GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Bow plate – access

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    • #22741
      Simon Conway


      My bowplate has two threaded bolts on top and screws for the convex section that runs down the bow to meet the keelband. The rear of the two bolts, on top, has come loose. This is a 1976 GRP GP14 with a forward buoyancy tank. There is a slight gap between the top of the buoyancy tank and the underside of the foredeck but hardly enough for anyone to squeeze themselves into it.

      Has anyone had to gain access to the bowplate nuts? and if so, how did you go about it?

      My common sense options are:

      1. Make a sturdy extension with some sort of ‘grabber’ on the front, along with a torch and wifi enabled action camera (so I can see what’s going on on my phone) and replace the nut using this. (Highly likely to fail to be honest) or

      2. Fit an inspection hatch on the deck so I can just put my hand right on the area I need to.

      I’m really hoping I don’t have to resort to #2 so thought I’d ask here for any inspired options I may not have thought of 🙂



    • #22743
      Oliver Shaw

      You have already identified two obvious approaches,  which seem to me to be the obvious two.

      As a variant on your second one,  by way of exploiting the particular characteristics of GRP you could simply cut a hole for access,  and then make it good afterwards.    Use epoxy rather than polyester resin if you decide to adopt that approach.

      If it is any consolation,  I had a similar problem when I wanted to install a mooring cleat on the starboard quarter of the yacht  –  and it took me several years to pluck up the courage to cut an access hole and then fit a blanking plate over it afterwards.



    • #22744
      Simon Conway

      Thank you Oliver.

      I guess the inspection hatch resistance is all psychological, had I bought the bought the boat with one already in then it wouldn’t be a problem, in fact, I think I remember seeing one in Liverpool with one installed on the foredeck?

      Anyway, I will certainly have a go with option #1 before I start cutting holes.


    • #22782

      At one point I seem to recall someone suggesting hiring a small child to crawl into the space above the buoyancy tank, but I suppose this could get you in trouble with the child protection authorities!

      When faced with the same problem a few years ago, I ended up turning the boat over onto sawhorses. Using a spanner or socket/ratchet handle taped to long pole, gravity was now working with me instead of against, and it was relatively easy to get hold of the nut. I had an assistant turn the screw heads from outside the boat.

      Good luck!


    • #22851
      Simon Conway

      Having determined that the bolt (and nut) were not only hard to reach, but also tucked behind a strengthening strut – I opted for the deck hatch.

      Took 20 mins to fit (15 of which were spent plucking up the courage to make the first cut in the deck! ) and 2 mins to replace the nut and bolt. I used a 5″ round inspection hatch.


    • #22921

      what of inspection hatches cut into the buoyancy tank?  I do not have  GRP model, I am guessing here, but it is possible to cut an inspection hatch into the aft part of the tank and then another under where the plate is bolted?  This could make maintenance easier in the long run.

      • #22922
        Simon Conway

        Hi Arthur,

        Thanks for the suggestion however, this would not be necessary as the buoyancy tank on the MkII does not go all the way to the underside of the deck. There is actually a gap between the top of the buoyancy tank and the foredeck. It is great for storing the ends of oars, paddles, water containers, drybags and boom tents etc. but little use for getting access to the bow fittings.

        My other GP14 is a wooden one with a fore buoyancy tank / bulkhead and that does indeed have two larger access hatches which, at a pinch, would provide access to the bowplate fixings. However, I’m not convinced even that would be good enough considering the amount of dexterity needed to fit washers and nylock nuts on a M5 bolt.

        Having now finished the job, I am pleased with how tidy it looks.


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