Upgrading the forepeak

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Upgrading the forepeak

Postby Dan » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:13 am

During this past winter, I pulled the holding tank from my boat, s/v Pretty Gee. The tank had difficult to trace leak that turned out to be due to a couple of cracks in the side of the tank. When I pulled the tank, I noticed that there is a fairly large space in front of the tank that is unused. I decided to glass this section in and add a small inspection hatch—to effectively create a crash compartment at the bow of the boat.

As I was toying with the design of the crash compartment, I realized this would be the ideal time to extend the anchor locker as well, making the top of the crash compartment the bottom of the extended anchor locker. This would allow the rode to fall in to the locker much more cleanly, and leave the aft end of the chain locker for docklines and fenders.

I’m glassing in a 3/4" piece that is sloped at about a 45˚ angle from the hull-deck join at the bow to the stringer that runs along the forepeak. This will be the bottom of the new chain locker. A second 3/4" piece will be glassed in at 90˚ to that to form the new aft end of the chain locker. I’ve ordered a piece of 1/4" UHMWPE to use as a liner for the chain locker, and it will be added to the bottom, sides and rear of the chain locker to help the rode slide down and protect the fiberglass from abrasion and damage from the chain. A drain hole and through-hull will be added to each side at the lowest point of the chain locker. I’m also adding a solar vent fan to the hatch to improve air flow through the anchor locker and reduce corrosion of the rode.

A short horizontal piece of 3/4" will be glassed in against the base of the first two pieces, and will have a small inspection port in it. This will allow me to get a wrench into the back of the bow eye, should that ever need to be removed or modified. This will also allow me to inspect the "crash compartment". The last piece to be added will be a vertical 3/4" piece that will form the aft wall of the "crash compartment".

This gets the weight of the anchor rode down lower, and allows it to self-stow when retrieving the rode. It increases the seaworthiness of the boat by isolating the forward most section of the boat, which is most likely to be damaged in an impact. I’ll post photos of the finished chain locker when I’m done.

The holding tank will be in the section that is in-between the new crash compartment and the head. I’m glassing the aft bulkhead in this section to completely isolate the holding tank area from the bilge. I’m also adding a second vent to the holding tank to improve air flow through the tank. It has been re-plumbed with new Trident 101 hose. All exposed plywood has been epoxy-coated or glassed over to protect the wood.

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