Chrysler 26
Last updated: January 7, 2018
Copyright © 2000-2018 All rights reserved
A 1979 Chrysler 26 Sailboat
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Keel and Hull
Sail and Rigging
Double Mainsheet
Rigging Notes
Not on Our Boat

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Skean-dhu's mast step

The keel is fiberglass encapsulated, 2400 pounds, with a draft of 4'2" and a total displacement of 5500 pounds. Apparently the ballast consists of lead shot pellets mixed in concrete. The keel was taken down to the gelcoat around 1995 and VC17m original applied. VC17m original turns to charcoal after a week or so in the water. At the time the second owner rebuilt the interior he discovered that the aft end of the starboard chain plate was held down to the ledge behind the seat backs with a very weak and simple aluminum fitting fastened with wood screws. This weak point would cause deck fatigue and hamper efforts of evenly tightening both sides of the rigging. New lower end brackets were made from angle iron to capture the aluminum tubing and then large bolts were used to fasten the fitting to the ledge behind the seat back. The port side is the same fastening, but the large aluminum angle under the decking to which the chain plates are bolted is two pieces instead of the one. The second owner made a slot in the bulkhead and replaced the two pieces with one longer one and used the new fastening system for the port side as well. The original wooden box mast step was removed and replaced with a thick wall 1 1/2 inch stainless tube and a 5/16 inch stainless steel base plate.

We have used Penetrol on our beige deck to restore the deck finish and impede moisture penetration. Penetrol is a petroleum-based product that can be purchased at hardware and paint stores. The January/February 2007 issue of Good Old Boat, page 77 featured an article called "Restoring luster to your deck - This tough flexible, shiny oil pentrates old gelcoat", by Gregg Nestor. The article suggests applying Penetrol using a paint roller, whereas, we simply wipe it on with a rag and buff it a few minutes before it dries. A follow-up note in the March/April 2007 issue, page 84-85 indicated that the paint store variety of Penetrol is the same product that is also marketed as the marine version. Prior to applying Penetrol the decks are cleaned using Davies Super-Tuff to remove dirt and stains from both the smooth and rough surfaces. (see 2013 Log for my current comment on Penetrol and Davies Super-Tuff)

The re-bedding process

The process of re-bedding was started in 2003 and completed at the time of Avocet's paint job in 2005. All but the following fittings were done: mast step plate, starboard chain plates, roller furling line deck cleat (no leaks, solid fiberglass), and genoa lead blocks (no leaks, solid fiberglass). The technique used was published in the July/August edition of GAM, Deck Repairs - Rebedding Fittings by Marcel Laroche. The procedure is to: remove all traces of the old bedding compound; re-bore each bolt hole using a drill bit 1/8 inch larger than the hole; seal the bottom of the bolt holes with masking tape; fill the holes with resin; top up the resin as required; when the resin has hardened the holes are drilled 1/16 inch larger than the bolts to provide a path for the water in case the fittings leak again. Where possible, any deck fitting that are fastened with screws should be replaced with bolts. For each fitting a backing plate was made out of 3/16" aluminum.

The bedding material is butyl tape which is a sealant used by commercial glass installers. It is available in a 50 foot rolls in either 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick by 3/8 inch wide. This material remains flexible and sticky. The procedure to apply butyl tape is to roll the material into a shoelace form and apply in a donut shape around the circumference of the hole. The inside of the dome should be about 1/8 inch larger than the hole. The fitting is placed lightly on top of the donut shape. Apply some butyl under the head of each bolt and then gently insert the bolt into the holes. Avoid getting butyl on the lower threads of the bolts to avoid sealing the deck from below. Once the bolts have been inserted properly, press down on the fittings and the bolt heads. Always tighten the bolts by turning the nut from below. If the bolt turns there is a possibility of breaking the seal.

Toe Rail Leaks

While toe rail leaks have not been a problem for Avocet this is one of the few common complaints about some Chrysler 26 sailboats. The Chrysler Sailing Association Website features a section in their "How-To" section on "How to Repair Toe Rail Leaks". It should be noted that water drains through small holes every few feet along the underside of the hull to deck rubber. Those holes should be cleaned with a hose from the outside-in to wash accumulated dirt down the deck and out. The reason for this will become very clear after you read the following information provided by Rod.

If the toe rail is leaking the problem is most likely to be around the screws under the toe rail itself, the method of attachment and the way the toe rail drains. The deck overlaps hull to the outside by about an inch similar to a saucepan lid only to the outside. The sealant is stuffed up between the two parts and then scews are screwed through to pull the two parts together. The screws are approx 10 inches apart. The toe rail is then installed over the top and screwed on. The toe rail screws go in between the joint screws. This is where things get strange from a practical point of view. The bottom of the toe rail is tight against the hull but the top is slightly clear of the deck, any water running from the deck goes under the toe rail into the cavity in the back of of the rail and out through small holes in the bottom of the rail. At this point its obvious that should any of the joint screws be loose or not sealed completely, they will leak. If the small drain holes are plugged the situation gets worse.

The toe rail removal is relatively easy. Getting the rubber cap out is simple, just get under the rubber with a screwdriver at one end and pull straight out away from the rail and peel it out. An electric screwdriver gets the screws out in short order. The screws under the rail are the major cause of leakage. In Rod's case a couple of screws were missing and more than enough were loose. The toe rail can be removed single-handed using rope to hold the toe rail up as you go along. Getting the old sealant out is tedious. Rod used West Marines best sealant/adhesive and he now has small white worms of sealant coming through the screw holes into the interior Rod hopes is a good sign. You will need a hand getting started on the re-installation of the toe rail and you do have to start at the bow just as the Chrysler Sailing Association Website indicates. Getting the rubber cap back in place requires patience and some soapy water.

The July/August 2001 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 22-26, featured an article "Metal corrosion: What happens when metals corrode, first of two parts - stainless steel corrosion details", by Mark Smaalders.

The September/October 2001 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 9-11, featured an article "Metal corrosion: Second of two parts - How aluminum and copper alloys behave and applying the theory to your boat", by Mark Smaalders.

The September/October 2001 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 18-19, featured an article "Stanchion repair: Bent stanchions and delaminated decks", by Norman Ralph.

The March/April 2007 issue of Good Old Boat, page 14-15 "Thread grabber? Almost As good as a second pair of hands", by Walter Pearson. The article describes how to modify locking pliers with half nuts to allow you to grip the end of the bolt from below. This tool would help in the re-bedding process.

The July/August 2009 issue of Good Old Boat, pages 60-61, featured an article called "Precision drilling - A better way to mount deck hardware", by Jerry Powlas.