Fixing the Strike-plates
A view from the outside: This is a shot of the strike plate with the CQR anchor point in view. The 1/16" thick OEM strike plate barely made it past the lower bolts in the lower picture... leaving the fiberglass very exposed. Besides, the OEM plate had deformed badly from the few strikes it did encounter.
Thus, we fabricated and installed a new strike plate of 1/8" thick 316 stainless that is longer and covers all the fiberglass. It is sealed with Sikaflex bedding compound instead of silicone. The CQR plow anchor is standard issue on Prout catamarans. Shouldn't strike plates be fabricated to cover the relevant areas completely? The Cat's Pyjamas was the third boat off the assembly line. By then, I would have expected Prout Catamarans to know the relevant dimensions of things.
Barely visible in this picture are the two "extra" holes that Prout Catamarans personnel had accidentally drilled into our deck when they were installing the bow roller (look for the gray bumps behind the bow roller). Along with the misplaced hatch in the cockpit, this set of holes indicates the inability of Prout Catamarans personnel to properly cut and drop things into the boat. It makes me wonder what else we might have missed...
The Strike-plates - Inside Edition
Inside the anchor locker looking forward over the center of the boat (from left to right): CQR strike plate, forestay (in the middle with reinforcements), second strike plate.
The fasteners used on board are another point of contention. While just about any alloy can be made to rust under the right circumstances, the extent to which our fasteners have been weeping rust is somewhat frightening. For example, take this picture of our anchor locker.
It is a clear indication as any that water is being drawn into the core between the inner and outer layer of fiberglass. To the left are six bolts that hold the main anchor strike plate. They look shiny - that's because they are new (all OEM screws were painted on installation). The previous OEM bolts have left stains and the silicone sealing job on the other side of the wall explained why: As if silicone can keep the elements out for any length of time.
Note the rust on all Prout Catamarans parts, showing that this is a inferior grade of stainless. Given that the rain/saltwater exposure around this base is minimal, we can only conclude that a closer inspection is warranted. We will clean this area of all stains once we have made our fastener substitutions and sealant replacements.
I am surprised that these 1/16" thick reinforcement plates were good enough for Prout Catamarans. But at least this section was reinforced. We will manufacture thicker, larger versions of these reinforcement plates from 1/8" thick 316 stainless for the strike plates, keep the bolt pattern, and replace all forestay hardware with bolts made of 316 stainless bedded in Sikaflex.
Best Estimate for Time Required (outside followed by inside):
|Measure OEM backing plate||10 minutes|
|Order 316 SS plate and fasteners, cut plate to proper size, make 2 backing plates||2 hours|
|Install new backing plates and fasteners, seal in place||1 hour|
|Examine current forestay backing plates||10 minutes|
|Machine new forestay backing plates||2 hours|
|Remove forestay chain plate (outside), backing plates||TBD|
|Install new backing plates, fasteners, seal in place||TBD|