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Bulkhead and chainplate water damage.

May 26, 2020
6
O’Day 25’ Elmwood
Okay guys I’m in a pickle.
I was given an 25’ O’day in hopes of fixing it up and getting it on the water. A close family friends death was the reason of this gift and I would love to honor what he had planned for this boat. I have sailed many small boats and a few larger boats but at the time of acquiring I was very new to noticing how much of a workload it has turned out to be.
The deck is very soft around port side chainplate and both sides amidships jib blocks. I drew in pencil the soft spot around the chainplate and sewage. Also noticing that the bulkheads have received a fair amount of water damage.
It also has a yanmar 6.5hp that I want to get it going again as well. What I was told is that the lower and top end have been redone but it was having fuel issues. It was a scattered mess in the aft when I took it, so I pulled the motor in hopes of firing it on the dry.

The boat is in pretty good shape overall and comes 4 sails, roller furling, original paperwork and much more.

Is it even worth my time?

If anyone has tackled replacing bulkheads or had any luck cutting out and replacing a deck any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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Jan 1, 2006
5,987
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
How do you want to use the boat?
It will take a significant amount of time to repair it. Do you have the time to do that? The interest? Otherwise I would sell it for whatever you can get and be happy you avoided disposal fees. Donate the proceeds to the family if you are feeling bad about that.
I don't know if those bulheads are soft or just stained but if you're going to have to replace them it isn't worth the effort in my view. Depending on the keel material you can sell that for scrap and maybe some of the hardware.
 
Nov 25, 2013
35
O'Day 26 Lake Erie, Sandusky, OH
These are some pretty easy repairs actually. I made some new beefy chainplates for my O'Day 26 in 2017. While I have a milling machine - which made it fairly easy for me to do the entire job myself, you could easily go to a local waterjet company or machining house and have them provide the materials as well as cut them to shape. (Or you could re-use the ones you have). To see how I did that job, on this web site - go to "Home" and select "O'Day" under Resources. Once on the O'Day page select "26"under "Select a O'Day Model". When you get to the O'Day 26 page select "Owners Mods". There are only 8. Select "Rotted Bulkheads and New Chainplates" by Castrilper55. Shows how I did it. This repair has held up well with no more leaks for 5 years. I chose not to replace the bulkhead as I thought it too much work. Also, I put a stainless steel plate over the repair to pull it all together. If you do not have a machine shop at your disposal, you could use some solid oak or mahogany and bond it over your repair, much like I did with the stainless steel plate. Just be sure to use epoxy to bond it. (Thixo or Six-10)

I have repaired soft decks as well. Get a multi-tool and cut out an inch or so beyond your pencil marks - make it rectangular if possible. Once you have the fiberglass skin cut, it should lift off. Clean out all of the rotted core material and cut back until you are into solid core material. Cut new core material of the same thickness to fit your cutout (use balsa, plywood, or honeycomb core material). (This is where making the cutout rectangular will help you out). I used thickened epoxy (Thixo by Total Boat or Six-10 by West Systems) to bond it in being careful to fill all voids. Place some weights on it to hold it in place while the epoxy cures. After cure you would want to test fit the fiberglass you cut out when you started for best fit - trim if necessary. Once satisfied with your fit, mix some West Systems 105 or 205 or equivalent and pour on your repair. Place the fiberglass piece over the epoxy saturated replacement core and place some weights on it while it cures. Once cured, I sanded the surface down to bare fiberglass and cut some fiberglass cloth to fit the area, making sure to cover the seam by at least an inch. I used 2 layers which can be put on concurrently. Once it is on, you really should put some release material over it and pull a vacuum on it to use air pressure to apply even continuous pressure over your repair while it cures. If you don't have access to a vacuum pump, smooth the repair as best you can with a short hair brush (A natural hair chip brush you have cut back evenly with scissors) dabbing any parts that are not laying down until the pot life makes the epoxy tacky enough to hold the glass down. Be sure all air has been removed and ... just be patient. While repairs that are not vacuum bagged aren't as strong as repairs that are, the unbagged repair will be incredibly strong and your deck will no longer be soft.

It sounds a lot harder than it is. I sweat it to the nth degree, watched countless you tube videos to see it done, and when I was finished with my repair, I couldn't believe how easy it was. If you've never done any fiberglass work before, start with the smallest first and move on to larger areas after you get your game on.

Sailboat projects never end. I have done a ton since I became a sailboat owner in 1999. I have stripped boats, repaired blisters, painted boats, replaced bulkheads, repaired bulkheads, done bottom jobs, trailer work, plumbing, electrical, rudder, centerboard, standing rigging replacement, running rigging replacement, and a fair amount of upgrades and creature comfort improvements. Some of the work I have done on my O'Day 26 are on the owner modification page I described above. I would have to say ... I have about as much fun repairing and upgrading my boat as I have sailing it (because where I live, you cannot sail in the winter). All the best of luck - and - have fun with it. If you want more information, don't hesitate to to reach out.

Regards,

Castrilper
 
Nov 25, 2013
35
O'Day 26 Lake Erie, Sandusky, OH
BTW - The O'Day 25 is a fantastic coastal cruiser. Easily trailerable - which I highly recommend. Trailers can be expensive, but, getting a used one and modifying it to fit your boat ... not so much. New - 8 thousand bucks. Used, 2 thousand or less. Then, you can bring it home for the winter to work it. Again, have fun!!! Castrilper
 
Mar 2, 2019
210
Oday 25 Milwaukee
The bulkheads aren't all that hard to do . It can look pretty intimidating at first . Start with the starboard one . Use the old for a template .
most of use ended up with a nicer looking boat than when it came from the factory . I also have installed a plate on the opposite side of the chainplate so the nuts alone weren't squishing the bulkhead . looks so much more professional .
 
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Mar 2, 2019
210
Oday 25 Milwaukee
One more thing . There is supposed to be a stainless steel plate that goes over the chainplate as it exits the deck . That sir is most likely why you have leakage . If you can't find them ,they are easy to make and install . Most of us use butytape to seal them
 
May 26, 2020
6
O’Day 25’ Elmwood
The bulkheads aren't all that hard to do . It can look pretty intimidating at first . Start with the starboard one . Use the old for a template .
most of use ended up with a nicer looking boat than when it came from the factory . I also have installed a plate on the opposite side of the chainplate so the nuts alone weren't squishing the bulkhead . looks so much more professional .
That is smart about adding a second plate. The nuts haven’t sunk in at all on either side so I’m debating on just repairing the decks then fabricating a large plate where the chainplate could attach to. I don’t know if that’s a very smart idea though. Starboard side is definitely in way better shape and I’m not sure if i should just replace it while I’m already at it.
 
May 26, 2020
6
O’Day 25’ Elmwood
BTW - The O'Day 25 is a fantastic coastal cruiser. Easily trailerable - which I highly recommend. Trailers can be expensive, but, getting a used one and modifying it to fit your boat ... not so much. New - 8 thousand bucks. Used, 2 thousand or less. Then, you can bring it home for the winter to work it. Again, have fun!!! Castrilper
These are some pretty easy repairs actually. I made some new beefy chainplates for my O'Day 26 in 2017. While I have a milling machine - which made it fairly easy for me to do the entire job myself, you could easily go to a local waterjet company or machining house and have them provide the materials as well as cut them to shape. (Or you could re-use the ones you have). To see how I did that job, on this web site - go to "Home" and select "O'Day" under Resources. Once on the O'Day page select "26"under "Select a O'Day Model". When you get to the O'Day 26 page select "Owners Mods". There are only 8. Select "Rotted Bulkheads and New Chainplates" by Castrilper55. Shows how I did it. This repair has held up well with no more leaks for 5 years. I chose not to replace the bulkhead as I thought it too much work. Also, I put a stainless steel plate over the repair to pull it all together. If you do not have a machine shop at your disposal, you could use some solid oak or mahogany and bond it over your repair, much like I did with the stainless steel plate. Just be sure to use epoxy to bond it. (Thixo or Six-10)

I have repaired soft decks as well. Get a multi-tool and cut out an inch or so beyond your pencil marks - make it rectangular if possible. Once you have the fiberglass skin cut, it should lift off. Clean out all of the rotted core material and cut back until you are into solid core material. Cut new core material of the same thickness to fit your cutout (use balsa, plywood, or honeycomb core material). (This is where making the cutout rectangular will help you out). I used thickened epoxy (Thixo by Total Boat or Six-10 by West Systems) to bond it in being careful to fill all voids. Place some weights on it to hold it in place while the epoxy cures. After cure you would want to test fit the fiberglass you cut out when you started for best fit - trim if necessary. Once satisfied with your fit, mix some West Systems 105 or 205 or equivalent and pour on your repair. Place the fiberglass piece over the epoxy saturated replacement core and place some weights on it while it cures. Once cured, I sanded the surface down to bare fiberglass and cut some fiberglass cloth to fit the area, making sure to cover the seam by at least an inch. I used 2 layers which can be put on concurrently. Once it is on, you really should put some release material over it and pull a vacuum on it to use air pressure to apply even continuous pressure over your repair while it cures. If you don't have access to a vacuum pump, smooth the repair as best you can with a short hair brush (A natural hair chip brush you have cut back evenly with scissors) dabbing any parts that are not laying down until the pot life makes the epoxy tacky enough to hold the glass down. Be sure all air has been removed and ... just be patient. While repairs that are not vacuum bagged aren't as strong as repairs that are, the unbagged repair will be incredibly strong and your deck will no longer be soft.

It sounds a lot harder than it is. I sweat it to the nth degree, watched countless you tube videos to see it done, and when I was finished with my repair, I couldn't believe how easy it was. If you've never done any fiberglass work before, start with the smallest first and move on to larger areas after you get your game on.

Sailboat projects never end. I have done a ton since I became a sailboat owner in 1999. I have stripped boats, repaired blisters, painted boats, replaced bulkheads, repaired bulkheads, done bottom jobs, trailer work, plumbing, electrical, rudder, centerboard, standing rigging replacement, running rigging replacement, and a fair amount of upgrades and creature comfort improvements. Some of the work I have done on my O'Day 26 are on the owner modification page I described above. I would have to say ... I have about as much fun repairing and upgrading my boat as I have sailing it (because where I live, you cannot sail in the winter). All the best of luck - and - have fun with it. If you want more information, don't hesitate to to reach out.

Regards,

Castrilper
This has been a game changing reply. I really appreciate the reach out.
Yes, I am located in Northern Michigan and am currently remodeling a full house so time is not on my side right now. I do hope to get to this by fall and or spring.

I was actually able to find a trailer “used” for $800 that isn’t pretty and only a single axel, which makes me nervous but it’s got a 6 lug mobile home axel on it. Luckily I’m only towing it 10 miles to a shop to work on it and 20 miles to the marina hopefully twice a year.

I would more than thankful to be able to reach out to you with questions that I’m sure will arise.
 
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Sep 24, 2018
1,434
O'Day 25 Chicago
The bulkhead is time consuming but very straightforward. After all, all you're doing is replacing a piece of plywood. The PO of my boat bedded the chainplates with 4200. While I'm also a big fan of BedIT butyl tape, the 4200 kept the chainplate in the same position so there was no question on where I needed to drill the holes when the new plywood was in place. If you're plywood is a bit thicker than the original you'll probably need to sand or grind the edge down a bit to make it slide into the slot in the fiberglass. You may need to do a little bit of trim work to get it to fit but I was surprised at how sloppy the cut could be and still have it look and function well.

The port side should be a bit easier since you don't have a bunch of cabinetry to disassemble. You may run into some issues with plywood thickness when re-attaching the trim work on the straight edge of the cut board. I would also advise you to get the same width fiberglass tape as what the factory used to ensure you don't run into any issues (although they're pretty minor if you use wider tape).

A couple of areas that may be prone to water damage is the wood for the lower gudgeon and the anchor rode locker if yours' is below deck. The rode locker isn't crucial by any means and I will probably never replace the rotted plywood in the bottom of mine.

O'Day used silicone to bed the deck fittings so you'll want to rebed them to avoid more deck damage.

I've never heard of a Yanmar in an O'Day 25. I'd love to see a pic if you have time!

The full keel 25 is kinda rare. I have a centerboard version and I've found that while it is a lot of work, it's one tough boat! We do a lot of heavy weather sailing and it has never even began to show its' limits.
 
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Nov 25, 2013
35
O'Day 26 Lake Erie, Sandusky, OH
Great! Do your homework on the trailer. The boat with. a modest amount of stuff will top 5000 pounds. you will want to be sure to have some brakes on the trailer as well. If you aren't towing very far you might be alright - but if it were me I would get a tandem.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,434
O'Day 25 Chicago
My trailer doesnt have brakes but it's a yard trailer at this point. We towed the boat and the 2000lbs trailer with an F250. It handled it well. We even had one hell of an emergency and it stopped it quite well. If you were going further I'd definitely recommend brakes. You can drive it in the middle of the night to avoid traffic if you'd prefer. PS - This advise is ill advised
 
Aug 2, 2021
1
O'Day 23 Brookville Lake
I've got an O'Day 23 that had some pretty good rot at the bottom of the port bulkhead. I just took it out, set it onto another piece of 1/2" plywood and drew the outline. Cut it out with a jigsaw, and then a sander to match it up as close to exact as possible.

Finished the edges with un-thickened epoxy, and the faces with Sikkens Cetol.

I also ran a groove across the top of it so I could run new anchor light wires since mine did not have one. The original wiring hole comes out right on top of the bulkhead, so I had to get creative.
 

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