How to Fix a BULKHEAD FOREVER!! (Titanium Chainplates on Wood bulkhead?)Patrick Childress Sailing 52

How to Fix a BULKHEAD FOREVER!! (Titanium Chainplates on Wood bulkhead?)Patrick Childress Sailing 52


I don’t know why designers and builders
put chain plates right up against Plywood bulkheads so we are going to
change this to this and it will never deteriorate again hello we are Patrick that Rebecca
Childress on the Valiant 40 brick house
we are currently hauled out in Richards Bay South Africa going through the boat
doing a lot of things making some modifications and getting this boat ready to cross the Atlantic to South America. What sips gonna do this morning is
to take this little angle grinder and get into this crack right here at the
toe rail and get in here and grind this out I know this is all solid fiberglass
in here but there might be some voids I can’t imagine why it cracked like this
but we’ll dig this out round it out take it out to here maybe up to here and then
we’ll lay in some thin fiberglass cloth and rebuild it this is the hole for the
upper shroud chain plate and we will be working today on that bulkhead that the
chainplate was attached to our chain plates are made of grade five titanium
grade five titanium is three and a half times stronger than 316 stainless steel
grade five titanium is impervious to the marine environment there’s no sense in
having such high quality chain plates if I’m little suspicious of the bulkhead to
which it is attached so we’ll be digging into that bulkhead today and fix
anything that we find wrong with it all of our chain plates mast tangs and
clevis pins are all made of grade five titanium any lesser grade just wouldn’t
do and we get all of our titanium products from allied titanium in
Washington State they also have an office in Delaware if you would like
more detailed information on the use of titanium on a sailboat you can refer to
my article in practical sailor magazine December 2011 titled the great titanium
trickle down and of course that’s accessible online okay
41 years old that’s older than you isn’t it I’m sure you’re gonna last better
than this boat though yeah we’ll fix it up good make it make it good for
crossing the Atlantic I’m gonna be down below taking slats out and getting
things ready so we can work down below after this is all ground out – see you
in a few minutes okay so I’m down here in the starboard
side and I’ve taken. Let me get this light turned on here. I’ve taken everything out
of our stereo cabinet so I could get to this is insulation that’s why it doesn’t
look so good just peel back and I wanted to get to this tabbing because I saw
that it was loose so I’ve pulled this tabbing away from the bulkhead and it’s
nice to see that there’s no rot or anything it’s still solid, it’s in good
shape but it had been damp behind there that’s
probably why this pulled away so I have the dryers on here they’ve been running
all night and they have a little heater over here on this side I’m gonna let it
run for another 24 hours it looks pretty good up here the tabbing on the other
bulkhead where there’s this what is it an Aft lower shroud chain plate all that
tabbing is in good condition and over here I’ve been ripping out the ceiling
and I’ll be pulling all these slats out to get them out we’ll finish those we’ll
send them down so this is a ceiling panel that I took down on the backside
here it says Marlite planks blocks panels man-made finish hardboard. Hardboard
would be more of a generic name for this stuff masonite is another brand name
manufacturer of hard board but it’s a paper product compressed heat treated
with a hard finish on one side and this is what happens to it when it gets a
little wet occasionally this came down from over the galley actually over the
stove and it’s all alligatored, and you can see the
paper here sort of pulling away here I would not call that marine grade so we
replace these with fiberglass panels that I had made here in the boatyard and
incredibly expensive I had to do that because the Jeep that has been loaned to
us at that point it was in the shop I just couldn’t run out and get something
else but we have been using PVC polyvinyl chloride sheets for sealing
material this is a small piece of the panel that we use for the ceiling
and they come in four by eight sheets that it’s four feet wide eight feet long
in one eight in one quarter-inch thicknesses this is PVC polyvinyl
chloride same stuff that water pipes are made out of very smooth shiny surface on
both sides its aerated in the center so it’s late it isn’t silent yeah but it is
very flexible the only negative that I see about this
is that it is a bit on the soft side you can actually take your thumbnail and
really press in and cause an indentation so care must be taken when working with
it it does scratch easily but once it’s up then it’s really no problem it’s very
easy to clean with some Windex to clean off any mildew or maybe some dirt that
somehow got up there good stuff lasts forever water doesn’t bother it and this was a little dampen so I’ve had
just a little leak from the chain plate I think the the hole for the chainplate
coming through the deck was just too tiny to get enough sealant in there
butyl sealant so I’m gonna build this area up the way outside so I’ll have to
do a voiceover apparently there was just a tiny leak maybe the hole wasn’t big
enough to carry enough butyl sealant to seal the chain plate properly but the
bulkhead did get a little damp this the tabbing on this side is in good shape
but what I’ll do is take thick and epoxy and smoothen the whole area and build
this up and make sure everything is nice and tight and then painting varnishing
that just won’t work so we’ll put some plastic laminate like Formica over the
top of this and make it look good but the whole idea will be to isolate this
bulkhead from any potential water in the future we’ll get these slats out of here
sand them down varnish them make them look good we’ll put everything back in
here so any owner in the future will never have a problem with water
intrusion in this area or problems with water affecting the bulkhead pulling
these slats everything has to be numbered for their proper orientation
back in place and an arrow showing what side is actually going up otherwise it
becomes a tremendous puzzle trying to figure out what slat went in what
particular position these flats were installed at the Valiant factory using
common steel Brad’s and these Brad’s are so deteriorated most of them don’t have
much gripping ability anymore and some of these brands I can’t pull out of the
wood I have to drill them out because they’re so rusty just to get those rusty
heads out and then the hole will be filled with putty and then sanded and
then everything will be varnished and looking pretty good again reinstalling
these latts I’ll be using stainless steel pan
head screws when I first checked the moisture
reading of this bulkhead it was up there around 25 percent which
is rather high and after two days of the heaters drying this bulkhead it has
gotten down to 10% 8% and normally 8 to 12 percent is furniture-grade kill dried
lumber so this bulkhead is good to go we are ready to reassemble things I decided not to just reglue this
tabbing to the bulkhead but I’m going to rip the tabbing out from the bulkhead
and also from the fiberglass Hall and installed new layers of fiberglass
tabbing this actually came out a bit easier than
what I anticipated but it’s not unusual for old fiberglass tabbing to get a
little weak in its join with the fiberglass hull but we’ll be putting
this back far stronger than what the factory ever did after wire brushing and then sanding
with 40 and then 60 grit paper it’s time to wipe everything down with the acetone
but in a confined area like this boy you sure you have to be able to hold your
breath for a long time I’ve got two layers of by bias… biaxial and with a
chopped strand mat backing we’ll put this one on first and then this one over
lays it and we have things set up in here so some plastic so I don’t make too
much of a mess this piece of plywood is gonna go up here so I can wet out the
fiberglass to go back up in the corner here I made a fillet and I just had a
little round disc of fiberglass and I used that it’s like a big silver dollar
just a round circle of fiberglass and I use that to squish in thickened epoxy so
that’s epoxy resin thickened with Cabolil so that helps to make a radius so
that the fiberglass cloth won’t have to make too tight of a turn so I’ll be
following the old profile of where the tabbing went long here then back into
here and then I’m going to put a second layer of fiberglass cloth and that’ll
come back over to here so actually it’s going to be a thicker and stronger than
the previous tabbing I’m using epoxy resin on all of these
repair projects and the thin roller it does a great job of rolling out in
squeezing out the excess resin and any air bubbles that might be trapped in the
resin and the cloth once the fiberglassing is done in while the resin
is still wet then the peel ply goes on peel ply is a
polyester cloth and it helps to lay down the fibers of the fiberglass and makes
for a much easier nicer smoother finish so they’ll be little or no sanding
needed in this application but then I suddenly decided to lay up two more
layers of the combicloth and more Peelply so in the end the lay up is twice as
thick as what I originally intended so let’s go around to the other side and
here on this side of the bulkhead I just finished sanding all of the glue
everything that I use to level out in here I use the Bosch sander for sanding
all of this up here and what an amazing tool just the power of the machine
itself blows a lot of that dust down this tube in a way there was hardly any
dust coming out but what I noticed there was some dust then I went and turned on
the vacuum cleaner and it’s amazing just how dust free of an operation it becomes
what a good machine and I’m plugging up the hole up here where the chain plate
came through we’re gonna patch that up from the outside make it nice and solid
so when the plastic laminate goes up here any water that might come through a
chain plate hole is not going to touch this bulkhead though the wood bulkhead
it’ll only be able to run down the plastic laminate to eliminate any
potential riding situation for a future owner of this boat so everything is in
here both sides very well tabbed in and now it’s a matter of sort of putting
everything back together again and now I have to get a laminate trimmer a power
tool to trim out to cut out the plastic laminate I’ll first make some templates
and then cut it down on the ground and cut it to shape and get ready to install so rather than trying to make one big
template out of one big sheet of cardboard I’m going to cut this up to
make smaller pieces and then glue them together all right so we have a pretty good
template here a couple little adjustments to make when I lay it out
and it’ll fill this piece in cut a little off the bottom this comes up a
quarter-inch comes back over to that arrow and then I’ll cut it see how well
it fits well that’s all that we have time for today in this video but the
next video will pick up right where we left off
cutting the plastic laminate for this bulkhead that’s right behind me I hope
this video is worthwhile for it if it was please click on the thumbs up button
down below there and also the subscribe button if you
haven’t already also in the video description there will be a link to the
tip jar if you don’t mind helping out in that direction that lets us know that
the videos are being appreciated and certainly gives us encouragement to
continue making them also in the video description will be a link to the
practical sailor titanium article so thanks a lot for
watching we’ll see you next time

47 thoughts on “How to Fix a BULKHEAD FOREVER!! (Titanium Chainplates on Wood bulkhead?)Patrick Childress Sailing 52

  1. Love that nitex. The biaxil and matt. I use that always. So strong with epoxy. And really nice to work with even upside down.

  2. 30-40 years ago it was a NO NO to have a hard spot between the bulkhead and the hull. Usually like where you now put that epoxy filler (like everybody does nowadays) they used silicone or similar. Then tabbing like you also layed up. For example in one of Mads (yes the viking) videos where he repairs one of his bulkheads he finds silicone (or similar) there. Then he wonders who on earth had put that there. Well, thats how it was done in the old days. I wonder why people are not so worried about creating hard spots today???

  3. You're a wealth of knowledge and information for those of us who prefer to do most work ourselves! Thanks for posting these vids!

  4. Once again Patrick and Rebecca you have hit it out of the park with a wonderful skills video. Kudos from another meticulous craftsman. I am curious Patrick if you wouldn’t mind telling me how old you are, I ask because I am showing off on my own adventure in a year at the age of 64 with a perfectly refit 40 foot cutter.I often wonder if I am foolish to start this adventure at that age, but you inspired me with every video. Thank you and cheers

  5. Its kinda depressing knowing we could have problems with our chain plates and not even know it. Then all that work repairing……Gessh…Hope yalls work goes fast. The next owner will have a Gem of a boat when yall are done.

  6. Never had a rigging failure but I have had a chain plate snap at the deck,didn't lose the mast but I di8change all of them and will be doing the same on my latest boat,dont trust old chainplates!

  7. Patrick you really need a multi tool! You will wonder how you ever lived without one. Love your videos and keep up the great work. Thanks!

  8. If this is valiant quality, what is the condition of the lesser quality boats of that time ? Shudder to imagine that !

  9. Let me tell you a good trick for templates – a simple one but I almost never see it done. People seem to always make cardboard templates out of one piece they cut down to fit. The trouble is it’s a subtractive process and of course it’s very easy to cut off a little too much resulting in a not very accurate approximation of the shape, and in some sitauations you want it as accurate as you can get it. Plus often managing and fitting one big piece is very difficult in tight spaces.

    I can tell you from experience it’s much better to use smaller pieces and simply keep overlapping and taping them together until you fill the whole space. That way you can vary the size of the pieces you cut to suit the degree of detail you need in a particular area. Additionally you can move or replace a piece if on fitting you see you didn’t get it quite right – you can’t put back a piece as easily if you just cut it off.

    Of course overlapping corrugated cardboard gets out of hand fast as it’s too thick. I use A4, or “letter” size, or even bigger, 300 gsm (?) card ( basically very thick stiff paper – letter paper is usually about 80 Grams per Square Meter) which you an buy at pretty much any stationery supply shop. ( I realise these could be a bit rare in your part of the world. Lol ). This may not suit very large templates for which you would need more rigid material, but in the bulk of situations it’s a much easier and a much more accurate technique where accuracy is needed. Cheers

  10. For those of you who have struggled to find a sealant to keep through deck chainplates from leaking, here 's what is going on:

    In most cases, the problem isn't the sealant. The issue revolves around the iron in the stainless steel chainplates being forced out of the chainplate in the form of rust. As the chainplate crevice corrodes internally, the internal pressures become so great that the rust is pushed through the pores of the stainless steel. These pressures are so high, that often it will cause the stainless to bubble up or crack. Any sealants attached to the surface of the stainless are literally shoved off.

    On my Pearson 530, I went through two sets of stainless chainplates and every sealant that may possibly work from 5200 to Silaprene. After I installed my own Grade 5 titanium chainplates, I went back to 5200. It has been years and there is zero de-adhesion of the 5200 from the titanium.

  11. We call the ceiling product you use, foam pvc, in Australia. Fantastic product for your use . Available here in 2mm 3mm 4.5mm 6mm 8mm 10mm thicknesses the 4.5mm is the size i usually use , its stiffer than the 3mm so bigger panels dont sag when lights are mounted

  12. You are an amazing craftsman!! From one woodworker to a ship builder your attention to detail is absolutely excellent!! Even if something is passable and yet you are not sure … you rip it out and make it top quality! something you know you can trust!! My Hats Off to You!! Much success to you both!!

  13. Seeing those new chain plates I imagined some archaeologist 2000 years from now explaining to his audience that it is the only remains of the once great sailing vessel Brickhouse. 😁

  14. Excellent video Mr Patrick, as usual….and as often happens, I now have to go tackle two bulkheads with similar problems (and will use several of your methods!) thanks, Andrew

  15. Where the chain plate goes thru the deck should be built up higher than the deck 1/2" ,like newer boats' manufacturers learn from past mistakes ,thus water running along the deck cannot make its way down the chain plate

  16. Hey Patrick how old was your rigging when it failed on the Pacific? I'm just wondering if it was older then 10-15 years when the chainplate failed.

  17. Great job on the video Patrick. The refit is looking good. Looks like you have some good help in the boat yard. I hope you both get off the hard and back in the water soon! Take a weekend off and go have some fun with your lovely wife Rebecca! Best wishes!

  18. Patrick love ur videos, so im wondering what the heck u did to get 3 THUMBS DOWN ? rofl, m thanks for ur work in these videos

  19. That bulkhead looked like it was in salvageable condition. One of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is how to form a temporary mold/barrier so that a penetrating epoxy can be effective utilized. Aluminum duct tape 3M(foil) is great for this. Vinyl/plastic type wouldn’t work. This will hold back the epoxy from exiting small holes and voids where there are junctures. This foil will withstand the epoxy and the heat. It will however leave some residue that must be removed with xylene if more glassing is to be done. Down angled holes in soft woods areas can be filled again and again. I use the foil to make little catch dams to capture epoxy escaping and reuse with a epoxy syringe. Never use penetrating epoxy containing or adding volatiles to thin it’s viscosity. If volatiles can’t escape, the hardening will never complete and only the exterior is truly hard. Git Rot works, there may be others. On this job, I would have poured in from above deck into the chain plate hole. I would have done the hull/bulkhead glassing before, just as seen. If wood is too far gone it must be removed. Git Rot is not a fix all. Be sure to place out plastic sheets to catch leakage.

  20. Well, I've watched all your videos now. I guess I have to wait for new ones. Sorry to hear about Lilly. Can't wait for videos with Coati.

  21. Great video Mr. Childress. Thanks for the insight and knowledge. I’m looking at buying a Horstman Trimaran out of San Diego. I will be taking it up to Vancouver Island, BC. What do you suggest for insulation or winterizing, as I want to live aboard and sail around the world also? Namaste brother. 🙏🏼😍🇨🇦

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