BoatWorks by SAIL Magazine

By SAIL Magazine

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I soon realized that these bulkheads would have to be entirely replaced. The same was true of the small athwar tship bulkhead in the bow, but the minor rotting in other isolated areas could probably be addressed by replacing sections locally. The bow bulkhead After removing everything not permanently attached to the hull—trim, linings, overhead, cabin sole, and so on— I was ready to attack the rotten bulkheads. I decided to start at the bow and work my way aft. I drilled small 18Copyright © 2008 by SAIL Magazine.

It can be found at most lumberyards and mills. Because the old bulkhead came out more or less in one piece, I was able to use it as a template for the new one. However, the new bulkhead was a little larger than any of the hatches in the boat and therefore had to be constructed in two pieces and joined in place. I routed a 1⁄4′′ groove into each of the two halves 4′′ in from where they would join. These would later be filled with fiberglass. After I finished cutting the rough shape of the new bulkhead, there followed several trips between the saw and the bow of the boat as I whittled the new bulkhead to exactly the correct form.

If you are able to reuse the section of deck you cut out, clean it up and grind the bonding surface with coarsegrit paper to ensure a good bond. Dry-fit it in place to make sure it will be at the right height. Remove the deck section and apply a layer of epoxy to the core surface, again following the manufacturer’s suggestions for a thick adhesive mixture. Be sure to fill all the voids under the edges and between the core squares. Place the deck section on the epoxy and hold it in place with weights, shower rods, or even screws.

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