Replacing Chainplates on a Ericson 41

Mike Brockman

Junior Member
I have been looking at Ericson 41s for a over a year and getting close to pulling the trigger on one. One of my concerns is replacing the chainplates which are fiberglassed into the hull. Has anyone done that job before? I have searched YouTube and the internet but nothing for the Ericson 41. Trying to get an idea on how bad a project that is.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I would suggest changing to Titanium, and then going with external plates and use the original SS inserts as backing plates.

Long shot and just a guess, but did you once race a J-24 on the Columbia River?
 

Mike Brockman

Junior Member
I would suggest changing to Titanium, and then going with external plates and use the original SS inserts as backing plates.

Long shot and just a guess, but did you once race a J-24 on the Columbia River?
Thats a name I remember from the past, yes I used to race J24s on the Columbia. How is Loren?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thats a name I remember from the past, yes I used to race J24s on the Columbia. How is Loren?
Speaking in the third person, he is doing OK -- sailing nowadays for fun. No real racing for over 20 years.
:)
Matter of fact he is in a daily walking group that includes several past commodores from SYSCO... Ah, the 'good old days!'
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
I have been looking at Ericson 41s for a over a year and getting close to pulling the trigger on one. One of my concerns is replacing the chainplates which are fiberglassed into the hull. Has anyone done that job before? I have searched YouTube and the internet but nothing for the Ericson 41. Trying to get an idea on how bad a project that is.
Strange they would have been glassed in (??). Can’t imagine plates being glassed in place and then drilled for bolts. Does it look perhaps like that may have been added by a previous owner?
Most of us are not too familiar with the 41.

Some photos to see would be great - if nothing more to speculate on how difficult a project you’re looking at.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Not uncommon

Strange they would have been glassed in (??). Can’t imagine plates being glassed in place and then drilled for bolts. Does it look perhaps like that may have been added by a previous owner?
Most of us are not too familiar with the 41.

Some photos to see would be great - if nothing more to speculate on how difficult a project you’re looking at.
Kapnkd: There were a number of Ericson models with the chain plates glassed to the hull. My 73' 27 for one.
 

gadangit

Member III
Strange they would have been glassed in (??). Can’t imagine plates being glassed in place and then drilled for bolts. Does it look perhaps like that may have been added by a previous owner?
Most of us are not too familiar with the 41.

Some photos to see would be great - if nothing more to speculate on how difficult a project you’re looking at.
This pic is from an E39. The upper shroud is on the right, the lower aft is on the left. I'm not convinced that going with external plates is the answer, that would be pretty far outboard. Depending on what the problem is, I would sister on a new chainplate and come up through deck in the same location.

I did use an external plate on the backstay chainplate and drilled through the existing glassed in plate. That worked great.

One note on titanium: I have a titanium deck fitting for our staysail and it is really doing a number on the stainless clevis pin. Titanium plates should use titanium clevis pins.

20190114_171002.jpg
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
This pic is from an E39. The upper shroud is on the right, the lower aft is on the left. I'm not convinced that going with external plates is the answer, that would be pretty far outboard. Depending on what the problem is, I would sister on a new chainplate and come up through deck in the same location.

I did use an external plate on the backstay chainplate and drilled through the existing glassed in plate. That worked great.

One note on titanium: I have a titanium deck fitting for our staysail and it is really doing a number on the stainless clevis pin. Titanium plates should use titanium clevis pins.

View attachment 26685
Thanks for the info and photo Al & Chris. Sadly, those would be hard to remove short of a lot of CAREFUL grinding and a LOT of patience! In replacing ours, we went again with SS but had them made by Garhauer as they were water-jet cut which keeps the high heat from weakening the metal. (I got 45 years out of the old ones - so figure the SS will outlast me this go-round.)
 
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gadangit

Member III
Thanks for the info and photo Al & Chris. Sadly, those would be hard to remove short of a lot of CAREFUL grinding and a LOT of patience!
Oh man, no kidding! Abandoning in place is for sure the correct thing to do. It took a lot of time, patience and cutting oil to drill through our backstay chainplate. That was SS and not Al, but still it was easier than getting under there and grinding way. I've got lots of time grinding down below and it is never pleasant.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Oh man, no kidding! Abandoning in place is for sure the correct thing to do. It took a lot of time, patience and cutting oil to drill through our backstay chainplate. That was SS and not Al, but still it was easier than getting under there and grinding way. I've got lots of time grinding down below and it is never pleasant.
We've wondered about our backstay plate but there seem to be no signs of metal fatigue, corrosion or rust anywhere around the exposed top area. The glassed in area also shows no signs of bubbling away from a corrosion point either, so we're letting a sleeping dog lie for the time being and keep a careful eye on it.

The bow plate seems to be fine so far. At least it's out in the open for easy inspection although the nuts for the bolts are hard to see how they are holding up.

Given what you've done, you've certainly earned your spot in heaven just for patience and perseverance alone! :rolleyes:
For me, crawling up into the forepeak, simply grinding out the old coring then replacing and glassing in new deck coring certainly "Made a Christian" out of me as well! (And THAT was a much larger/accessible area than the stern locker.)
-kerry
 

Mike Brockman

Junior Member
This pic is from an E39. The upper shroud is on the right, the lower aft is on the left. I'm not convinced that going with external plates is the answer, that would be pretty far outboard. Depending on what the problem is, I would sister on a new chainplate and come up through deck in the same location.

I did use an external plate on the backstay chainplate and drilled through the existing glassed in plate. That worked great.

One note on titanium: I have a titanium deck fitting for our staysail and it is really doing a number on the stainless clevis pin. Titanium plates should use titanium clevis pins.

View attachment 26685
Thanks for the info, I really would prefer not adding external plates. The galvanic issues between the stainless and titanium is interesting I would probably go back with stainless steel. Where there any bolts also embedded in the fiberglass to hold the chain plates or where the old chain plates just held in by the fiberglass? What where the condition of the old ones?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I just looked the interior photos of a sister ship down in SoCal. This EY model does not seem to have the large aluminum "knees" that were put on the 37 and 39. The shroud base looks to be out by the toe rail. Putting new external chain plates on should not be too difficult, and will have minimal effect on the sheeting angle of overlapping genoas.
 

gadangit

Member III
I just looked the interior photos of a sister ship down in SoCal. This EY model does not seem to have the large aluminum "knees" that were put on the 37 and 39. The shroud base looks to be out by the toe rail. Putting new external chain plates on should not be too difficult, and will have minimal effect on the sheeting angle of overlapping genoas.
Interesting Loren. But still glassed in? Or was there a bulkhead to bolt to?
 

gadangit

Member III
Thanks for the info, I really would prefer not adding external plates. The galvanic issues between the stainless and titanium is interesting I would probably go back with stainless steel. Where there any bolts also embedded in the fiberglass to hold the chain plates or where the old chain plates just held in by the fiberglass? What where the condition of the old ones?
I would at least explore the Ti solution, costs are coming down.
That picture is the extent of my knowledge of how the aluminum chainplate is installed. But I would venture to guess that it is just glassed in. We had some hole elongation issues on the uppers, so I chopped them off below deck and bolted on a SS plate to replace. Pretty straightforward and would do it again.

Sounds like you you might have something completely different. Do you have any pictures??
 

gadangit

Member III
Great pic! Looks like I would have expected, except you did a much neater job than I would have.

So what is the plan for replacement? Was that the upper or lower? Is your lower forward attached to the bulkhead like the E39?

Chris
 

Mike Brockman

Junior Member
This is the forward chain plate on the port side which is the easy one to get to, all the rest are going to require removing stuff to get access. I think the current plan is to replace with new stainless and glass them back in like Ericson did. If they last another 50 years it won't be my problem next time.
 

gadangit

Member III
I wonder if paying for a few hours of a naval architects time might yield some updated techniques that would improve this design? I can't think of a more important part of the boat. Just a thought.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Unless intending to sailing around the world I would try to talk myself into believing that the existing chainplates, if they pass even the incomplete visual inspection possible, are probably OK, or at least close enough for jazz.

I'd remain alert to the age of the rig the same way I remain alert to the age of myself.

Unless evidence of impending failure....
 

Mike Brockman

Junior Member
I wonder if paying for a few hours of a naval architects time might yield some updated techniques that would improve this design? I can't think of a more important part of the boat. Just a thought.
I am considering doing that. The upper chain plates line up with the main bulkhead and adding knees for the forward and aft shrouds may not be that big of deal. Do you have a naval architect you could recommend?
 
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