13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The punch list for getting the rig ready to restep the mast included torquing down the beam mounting bolts and installing the chainplates. It was important to check the beam mounting bolts because the rig pulls on the hulls and if the bolts are loose the hulls can become canted. Some of the rigging cables are cut to fit and would therefore be an incorrect length. The result would be finding out later that the beam bolts need tightening, and whoops!, the sailing rig doesn’t fit anymore.
It took 2 days to mount the chainplates, way longer than I expected. One problem was a heat wave, hitting 98 on successive days. The chainplates have bolts that pass through them, then through the hull skin, and are secured with nylock nuts inside. This means a lot of climbing up on deck and then down in the hull to hold the nut with vice grips or a wrench, then going up and down outside to turn the bolt and tighten it.
Each bolt in the chainplates is a unique length. Some are passing through several backing pieces of wood, some are passing through a stringer, and all had to be checked for proper fit. My solution was to shove a lot of bolts into the chainplates to dry fit them, then climb up into the hulls and mark in a notebook which bolts are too long or too short. Then go back outside and rearrange the bolts until all were the right length.
Next was a trip to the hardware store to purchase 3/8-16 stainless steel nylock nuts, after spending considerable time looking for the ones I took off not that long ago. When the chainplates were removed, they took with them some of the glass surface of the hulls and some bedding compound, probably 5200. This all had to be ground off the chainplates. I found using the multitool with a scraper blade removed the most material the fastest, then a quick clean up with the angle grinder and flap disk made the chainplates look as good as new.
Carefully keeping the bolts in order and not mixing them up, Bed-it butyl caulking was wrapped around the bolts just under the head, then around the shank after they were inserted through the chainplate. Next came running up and down, in and out, putting fender washers and nylock nuts on each bolt, tightening it, then moving on to another.
The photo is of the starboard upper and lower shroud chainplates. Aft of them is a chainplate for the running backstay.