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Bow locker floors/hawse pipe replacement project recap


Thomas Kleman
 

Since so many of you offered me great guidance in the two threads my project spawned, I thought I owed everyone a quick update (and of course about 100 beers).

About a month ago while working in the port bow locker, the floor buckled (plywood separating from the fiberglass) and my project began. While we all know Amels don't have design flaws, a few "undocumented system features" emerged that I wanted to address. Specifically:

1) Bow locker floors needed to be robust and glassed on BOTH sides
2) There needed to be access for a normal sized person into the chain locker, because....
3) There also needed to be access into what I'll call the chain locker bilge, the glassed-in grating next to the bulkhead where all the rust, mud, and other things accumulate from the chain and clog the chain locker drain
4) The hawse pipe needed to be corrosion proof and not terminate next to unprotected wood
5) The back starboard bolt on the windlass needed to be accessible (vs. fiberglassed over) and the rusted out steel flange needed to be replaced by something corrosion proof as well.

I'm aware that others have had some version of this problem and looked at it differently.....some don't have this problem at all. Nevertheless this was my design criteria.

After the demolition phase, I chose 3/4 inch marine plywood and double-glassed both sides as well as the ends. After leaving a 2 inch fiberglass lip (the underlying plywood fell off just by pulling), I used two cardboard templates. The wood was cut with a taper to conform to the hull angle (or better said, an attempt was made to do this). After glassing the wood panels (each floors were made from a single piece of wood- the port floor barely fit through the opening) the access door was cut into the center of the port locker floor. The locker's remaining fiberglass lip and 4 inches above it were sanded to bare fiberglass. The floor was placed on top of a thick resin mix resting on the lip. Then gaps were filled and filleted. Finally, the floor was tabbed to the locker wall.

The hawse pipe header was constructed out of molded resin and grinded/dremeled to the shape I needed to hold 4 inch PVC pipe, and to serve as a plate to hold the back starboard windlass bolt. It was then glued/screwed under the windlass; the bolt was accessible, but barely. The bottom of the PVC pipe was fitted with both a flange (to hold in to the bottom of the floor) and a protective ring of 1/2 inch star-board over the flange to take any chain impact. The paint is drying in both lockers as I write this.

What would I do differently/what did I learn along the way ? 

1) The port locker floor cutout is tricky. Amel glassed the top side of the plywood after they laid it down. On SM #422, this gave it a subtle curve. When I double-glassed both sides of the form I made, I created a super rigid 2- dimensional structure. Fitting it on the lip (which conformed to the curved non-glassed plywood) was quite challenging as it weighed quite a bit and I was working mostly alone. About 90 pct of the floor is flush against the lip (the other 10% has a slight gap that I had to fill between the lip and the wood from underneath). This was less than pleasant.

2) I used 3 gallons of resin on this project. Along the way I got a lot better at knowing when/how to thicken the resin for different applications. 

3) I also fabricated the hawse pipe header myself (after one "mulligan"). This is a super useful skill I wish I had learned years ago.

Anyway, I have a few loose ends to tie up. I understand that Amel does this for $3,600 or something like that. I think that makes my wage rate about $1.55 per hour after materials are subtracted. All in all, a great learning experience and I'm satisfied that the boat is better now. And once again thanks to all for the advice. I used (and needed) almost all of it.

Thomas Kleman
SV L'ORIENT
SM2K #422
Shelter Bay Marina, Panama


Cathy & Guillaume
 

Dear Thomas,

This is great, thank you for posting! Could you also post pictures of the different stages if you have them ? This replacement is something I have to do one day, so the more info to prepare, the better...

Cheers,

Guillaume
Carpathia III - SM2K #293


Gary Silver
 

Thomas did post pictures already (perhaps he will post more).  They are in the Photos Section and in a folder entitled "Repairs - Amel SM 53 - Bow Locker Floor Repairs"

If you search the photos section with any word such as repairs, or bow locker, or floor etc you will see those photos.  His job is very impressive. 

Gary S. Silver 
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Rico

 


Miles
 

In the meantime, it is possible to delay or prevent having to replace the floors by minimizing  the amount of mold growing on the bottom of the floors.

I do two things.

1, I always open the water-tight door between the front cabin and the chain locker when I am in a marina.  This lets air circulate in the chain locker.

2, Once or sometimes twice a year, I run an ozone generator in the chain locker.  A small but powerful ozone generator costs about $80 as I recall.  It not only kills mold and mildew, it oxidizes rubber—causing it to age quickly.  Be careful where and how long you run it if you get one.   The ozone has a short half-life so you don’t have to  stay away long if you use it inside the boat. 

 

Regards,

 

Miles   S/Y Ladybug, sm216 Le Marin, Martinique


Gary Silver
 

Hi Thomas:

Thanks for your excellent write up and pictures of your project. I am collecting the supplies to do my bow locker floors and hawse pipe replacement.  I noted that you wrote that you used a 4 inch PVC pipe for your hawse pipe.   I measure the OD (outside diameter) of the existing hawse pipe on my boat as 76.45 mm or 3 inches.  Can you comment on your findings and if you used an oversized pipe?  Someone on this forum suggested using FRP tubing from McMaster Carr but the largest size I can find there is an OD of 3 inches with and ID of 2.5 inches.  I am uncertain if and ID of 2.5 inches is large enough.  Do you have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for any input or suggestions you might provide. 

Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Del Rey Marina, Fajardo Puerto Rico


Thomas Kleman
 

Hey Gary. I made a header out of fiberglass with a wide lip (to seat the back starboard windlass bolt). I glued and screwed the header under the windlass. The header lip fits 2 inches inside the 4 inch Pvc so no leaks. The PVC is siliconed to the header (it can be removed if necessary). In the chain locker ceiling , a flange holds the PVC up and I added a thick ring of starboard to protect the bottom of flange from chain banging. So, I can access windlass bolts easily and remove and replace my hawse pipe without dealing with cutting fiberglass and 5200. And it drains without leaks past my double glassed 3/4 inch locker floor.


VLADIMIR SONSEV
 

Do preventing maintenance.
Apply penetrating epoxy on the bottom and epoxy paint on top.
I jump in the locker. It is solid.

Vladimir
S/V "Life is Good"
SM2000 345.

On Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:14 AM Thomas Kleman <lorient422@... wrote:
Hey Gary. I made a header out of fiberglass with a wide lip (to seat the back starboard windlass bolt). I glued and screwed the header under the windlass. The header lip fits 2 inches inside the 4 inch Pvc so no leaks. The PVC is siliconed to the header (it can be removed if necessary). In the chain locker ceiling , a flange holds the PVC up and I added a thick ring of starboard to protect the bottom of flange from chain banging. So, I can access windlass bolts easily and remove and replace my hawse pipe without dealing with cutting fiberglass and 5200. And it drains without leaks past my double glassed 3/4 inch locker floor.


Gary Silver
 

Thomas:

I think I just realized why Amel didn't use SS pipe for the hawse pipe.  I just priced a 31 inch long pice of 316L SS tubing (OD 3 inch with 0.25 inch wall thickness).  $10 US per inch or $310 for the piece.  Yikes!!  a bit of 1/4 into 316L plate brought the total to $375.00.  The same in galvanized pipe would probably be $10.   

Of course using stainless would alleviate the grief we are all suffering in replacing this bit of kit.  Simultaneously it would prevent us from gaining an intimate knowledge of our boats systems / weak points. 

Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Rico


VLADIMIR SONSEV
 

Fibreglass or PVC schedule 80 is adequate. I installed PVC O.D. 2  7/8". I can provide more details for installation if you want.

Vladimir

S/V Life is Good
SM # 345

On Fri, May 24, 2019, 9:05 AM Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver=mac.com@groups.io wrote:
Thomas:

I think I just realized why Amel didn't use SS pipe for the hawse pipe.  I just priced a 31 inch long pice of 316L SS tubing (OD 3 inch with 0.25 inch wall thickness).  $10 US per inch or $310 for the piece.  Yikes!!  a bit of 1/4 into 316L plate brought the total to $375.00.  The same in galvanized pipe would probably be $10.   

Of course using stainless would alleviate the grief we are all suffering in replacing this bit of kit.  Simultaneously it would prevent us from gaining an intimate knowledge of our boats systems / weak points. 

Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Rico


ngtnewington Newington
 

How about using pvc pipe and glassing it in place and wrapping it in glass.?
Nick
Amelia AML 54-019 anchored in Menorca. Mistral about to kick in so waiting to ride it’s coat tails to Sardinia maybe Monday


On 24 May 2019, at 15:05, Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver@...> wrote:

Thomas:

I think I just realized why Amel didn't use SS pipe for the hawse pipe.  I just priced a 31 inch long pice of 316L SS tubing (OD 3 inch with 0.25 inch wall thickness).  $10 US per inch or $310 for the piece.  Yikes!!  a bit of 1/4 into 316L plate brought the total to $375.00.  The same in galvanized pipe would probably be $10.   

Of course using stainless would alleviate the grief we are all suffering in replacing this bit of kit.  Simultaneously it would prevent us from gaining an intimate knowledge of our boats systems / weak points. 

Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Rico


James Alton
 

Nick,

   You can buy fibreglass exhaust and better IMO, heavier walled shaft log and rudder post tubing in various sizes,  I am thinking of using the latter after figuring out a way to install some replaceable plastic (probably Delrin/Acetal) bushings.  I will definitely glass the tubing in at both ends so that it becomes a structural part of the boat as was down originally on my boat.   I like the idea of a strong compression member above the floor of the chain locker floor in case the chain ever somehow balled up and jammed which could generate a lot of force!  So far the original work (bow locker floor and the chain pipe) on my boat is still fine after 31 years so I think that the selection of the galvanized pipe was a pretty good choice.  Stainless pipe being more noble and of substantial mass would make a less favourable couple with the chain causing corrosion to occur sooner unfortunately.  

   We will be in Sardinia pretty soon as well, have a nice sail over and who knows maybe we will cross paths!

James

SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
Arbatax, Sardinia,  Italy

On May 24, 2019, at 12:11 PM, ngtnewington Newington via Groups.Io <ngtnewington@...> wrote:

How about using pvc pipe and glassing it in place and wrapping it in glass.?
Nick
Amelia AML 54-019 anchored in Menorca. Mistral about to kick in so waiting to ride it’s coat tails to Sardinia maybe Monday


On 24 May 2019, at 15:05, Gary Silver via Groups.Io <garysilver@...> wrote:

Thomas:

I think I just realized why Amel didn't use SS pipe for the hawse pipe.  I just priced a 31 inch long pice of 316L SS tubing (OD 3 inch with 0.25 inch wall thickness).  $10 US per inch or $310 for the piece.  Yikes!!  a bit of 1/4 into 316L plate brought the total to $375.00.  The same in galvanized pipe would probably be $10.   

Of course using stainless would alleviate the grief we are all suffering in replacing this bit of kit.  Simultaneously it would prevent us from gaining an intimate knowledge of our boats systems / weak points. 

Gary S. Silver
s/v Liahona
Amel SM 2000 # 335
Puerto Rico