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Tanzer22 Bulkhead Replacement

By John Clemens (jclemens@eskimo.com) T22 #1323 "Pogmahone" -=+=- Seattle, WA

Last summer I went through an extensive rebuild/refit of the "Pog" (after the previous owner's neglect of any maintenance for several years!), including replacement of the bulkheads.

The material is plywood, 1/2", with teak veneer. Once you remove the solid teak surround, you'll be able to see the edge of the plywood. Although I replaced the bulkheads with the mast up, I recommend doing it with the mast down, to reduce the load on the deck and cabin timber (the 'glassed support at the top of the cabin that the bulkheads attach to).

Removing the bulkheads requires you to remove four screws at the top, aft (on mine, the screws are square-heads) and four screws at bottom, forward (same kind as the others). Of course, if you have any lamps, fire extinguishers, radios, etc., attached, do remove them first. The chainplates will also have to be removed (which is why I recommend the procedure with the mast down).

Use the old bulkhead panel as a pattern to trace onto the new plywood. I suggest leaving a wee bit extra on the edge (1/32" or so), just to allow for filing to fit the curve of the cabin liner.

For a finish, I used several applications of Watco teak oil stain, followed by several coats of marine polyurethane varnish. Perhaps this is overdone a bit, but if you saw what water leaks through the side lamps caused, you'd do the same! The panels had become delaminated in places I couldn't readily inspect, so when I was sailing in a light breeze on starboard tack, the tension allowed the chainplate to pull up through the wood! After my heart rate went down and I made it back to the marina, I vowed to cover the replacements in nearly-waterproof coatings.

To fit the chainplates, first install the bulkhead panels with all attaching screws. Then insert the chainplates down through the deck, no further than they had originally been (the caulking line on the chainplate will guided you). Mark the holes, remove the chainplate, drill the holes, and reinstall the chainplate and attaching screws. After that, reinstall the teak surround and anything else you had removed before.

Recaulk around the chainplate with a good marine caulk (I used a polysulfide, LifeCaulk, but a polyurethane would also be good; the silicone caulk doesn't seem to hold up well, though). Also check the side lamp openings for the possibility of leaks (might as well rebed with polysulfide, too!). The object is to keep water off the edge of the plywood panel.