is it the bulkhead framing in the head, Port side, or the other panel framing in the head sink Starboard side?
Makes a bit of difference relative to difficulty.
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Old 18-09-2021, 11:58   #9
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Is it just surface mold? Or is the wood already soft?



If it is just surface mold that can be scrubbed away with a pot cleaner and some methylated spirit - I have made good experience with scrubbing away with a pot cleaner and methylated spirit. There is some fire risk to this, so, have a bucket of water at hand, no static electricity causing clothes, or just dilute the methylated spirit with water to below 50 % proof. After drying, hard wax oil has worked well on our boat. For whatever reason, the mildew did not return on areas treated this way. Or at least, it did not return yet, after more than 2 years.



If the wood is already soft - some surgery will likely be needed.
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Old 18-09-2021, 20:15   #10
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Hi n5ama,
Do you have a couple pictures to post? That should generate some conversation.
Also, have you 'sounded' out the bulkhead, tapping on it to see if the issue is a surface stain or genuine rot? After a little deeper look, I'd be tempted to clean off the mold to get it out of the boat while working on a plan of action.
Here are the pics I took today. The first two are the same shot just one showing the relative position and size and the second a little closer showing the rot. The third picture is the backside of that bulkhead on the head side. It extends about 6" lower than the cabin side. The back side shows some mildew but no rot. The rotted part is about 3"x6".

I don't think it has much effect on the structural integrity. It doesn't appear to be sitting on or attached to anything in this area. It has what appears to be a bumper between the wood and glass. When I sound with a hammer and probe the wood with a ice pick, the wood appears solid a inch or less above the darker rotted area and is about 8" below the lowest chain plate bolt.

I think what I may do here is remove as much soft wood as possible, dry it out and make a form flush with the bulkhead. I will then pour some low viscosity polyurethane casting resin to fill in all the voids and give me a strong, solid, and flat surface to glue a piece of teak veneer across the damaged area. I've used this technique before on termite infested wood that was all but falling apart and the biggest challenge is to keep the low viscosity fluid from leaking out holes before it sets which takes about a minute to gel in position (after saturating the wood) and about 15 minutes to fully harden to a solid plastic/wood composite that is way stronger than the original wood.

What do you think about this process?
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Old 18-09-2021, 20:46   #11
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

So, port side then, right?


Check how the chainplate above comes through the deck and how it attaches to the panel. It's been since 1998 when I sold my 1981 beloved C25.


Then learn from the C25 forum how to get the panel out.


Treat it as you deem fit, reinstall and go sailing.


Sounds like you're getting there. Good luck.
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Old 18-09-2021, 21:14   #12
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

I like your solution, and it's what I would do in a similar position.
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Old 19-09-2021, 06:41   #13
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Good morning Stu,
I have total and easy access to the area that I'm going to repair so there is no need to remove the bulkhead to make the repair. That polyurethane 2 part resin has such low viscosity, it flows and saturates where ever you pour it and when it hardens (15 minutes) its is a hard, dense plastic that is much stronger than the original plywood even before the rotting issue.

There is some technique required to use it. It requires several smaller pours to make sure you don't have a major leak somewhere below your pour entry. If you do, all of your liquid will easily drain out there (it takes minute to jell up so it won't flow and 15 minutes to completely harden). If you apply in several small batches, it will self seal and then you can pour in the 1/2 pint or whatever amount you need to make the repair.

Great stuff!! The resin will form as smooth on the exterior surface as the barrier you used to contain it's flow. If you want a rough surface to glue some paper backed teak veneer, simply use a barrier that has a textured surface.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
So, port side then, right?


Check how the chainplate above comes through the deck and how it attaches to the panel. It's been since 1998 when I sold my 1981 beloved C25.


Then learn from the C25 forum how to get the panel out.


Treat it as you deem fit, reinstall and go sailing.


Sounds like you're getting there. Good luck.
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Old 19-09-2021, 09:37   #14
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by n5ama View Post
Good morning Stu,
I have total and easy access to the area that I'm going to repair so there is no need to remove the bulkhead to make the repair. That polyurethane 2 part resin has such low viscosity, it flows and saturates where ever you pour it and when it hardens (15 minutes) its is a hard, dense plastic that is much stronger than the original plywood even before the rotting issue.

.........................

Are you sure you want to glue the bottom of the bulkhead to the fiberglass supporting the panel?
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Old 19-09-2021, 16:29   #15
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Re: Catalina 25 bulkhead rot

Hi Stu,
I hadnít planned to glue the bulkhead to the fiberglass. The plan was to seal the bottom of the bulkhead from leaking and then pour in the resin. If all goes as planned the only thing that will get the resin is the wood in the bulkhead.

If I carefully pour the first few applications of resin, I should be able to detect any leakage.

Thanks
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