Replacing the chainplate has been on the list since we bought the boat. Since way before we even put the mast on but like many of our projects it got stuck in the “research” phase. The original chainplates are welded A-bolts (think pointy U-bolt) that fasten to large backing plates on the bulkheads. We were surprised to find these on a boat built by Oyster Yachts as they are not the best design. We were not surprised however to find that they could be of no help in replacing them as they long, long ago switched from this design. In fact, though we searched hard, we found no off-the-shelf options for replacements. We looked into changing them to the external on-the-hull style but our rig design didn’t allow. Eventually we checked out just having new ones fabricated but the quotes we got were insane and it seemed ridiculous to spend that much money on an already weak design. Finally, Keith resigned to designing and fabricating his own.
He used high 316 stainless and had his designs drawn up and the pieces cut out by water jet. He then spent hours rough polishing the individual pieces to a smooth finish. Then the two pieces are double welded together for a very strong full penetration weld. Several more hours polishing with a buffer that he now has set up in his workroom onboard, and the end result is a big, beefy chainplate.
He has 4 made, 2 installed, and 13 total. This project will be in progress for a while. But still, I think they are kind of sexy looking. Hey, something shiny, sparkly and expensive just in time for Valentines Day. Gifts made from the heart are always the best!
Where were we ONE year ago: ‘Minty Fresh Backinplates