Monday, December 22, 2008

Checked backing plates under forward headliner

To complete my inspection of everything under the pilothouse headliner, I opened up the forward section this week and peeked inside. Remembering that I had found corroded aluminum backing plates for the traveler, I feared I would find similar shoddy plates for the forward anchor points for the mainsheet blocks. Turned out everything was solid and good. I tightened things up a little bit and put her back together with the reassurance that all was well.

In one photo you can just see two wires, a red and black, coming through. These were already cut and old, and I don't quite remember what they used to do. I think they were part of some old mast wiring that I replaced.

For any Gulf 32 owners out there, I had been quite concerned about the strength of the attachment between the pilothouse top and the sides. When I first saw a Gulf 32 I thought to myself: My gosh, that's a design just asking for a wave to rip the top off the boat. Well having thoroughly inspected the attachment all the way around, I must say it is far more robust than I had thought. It is made of thick, solid figerglass that only has plywood core in the middle sections. At the edges where it attaches to the cabin, it is solid and probably 1/2 inch or more thick. There are frequent bolts, and between the lip of the sidewall that wraps under, and the top itself, there is well over an inch of material being clamped by the bolt. My conclusion is that anything strong enought to rip the top off the pilothouse is strong enough to rip the mast and you and everything else off too. The windows continue to be the weak link, which is why I am glad I upgraded mine to aluminum frames and thick safety tempered glass.

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