To celebrate our 33rd Wedding Anniversary we have fitted the chainplate backing plates in the lazarette for the mizzen running backstays. These were the least accessible, so it is good to have got them done.
They are temporarily held in place, while the thickened epoxy sets, with the old chainplate bolts and old backing plates. The difference between the backing plates in size and thickness is startling. Plus ours bed onto a very smooth bed thanks to the thickened epoxy which has squeezed out a little all the way along all 4 sides.
The extra holes visible in the pictures are from the bolt holes for the davits that we removed early on. They didn’t have much in the way of backing plates and had caused some cracking in the gel coat. We will fill them properly when we next mix thickened epoxy.
We just have 2 FR4 plates to fit to the big plywood backing plates in the aft cabin, we fitted full length plywood backing plates in the aft cabin because each side has 2 mizzen shrouds, 1 main backstay, 1 mooring cleat, some solar panel supports and the pushpit. Just to be sure we are going to distribute the chainplate loads over the plywood with FR4 bonded to it.
Then we can start the holes through the deck for the dyneema chainplate loops. Initially a 44mm hole through everything except the FR4 backing plate. Then fill this with thickened epoxy (to make sure we have a waterproof seal to the polyester resin of the deck and the plywood) . Then, for the mizzen, a 29mm hole through the thickened epoxy and the FR4 for the dyneema loop to be pushed up through (after it has been sanded beautifully smooth).
Any water coming through the deck hole will be caught by a tube around the dyneema chainplate loop. We have simplified this. The tube will have 2 end caps. One glued to the underside of the chainplate backing plate with a hole for the chainplate loop. Then the other on the bottom to catch any water.
On top of the deck we are going to put “mushrooms” which will stop water running along the deck flowing into the hole. They will also be a collar to hold the bottom of the fabric sleeve that will protect the dyneema from UV and chafe.
It all feels a lot closer to getting the mizzen mast up. That will, hopefully, prove that it all works so that we can do the same for the main mast. There are plenty of other things that we can make progress on once the mizzen is up.