Hi everyone- I am about to undertake one of the most important repairs to this old boat and I am hoping to tap into the collective wisdom of the board. The issue is the glassed-in chainplates
for the shrouds. The boat is 38 years old and has been severely neglected. As you can see from my earlier posts in the project section, the chainplates
have leaked for years, necessitating the replacement of both side deck cores. So the chainplates
are highly suspect in my opinion and should definitely be replaced. There are several reports of chainplates
failing in other Ericson 27s with the same system in place. Knowing this and knowing how poorly the boat was maintained by the PO('s), I'll never be comfortable with the existing chainplates
. So they have to go.
The current configuration is a stainless steel strap that runs along the inside of the hull about 7 inches below the sidedeck. It is heavily glassed in. Then there are three vertical straps that are welded to the longitudinal strap, bent into an S shape, and exit through the side deck to form the chainplates
. The whole assembly forms the shape of an E lying on its back.Chainplates
on port side
View underneath side deck
View of chainplate with fiberglass removed
What I am planning on doing is moving the chainplates
to the outside of the boat. I will use the existing longitudinal bar as a backing plate, since most of the failures seem to happen on the upright section. I plan to grind off the hull-deck joint flange on the outside of the boat in the vicinity of the chainplates
so they will lie flush against the hull (I'm actually debating grinding the entire flange off and glassing over it). The chainplates
will have at least one bolt that goes through the backing plate bar, the others will go through the existing hull which is very thick in this section. I am thinking three bolts in all. The good news is that this has been done before by others with these same boats. But I still want to think about all the angles here.
E27 with external chainplates
E29 with external chainplates
Some of the issues I have identified are as follows:
1. Jib sheeting- The current set up is a jib track on the toerail aft of the chainplates
. I know I will lose a couple inches of sheeting ability, but will it really make that much difference?
Photo of distance between edge of boat and chainplates
(about 2 inches)
2. Strength of backing material and required bolt size- it'll be easy to figure out bolt shear strength and size it exceed wire breaking strength, and the longitudinal strap should support the tension of the shrouds as it does now, but how much support will the hull material where the other bolts will be provide, and how much does it need to provide (see 3.)?
3. Do I need to add additional backing material, like a long pad that runs above or below the strap to serve as backing for the other bolts?
4. Do I need to reinforce the hull-deck joint connection to deal with the compressive forces that will now be higher up on it (its already glassed on the inside from the factory)?
5. Will the additional width change the angle of the shrouds enough to cause problems (I figure I can adjust the spreader angle a bit to compensate)?
6. The chainplates
will need to be higher than the toerail, which will cause my new rigging to be shorter. I may need to use sta-lok or some other DIY fitting on the bottom of the rigging to get this just right (and spend a lot of time with the local yard's crane to install them!).
7. The last issue is the nagging feeling that there is something that I am missing... and that's why I'm posting this here!
So... have at it! As usual any and all advice, commentary, musings, etc. are welcome. This is the best forum anywhere, and has been absolutely invaluable to me during this rebuild.