Installing the Chainplates

21 Jun
This is my friend Tony.

Well, there’s plenty to catch up with but it feels good to be writing in real time for a minute. So for now lets gloss over the whole putting the mast up thing and stick with these chainplates. This week we’ve been putting them on for good, removing them one by one to bed in polyurethane sealant before bolting to the hull and reattaching the halyard or stay. The chainplates for the lowers and the backstay need some bending at the top and in places the toerail needs to be chiseled to accept the Colligo standing rigging endfittings. I’ve had a lot of help on this particular job, which has been great!

Lets start with the cap shrouds, which are the two that come to opposite sides of the boat from the top of the mast. These were the simplest as the spreaders bring the cap shrouds out so that they come down to the deck vertically and thus the chainplates needed no bending.

These came out pretty well, huh! The first step was masking off the area with blue tape

 At this point the mast was up but each chainplate was on with only one bolt so as to allow them to align themselves to the correct angle with the mast before locking them in place.

This is the time to drill the second and third holes, allowing the chainplate to choose its ‘natural’ angle.

 Ok, I’ve skipped chainplates on you but again the cap shroud is easier because it is dead vertical.

The hull was cleaned and scuffed up so the sealant will adhere well.

 Then we gooped up the chainplate and installed:

Too much goop is always better than too little…

 While one person held a wrench on the bolt heads from the outside another turned the nuts from within with a socket wrench. We pulled the three bolts up a bit at a time to help the chainplate more easily take on the curvature of the hull. Each bolt has a stainless finder washer to distribute the load against the plywood backing plates.

Stainless backing plates would be better than plywood but the hull is so thick here that as long as they stay dry this should be ok. As the chainplates are fully external it will be easy enough to beef up the backing if the plywood starts to crush under the load.
Wham, bam,
And there we go.

 That was it for the cap shrouds. The aft chainplate was similar, but it also needed to be bent so that the backstay is in line with the plate as it comes from the masthead.

I forgot to get photos of the bending but it was as simple as it gets. We clamped the plate in a vise between two bits of wood so that the clamp was even with where we wanted the bend. Then one guy pulled with his weight while another whacked a piece of wood against the plate right at the bend point with the biggest hammer we had on hand.There are still a couple of the lowers to do so I’ll take some photos of the bending this weekend.

Here is the backstory for these chainplates:
Polishing Chainplates and the video
Cutting and Drilling Chainplates
DIY Chainplates: Choosing Materials
And what was left of the original chainplates: (not much!)

This article was syndicated from Safe At Harbour But Meant For The Sea: DIY Sailing with Paul Calder


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