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Old 01-31-2018, 05:28 AM   #1
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Elevating Windlass above teak foredeck

I want to elevate my anchor windlass, which is now mounted flat on the foredeck, to prevent mud that remains (despite chain-washing) spoiling my sometime-to-be replaced teak foredeck. Photos 1 and 2 show the current arrangement.

I have in mind building a fibreglass box with a raised containment edge and mounting the windlass on this, perhaps on a stainless pan. I've seen this done on other boats....see photos 3, 4 and 5 below.The raised box would be around 5" (130mm) above the deck; about 13" (320mm) wide;and about 39" (1m) long. Its containment pan would drain both forward over the bow roller and via a couple of small surface drains, into the chain locker below.

Before I talk with my favourite boat-builder about this job, I'd be interested in comments about how best to go about this. The existing foredeck teak is screwed down and is worn thin, too thin to re-groove...but it doesn't leak. Despite the absence of leaks, I am assuming there must be areas of core moisture/saturation under this thin teak. I also think the area under the windlass and chain guide are particularly high-probability core- moisture areas. So I'm thinking the teak under the proposed containment box should be taken up and the top layer of 'glass stripped out and the core replaced, with the containment box (which would be fabricated off-boat) then 'glassed onto/over the new core...what do you think?

And then within the containment box, we'll need to provide a solid mount for the windlass (as the top of the box alone won't be strong enough. Do folks agree....and if yes, how best to do this?

Thanks in advance for helping me think this through.

(NOTE: ignore the redundant deck fills visible in the photos; these will be removed. And the two chalk lines visible in photo 1 at the aft end of the proposed box area, just indicate the top and base of the box, which would angle down to the deck at the rear and be slab-sided on the two longitudinal sides.)
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:13 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. A. I think I see the problem you're trying to eliminate and would agree that a raised "box" should work. The only thing I might suggest is rather than the 2 aft drain holes going into the rode locker, tilt the pan sufficiently so all the water/mud flows forward through and off the front of the pan and thence along the anchor pulpit/bow roller to over board. An alternative might be to build drain pipes from the forward end of the tilted pan, through the bulwark to overboard.


That will help minimize any detritus finding it's way on board.
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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I see an opportunity here. Why not extend the new, raised area, as on the other boat, to form a short bowsprit, get rid of that gash through the bow, place your anchor far enough forward that it will never contact the stem on its way up, provide a forward drain, everything you hope to accomplish and more.
I would use teak, at least wide enough for the full width of your windlass to sit comfortably, with the chain dropping through the original hole to the locker below. A Samson post mounted through the deck would top it off. A quick walk around the marina should find several examples.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:38 AM   #4
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My only comment is that you will spend at least $5,000 and maybe closer to $10,000 depending on how extensive the core repair is to do what you propose. Is it worth it to avoid a little muck on the deck?

But maybe part of your rationale is to deal with the rotten core before it becomes more of a problem.

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Old 01-31-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
I would use teak, at least wide enough for the full width of your windlass to sit comfortably, with the chain dropping through the original hole to the locker below. A Samson post mounted through the deck would top it off. A quick walk around the marina should find several examples.
I am not a carpenter, but I think a teak box would look better with all the other teak.

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My only comment is that you will spend at least $5,000 and maybe closer to $10,000 depending on how extensive the core repair is to do what you propose. Is it worth it to avoid a little muck on the deck?

David
David also has a good point........
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:37 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. A. I think I see the problem you're trying to eliminate and would agree that a raised "box" should work. The only thing I might suggest is rather than the 2 aft drain holes going into the rode locker, tilt the pan sufficiently so all the water/mud flows forward through and off the front of the pan and thence along the anchor pulpit/bow roller to over board. An alternative might be to build drain pipes from the forward end of the tilted pan, through the bulwark to overboard.


That will help minimize any detritus finding it's way on board.
RF, I'll certainly try to have most of the mud flow forward. I think though that some provision has to be made to drain from the aft of the pan...think heaving seas, etc. The commodious chain locker ( I can sit upright comfortably in there) is taking a lot of mud now without any problems: enough water gets in there to keep surprisingly clean and odour-free.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:46 PM   #7
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I see an opportunity here. Why not extend the new, raised area, as on the other boat, to form a short bowsprit, get rid of that gash through the bow, place your anchor far enough forward that it will never contact the stem on its way up, provide a forward drain, everything you hope to accomplish and more.
I would use teak, at least wide enough for the full width of your windlass to sit comfortably, with the chain dropping through the original hole to the locker below. A Samson post mounted through the deck would top it off. A quick walk around the marina should find several examples.
I appreciate the comments Keith....and I have certainly considered doing just this (though I'd use 'glass....I have SO MUCH teak the thought of adding more at this stage...well you know.) For some reason I don't seem to have a good photo of the bow arrangement from the outside, but I've added the one poor photo I could find. You will see that outside the 'gash' (right word, I don't like it either), there are substantial stainless cheeks and the anchor is held well away from the stem: it never strikes the hull, even when coming aboard in rough conditions. To do as you suggest would certainly improve the overall look, but the cost would be significant given the surgery involved to remove the heavy stainless components there now, 'glass and other work to widen the 'gash', etc..
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:09 PM   #8
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My only comment is that you will spend at least $5,000 and maybe closer to $10,000 depending on how extensive the core repair is to do what you propose. Is it worth it to avoid a little muck on the deck?

But maybe part of your rationale is to deal with the rotten core before it becomes more of a problem.

David

David: I am confident the total cost will be under $5k, but let me comment on your substantive point about treating the core...because for the whole foredeck project, the extent I deal with that is the thing that exercises my mind the most. I haven't yet decided whether I'll re-teak the foredeck or do as Brian of Insequent and others have done, and replace it with non-skid. Either way, I really do want to avoid having the expensive new work being sloshed with mud residues (and yes, I've upgraded the anchor washdown system already) and we anchor out a lot and move anchorages frequently.

The biggest cost driver in the total foredeck renewal project will be the extent to which I treat the core. Right now, I'm not aware of any 'soft spots' or creaks and there are no below-decks leaks. So my working hypothesis is that while there will almost certainly be moisture in the core, it isn't 'porridge' in too many places, if at all. So one project approach may well be to just leave well enough alone and encapsulate the existing core (having removed the very thin remnant teak & dealt with screw holes) with a new teak or non-skid overlay.

The risk areas for 'porridge' core are surely under the windless mounting bolts; under the chain guide/hawse hole; and under the big deck-mounted cleats which sit in front of the hawseholes through the bulwarks. All the deck hardware has to be removed to do the new work anyway and as the areas are small, it makes sense to me to open the core in these areas and see what's going on. If 'porridge', it must be fixed. If I'm kidding myself and the 'porridge' is really extensive, well I'd bite the bullet and cut out all the core and do the full job. But if I'm right and the 'porridge' areas are very limited and just under the deck hardware, I'll fix just those areas.

So coming back to the windlass pre-project as it were....it isn't a big deal with the windlass removed to take up the 3sqft of upper-layer 'glass and inspect the core, renewing and strengthening in this high-load area if necessary, before putting the 'containment box' in place.

I'd value your critique of my logic.

And I'm still hoping for input from the 'glass and construction guys !
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:20 PM   #9
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I agree w David on this one.
And Aquabelle I like your short and stout anchor roller.
I wrote another post that required an anchor board (pulpit) and deleted it. Whenever you bump or strike something w the bow there’s a chance the pulpit will become a big wrench and fail tearing up the deck or worse.
I do without.
Like your Super Sarca too.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:35 PM   #10
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I agree w David on this one.
And Aquabelle I like your short and stout anchor roller.
I wrote another post that required an anchor board (pulpit) and deleted it. Whenever you bump or strike something w the bow there’s a chance the pulpit will become a big wrench and fail tearing up the deck or worse.
I do without.
Like your Super Sarca too.

Thanks Eric...appreciate you chipping in. And yes, one other thing that puts me off doing as Keith suggested is the risk in skewering docks with the projecting pulpit. Just walking the marina shows the scars...of course that would never happen to me !?!

And I thought it best to not draw attention to my particular anchor....this whole post could be hijacked by the anchor nuts. SARCA users know what they know...
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:13 PM   #11
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Interesting project and food for thought in previous posts. I agree with RTF in post #2, even tough I think your anchor locker has drains overboard at its base. In my case the anchor locker drains into the bilge, so I don't like getting mud aboard at all.

Here is what the gash looks like from the outside (sistership photo )
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:19 PM   #12
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Thanks Brian (& I'm just back after a weather delay...I'll pm you shortly). Yes, my chain locker drains directly overboard and nothing into the bilge (thank goodness). Where my bow differs from yours is that I have large 'cheeks' fitted to that stainless projection that is clearly seen in your photo. This is visible, though in shadow, in my photo at post #7 above.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:22 PM   #13
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My previous boat drained into the bilge. I glassed the bulkhead and raised the bottom of the locker above the waterline and drilled a hole so it would drain overboard. Small cowl on the outside and it was done.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:26 PM   #14
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An advantage of removing core in windlass area is that it will give you a pretty good idea of the condition of the rest of the balsa cored deck. Balsa can never dry out, so even if its not porridge but just wet, it will become porridge eventually.

A disadvantage of the full bowsprit idea is that it might tip you into needing the 'next size up' marina berth. I think you are just under the 18m length given your stern extension, and longer berths are not always available in many marinas.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:30 PM   #15
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This pic(with the replaced now backup CQR) illustrates one form of elevated windlass support used on IG36s. Underneath is a tube steel support. Some IGs don`t have the "box", just the support underneath and a simple platform. The "box" might be a Europa frill.
I had the "box" rebuilt,the attachment to the hull sides had failed, been filled and painted, without curing the problem. The box is made of fibreglassed ply. There must be quite some loading transmitted from the windlass,there is also a heavy plate under the windlass which bolts into the bow and the "sprit".
It could be that movement due to windlass loading at the attachment points has contributed to your deck issues, letting in water.
As well as the "porridge" expression, I`ve heard "wet weetbix", which accurately describes a brown mush of rotting wet wood.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:12 AM   #16
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"renewing and strengthening in this high-load area if necessary,"

The windlass may save a great deal of grunt work but as the vessel should NEVER be secured to the windlass , the loads are modest , as few can pull even half a ton.

The high load concern is for the on deck chain stopper , or cleats used to anchor the vessel.

When anchored and veering in a breeze most boats will check up with a much higher force than use to recover the ground tackle.

A windlass may be an impressive looking piece of gear , but most have an easy life.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:01 PM   #17
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Understand the concern about the pulpit option but have posted below as an example of what it could look like. This is from a very nice OA Mk1 (currently for sale in UK) so should look very similar to you. There are a few other pictures at:
1981 Ocean Alexander mk1 Mark1 Power New and Used Boats for Sale
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:10 PM   #18
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An advantage of removing core in windlass area is that it will give you a pretty good idea of the condition of the rest of the balsa cored deck. Balsa can never dry out, so even if its not porridge but just wet, it will become porridge eventually.

A disadvantage of the full bowsprit idea is that it might tip you into needing the 'next size up' marina berth. I think you are just under the 18m length given your stern extension, and longer berths are not always available in many marinas.
Brian: I hadn't thought of the extra-length factor against the bowsprit idea...but you are dead right, more length is not what I need!

And yes, exactly, I'm expecting to learn something about the likely state of the core by 'excavating' under the windlass. When you did your deck, do you recall if the windlass area was particularly bad....or no worse than elsewhere?
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:01 PM   #19
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Understand the concern about the pulpit option but have posted below as an example of what it could look like. This is from a very nice OA Mk1 (currently for sale in UK) so should look very similar to you. There are a few other pictures at:
1981 Ocean Alexander mk1 Mark1 Power New and Used Boats for Sale
Robert...wow, what a valuable link for all OA Mk1 owners; that is a great example of the type. I know Brian of Insequent will enjoy looking at those photos too (though Brian's engine room is much better...the best I've ever seen).

On the pulpit issue specifically, that looks so right that I wonder if it is in fact original? That windlass certainly looks original. The 'gashes' on Brian's boat & mine may be the result of owners removing deteriorating pulpits, changing windlasses and anchors, damaging the extended bow rail...certainly in my case, when I did my refit the builders pointed out that a previous owner had undertaken extensive repairs to the bow at some time. It doesn't deal with the mud-over-foredeck issue, but it certainly looks good. I'm inspired to email the broker and ask him to pass on to the seller my query.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:25 PM   #20
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As an aside, what do you think those 2 deck fittings near the base of the pulpit are? I know the one with the cap on port side is a holding tank pump out (same as mine) but wondered if the other 2 were some sort of drain facility?
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