Monday, August 18, 2014

Check Your Chainplates

I've heard it before by others for everyone's awareness to check chainplates. Other owners of a Nor'sea 27 have changed out their chainplates on 30+ year old boats because they saw cracks or ended up finding out there were cracks in them during removal. Like the old saying goes, nothing lasts forever and these chainplates are no exception. One owner took his chainplates off and while making the video, one broke in his hand.
While removing my chainplates, I noticed. some pitting and surface rust. They didn't really look TOO bad to me and still felt pretty solid. Then, I was down to two. The bow and the aft chainplate on the port side. The bow took a little time as it was flush with the surface and didn't want to lift up at first. The last chainplate on the side was another story. Each plate for the shrouds have a little block of wood for spacer. The bolts going through them stayed solid in place until I banged them out, but prying the plates from the boat was difficult because the bolts didn't budge. When I went to pull the last chainplate, it gave a little.
I thought it was odd since all the others were pretty sturdy but now I got one with a soft spot. Turns out, there was a hidden crack in it. It was hard to see at first but once I removed the spacer block, I pulled on the plate to exaggerate the bend to show the crack easier. It went right to the bottom of a bolt hole. It ended up leaving one bolt holding the half-shroud that was attached to it.
Can you see the crack?

How about now?
Pulled it to have it show up more
You can see the crack here with one bolt before the shroud attachment

Broke to show how much metal (on the left) was actually holding it together.
This is how the boat looked behind each chainplate.

Here I am, sitting inside the sail locker removing the nuts holding the bow chainplate in place. Just shows that a guy my size (6'5") can fit anywhere in my boat (mostly).

While I didn't take pictures of the chainplate areas after I cleaned them up and sanded, I can say their areas are looking much better, at least on the port side. I've started doing some sanding on the port side. I used 400, 600 and 800 all dry. Then, I read something that the sanding should be done wet so when I went to 1500, I used a spray bottle to wet the areas and sanded some more. It's looking much better so I hope this whole process is worth the effort.
I also have a compound that I found. It's made by Meguiar's and it's listed as a one-step compound. I also got a paste wax, Collinite Heavy Duty Paste Fleetwax that I'm hoping to bring the hull to a nice shine.
Here's how it looks after some compound. It'll need some more work but it's getting there. It probably hasn't been done in many years so anything is an improvement at this point. This is the first time I've done it since buying the boat a little more than 2 yrs ago.
Another project I'm looking at doing while the chainplates are off the boat is to repaint the blue stripe up by the toe rail. My favorite color is dark red. So, I looked around at topside paint and decided to get one in the color I want. It's Burgundy by Pettit Easypoxy. I'm thinking of re-painting the waterline too but not sure now if it's the right paint for it. Maybe someone reading this could advise me on this. The waterline will wait for now so no hurry. The top stripe is needed sooner before I get new chainplates in place.
Here's a quick snapshot of the color I bought. So more sanding, prep work and priming, etc.
Doesn't that look nice? :-)
Plenty to do on this old girl but it'll be worth it in the end.


  1. It's a great project boat with lots of potential. Good thing those chain plates were simple to access too. The waterline paint question I'd direct to west marine. They're pretty handy for that.

    1. Plenty of projects for this old boat but I think that's all part of the fun.

  2. Your projects are coming along great! The red boot stripe is going to look sharp.

    Deborah s/v Wrightaway

    1. Thanks for the compliments. I like how it's looking so far.

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)