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Chain Plates

Port chainplate

Port chainplate

Starboard chainplate

Starboard chainplate

The port side chain plates on these boats seem to be a common problem area. I should have paid more attention, because I only discovered a problem days before we were due to be launched for the first time. Our chain plates are stainless bars but they were only bolted into the teak plywood bulkhead. Leakage over the years had completely rotted the wood. If we had tried to raise the mast, it would have come down immediately. I found some 1/4" aluminum plate and made an extension for the port chain plate that could be bolted into the glass hull inner liner (the head furniture). I also fitted a piece of ACQ pressure treated wood in place of the rotted section of bulkhead, bolted that to the chainplate and bedded it to the underside of the deck.

We also found on the boat an extension that a prior owner had made for the starboard chainplate. At some point, the boat must have fallen off the jack stands onto its starboard side. The chainplate had apparently ripped out of the glass on the starboard side and an extension was made to move the purchase deeper into the glass. A crude repair was then made to the glass and the extension removed. We reinstalled the extension and have not had a problem (yet!). There is a piece of teak (removed for the photo) that hides the awful looking glass repair.

Neither chainplate has moved at all in several seasons so I think we have that problem solved. I special ordered a pair of stainless chain plate covers from Schaefer to replace the rotted plastic originals on the deck (Schaefer SK-4231, 2? x 7/32?).

We also have forward lower shrouds that are anchored only to padeyes on the deck. They seem to have held OK so far, but we may want to add cables inside to anchor them to the hull or hull liner.

UPDATE: After about 17 years of sailing, we noticed that the deck seal around starboard chainplate was leaking. The port side was still dry. I ordered and installed new longer chainplates for both sides from Schaefer (they made the originals and were great to work with) so that we could remove the extensions. I also rebuilt the stub bulkhead on the starboard side since it had deteriorated. When putting it all back together, I made sure to bed the new starboard stub bulkhead into the overhead as I had done years earlier on the port side. By minimizing the movement between the deck and the chainplates, the seal should last a long time.


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Please send comments and suggestions to dougbauer@roadrunner.com
last modified: March 29, 2003