I find it hard to believe that SS Chain plates, as tough as they are, will eventually surrender their life to the saltwater Gods. Fortunately, I recently noticed that there was a complete crack through half of the aft chain plate where the upper bolt runs through. There was also some “creative” work done to the forestay plate. Inconsistent whole sizes where cut which then required an undersized clevis pin to be used along with SS washers so the pin wouldn’t fall through. This shady move by previous owners caused the pin to lay sideways which caused part of the cotter pin end (of the pin) to break off. Who said size doesn’t matter?
Anyway, With no clue on where to find a replacement chain plate a few random calls where placed. Luckily for me, there is a machine shop 5 minutes down the road from me! Yeah, how convenient!
Luckily for us our mast is keel stepped so we very reluctantly decided to loosen the aft chain plate to create a new replica. We are on a mooring field which occasionally gets some violent water movement,(from speedboats of course) so we fabricated a thinner temporary steel stay and smothered it in what? Yes, toilet ring wax to keep corrosion at bay. What do I know, but it worked!
$30 later we had an exact replica with holes punched and a bend in place. Honestly not sure if they gave me 316 or 316L SS, but either one is fine by me.
I learned the hard way that there is no easy way to polish SS plate to a chrome mirror shine, which they say makes the steel more corrosion resistant. So me and my OCD got to work! After investing many countless hours, this is how It worked for me:
Orbital random Buffer / 60 Grit – removed rough areas on face and sides followed by:
500 grit by hand
1000 grit by hand
1,500 grit wet sanded by hand
2,000 grit wet sanded by hand
Finally, the holy grail chrome mirror look shun back at me and it was time to rest my weary hands.
Now to deal with forestay pin and plates! Ah, more fun on the horizon!
Until Next Time,
Señora del Mar