Chain plate removal

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  • August 10, 2015 8:42 AM
    Message # 3473167

    I have removed all of the hardware necessary to do a rigging refit with the exception of the chain plates.

    Anyone have experience with this?  My boat is presenting a few challenges:

    - The boat is insulated. It has hard panel foam between the stringers and expanding foam in the bulwarks.

    - the boat is finished with tongue & groove cedar in the V-berth, and tongue & groove pine in the saloon.

    - It is a kit boat built by a marine architect. The builder scribed marks for the forward and mid chain plate bolts / nuts, but not the aft chainplate. 

    - I haven't removed the rub-rail but I'm guessing there is a bolt in each plate behind the rub-rail. Is this correct?

    - How the blue-blazes does one get a wrench or some kind of tool up into the bulwark to remove the top nut?

    - Did anyone slap the genius who designed the mid plates to line up exactly with the bulkhead? and after slapping said genius, did anyone get a plan to remove the nuts from behind the bulkhead?

    - I need some advise before I go all destructo on the inside of my boat!  I'm no carpenter but I can handle most tools.

  • August 10, 2015 10:08 AM
    Reply # 3473317 on 3473167
    Deleted user


    It is not a fun project! and I also wish they slapped the evil design person. But that is in the past.

    Some tips that help (see other Forum topics)

    Drilling out the head and drive them in, to find the spot (if you tape over the ss " for contamination reduction"  then a grinder could be faster for knocking off the bolt heads on the outside)

    A gear wrench can help in the confined areas (top nuts)

    The ones beside (Hopefully not under the bulkhead) may require the cutting of the fiberglass tape that covers them,  to allow their removal  (one of the osilating tools like Fein multimaster make this a bit less effort)

    It is easiest to cut the rub rail and re attach it (Fein tool cutting at a 45deg so that the pc may be re screwed into the sides it was cut from) 


     \                           \/

       \                        /   \

    -----\--------------------/---------------------------------------rub rail / hull side

    Reassembling the top nuts can be helped, by adding elec tape (Or heavy grease) to the outside of nut: so it is a very snug fit in the gear wrench.

    Best of luck:


    P.s. be cautious not to bust up the ceiling boards  they are a pain to remake and match for color and fit. You may want to remove (unscrew) some where you think the nuts are.

    Last modified: August 10, 2015 10:24 AM | Deleted user
  • August 10, 2015 5:57 PM
    Reply # 3473996 on 3473167
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here is a link to the full members area - FAQ...  the slides at the top - click and you should see larger images of the project. 

    One thought is to replace the chain plates with round not square holes... the square corners are an easy place to start cracking... 


    Last modified: August 12, 2015 7:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • August 11, 2015 7:45 AM
    Reply # 3474899 on 3473167

    @ Norm, thanks for the tips some good ideas there

    @ Jay, the link resolves to a 403 (if you are a full member then the link works)

    I spent about 1 1/2 hours in the hanging locker yesterday trying to dig out enough insulation to get at the top-most nuts. After excreting out about a gallon of sweat, I gave up and measured / drilled 1" holes through the bulwark. Easy nut removal that way. I don't mind doing fiberglass repair if it means that I don't have to spend another 3 or 4 hours kinked up and twisted into a nut removing pretzel.

    I still have to deal with the pine tongue & groove.  I can't just unscrew / remove it because it's fit behind the wet-locker / chart table.

    I have a fein which I used to remove the glass from around the bulkhead nuts. I still need to trim a bit more before I can get a socket on the nuts, but that little tool is a gem!

    BTW If you guys want to see my progress I have a blog / youtube channel:


    Last modified: August 12, 2015 7:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • August 12, 2015 9:43 AM
    Reply # 3476357 on 3473167

    So far:  I have the forward two plates off.  Rather than spend 4 hours per bolt trying to get the top most nut removed, I drilled 1" holes in the bulwark. Took 5 minutes for all three. It'll take a bit longer to repair the glass but not as much trouble as trying to do the job from inside.

    The aft plate is proving to be the most challenging from an aesthetics point of view. I don't want to mess up the ceiling. I've located the lowest nut so finding the others won't be an issue and I'll use the measurements from this side to measure the other side.

    I'm not happy about the process / method, but it's coming along. And that makes me happy.

    Happy happy happy.

  • August 12, 2015 7:36 PM
    Reply # 3477213 on 3473167
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Paul: nice video's... and the drilling through the deck idea with your interior really makes sense to me - I thought about it for pygmalion but was not sure how to hide the holes later.

    There are 3 - 5"  diameter deck plates - maybe just make the access easier for next time?? 

    High-Impact Polycarbonate Deck Plates

    Wish there was 1-2" diameter ones...


  • August 13, 2015 10:18 AM
    Reply # 3478093 on 3473167
    Deleted user

    I have been trying to figure out a way to install my chain plates, there does not seem to be a way to do it from inside, I think because my hull is insulated there is much less room. I am planning on drilling holes through the inner bulwark as well and using either garbled drain plug or water fill fittings to seal them up .  Nick

  • August 14, 2015 6:25 AM
    Reply # 3479705 on 3473167
    Deleted user

    Just one thought to keep in mind

    For every hole there is the possible leak.

    Just saying.

  • August 14, 2015 6:51 AM
    Reply # 3479760 on 3473167
    Deleted user


    Nice video, one note: the holes through the cieling boards could allow small LED lights ?  or just a wooden Plug? or nothing at all? 

    Just a FYI; I have these type of access holes for my overhead for nuts to my custom handrails and Have just left them open, works, but I always get the question if they are suppose to be there? oh well. life is a compromise right.

    In any case hope it is all going well.


    Just a FYI on the insulation (it is to help stop sweating in the bulwork) this is an area that can be an issue on cold mornings.

  • August 14, 2015 8:39 AM
    Reply # 3479878 on 3473167
    Deleted user

    I plan on insulating the bulwark, but the insulation that is a problem is in the hull, there is about 5/8" foam on the entire hull, then that is glassed over, this take off about 3/4" of space going up into the bulwark. It is almost impossible to get a wrench on the top nut, let alone turn it, let alone make sure it is properly tightened up.  I sure do appreciate all the info and ideas I get from this site, thanks everyone. Nick

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