Pearson 39-2 1988 chainplate removal

May 20, 2015
Pearson 39-2 33 Annapolis
I bought the Pearson 39-2. Standing rigging needs immediate replacement so the mast will be taken down soon. This means we need to pull the chainplates to check for corrosion and water intrusion around them while the mast is down. Only problem is that its not clear how to remove the chainplate bolts. Anybody have experience with taking them out in this model, or similar arrangements that Pearson may have used around this time?
On the main chainplates, the bolt heads are visible on the backing plates, but there is no access to reach the nuts. I'm wondering if the trim is removed from the top of the shelf, can the nuts be reached? The knees supporting the chainplate don't allow access on the sides.
The forward chainplate appears to have a small access at the bottom - I'm assuming I can open that and find something but hoping for someone to weigh in.

I'm trying to avoid tearing apart joinery without knowing that it will lead me to the right place.


Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
It is frustrating when beautiful wood joinery appears to get in the way of standard boat maintenance. I have to believe that a boat so well made was not compromised by poor design in this area.

How many chainplates are you talking about. One primary? Are there baby stays? Are you doing the work yourself? Do you have a rigger who has worked on Pearson's before?

It would seem logical the the wood joinery can be loosened (opened) to reveal the bulkhead holding the chainplates and their attachment to the boat's hull.
May 20, 2015
Pearson 39-2 33 Annapolis
so the boat has a babystay, and two chainplates per side. The aft set carries three stays each, while the forward pair carries only the forward lowers. so with limited time while the mast is down, I will focus on just the pair of main, aft chainplates at this point. the forward ones can be pulled safely with the mast up.
it seems that Pearson went to the next level on this model with the woodwork and tried to make everything nice, but at this cost of obscuring the chainplate access. still, someone had to install them, so I will begin by removing wood parts until I find them.