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Windswept too, Yankee #245 - a report on her 'clamp', backing plates and deck hardware bedding

May 28, 2011. Clinton Hodges sent in a detailed report about Windswept too in Alaska, where the weather must be nice - dry and warm good for boat work - unlike New England wet and foggy. He sent in a couple of emails and they have been consolidated and summarized/edited here. As a frame of reference he is using David Baumer's comments on clamp problems with his Yankee #81 - The Summer Report which is included in the Technical Section. This report also show the evolution of Yankee's construction over the 5 years between the times #81 and #245 were built

Hi Ron

I am trying to ascertain the original design/construction of the "clamp" on Yankee Dolphins; to help explain here is Dave's (Baumer's) statement:.

"This toe rail cleat is a series of boards that were used to strengthen the hull to deck joint and create a stable flat surface to distribute the load of fastenings along a thin fiberglass tab that projects into the hull just below the sheer. I guess the technical term for this fiberglass tab is the clamp."

For a larger view of this photo, click here


The following are photos of Windswept too's backing plates

The above photo (left) is backing plate, in the V-berth, starboard side, looking aft. Some signs of previous moisture, but the backing plate is not compromised, the four bolts go to a stanchion; the center photo is "the clamp", V-berth, starboard side, looking toward the bow; the right photo is backing plate between the two bulkheads, starboard side, with the threaded end of the chainplate showing. Again, for its age it looks really nice

On Windswept too, there is a wood backing plate for the chainplates, and genoa track. However, and unlike in the photo of Aeyla Makaira, there is no backing plate, or boards as Dave calls them, from the shrouds forward. Dave goes on to say,

"Finally stainless chain plates are thru bolted thru the deck, fiberglass sheer clamp and mahogany cleats for all six shrouds.  In the area beneath the shrouds Yankee added a second layer of mahogany cleat to better distribute the stress along a greater length of the hull to deck joint."

Am I to understand Dave correctly that mahogany (cleats/boards?) is used the entire length of the clamp, and doubled at the shrouds? Is this the original construction?  Webmaster Note; Yes, I think so

The photo above left is the backing plate, in the V-berth, starboard side, looking aft. Some signs of previous moisture, but the backing plate is not compromised, the four bolts go to a stanchion; the center photo is the backing plate in the V-berth, port side, looking aft. No previous moisture noted, the bolts go to a stanchion; the right photo is the 'clamp', V-berth, port side, looking toward the bow


On Windswept too, the condition of the wood isn't really all that bad, but I am replacing it nonetheless. At some point in the past the 'clamp' was was resealed, and it appears that water enters the interior in a couple of places under the toe rail, and other areas where the deck is compromised with hardware.

I don't understand why some sailboat owners ignore the chore of rebedding deck hardware. From what I can see on Yankee Dolphin built boats there is no reason why moisture should become an issue because access to deck hardware, from underneath, is generous and outright easy. This issue isn't the case with Windswept too, she appears to have been mostly well maintained by her previous owners, but there are two notable exceptions.

In the above picture (right) the previously removed bulkhead, starboard side, between the settee, and head, there is a telltail sign of moisture. Removing the handrail on the starboard side revealed why the bulkhead is stained. Access to the screw that secures the handrail to the deck is inside the the cabin ceiling, and sits on top of the bulkhead, and the only way to remove it short of just cutting it off, is to remove the bulkhead, and that is what I did. In the above picture (left) , handrail screw, starboard side, in the head, you can see the the screw that warranted so much work, and the reason why there are moisture stains present on the bulkhead. And guess what? I have no choice to put it back that way because punching new holes through the deck is out of the question. It will be our secret.

I wouldn't hold this sort of thing against the average boat owner as far as basic maintenance is concerned, but I don't understand Yankee Yachts installing the bulkhead directly over the handrail fastener. The most important thing is the years of moisture leaking past the screw didn't cause any real damage to be concerned with.

I have all the paint, but two gallons of pre-kote, to get started painting Windswept too. I'll be sanding down the bottom paint, then two coats of Interprotect 2000e, then two coats of Micron CSC. This weekend I'm going to sand the transom, make gelcoat repairs, as well as attending to a couple of gouges. I don't like the term gouge, but that's the term Don Casey uses.Then it's two coats of Pre-Kote, and two coats of Brightside. The transom is my practice pad, so if I screw it up I can erase it with sandpaper and do it again. The deck is going to be a lot of work, and still haven't decided on an outboard.

Thanks for pointing out that there are many Yankee Dolphins between Windswept too, and Aeyla Makaira. If a discussion on the clamp of early, middle, and later Dolphin takes place I would certainly like to listen in and share if I can. I can even share information regarding bulkhead removal, and I have a pretty neat little tool for removing stainless steel wood screws with a mind of their own.

My son is using my garage, and driveway so I have to move Windswept too, to another driveway so I can continue working on her. I should be able to follow up with photos later today.

Best regards,

Clinton Hodges 



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