How to make chain plates?


Was working on the yacht last night (gee sounds like I have lots of money hahahaha)

Anyways the chain plates of the Victoria are ugly was thinking of doing some in brass. Was wondering if anyone has every made thier own chain plates or found a web site that shows the construction of them.

I did check the Victoria Resorce site but found nothing


Medicine Hat

I normally make my own from several different materials.

Start with a piece of light wieght angle iron in whatever material you would like to use. Hobby shops normall have brass and or aluminum. Hardware stores have aluminum and steel. Or, you could even go carbon fiber.

Start by trimming down a piece of the iron to the height you would like to see in you finished chain plate. Mark your hole spacing on the side and carefully drill them out. Drill your two mounting holes and then with a dremel or the likes remove any additional material you dont need or want. Very quick, very easy, and as long as you take your time, the results CAN look very good.


I have made exactly the same Plates as in your photo, sure they are not mine?.
I have also made the same type of plate useing “T” section bar, this lets you place screws each side of the plate and evens out the pull from the shrouds.
The L shaped one tends to pull the mounting screws out.

I put Number 6 blind nuts under the deck on this last boat. The chain plates may strech but they ain’t pullin’ out. I just use flat 18 guage(I think)aluminun and bend it over in my vice. A little hint for those that don’t have a milling machine. Find someone who does and get some drilling jigs made. Just bars of steel with evenly spaced holes in a straight line. Makes drilling that perfectly straight row of holes very easy.

Vancouver Island

you always do such nice work. Want to finish my USOM for me?

Looking forward to a fun season in the Northeast US!


Do you attach the chain plate to the deck before you glue the deck to the boat? How do you attach the chain plate to the deck? How do you tie the plates to the bottom of the keel trunk? Question-questions!! Looking at your shroud hooks-have you ever had one unhook. I would like to use that method but I’m chicken-****!!

Vancouver Island

I do similar to Greg no fasteners. I drill a hole next to the vertical part of the hull and saw the hole to necessary length and width. Holes are also made in the part under the deck. The alum is epoxied to the side of the hull. I use nylon clevises 2-56( salt water corrodes the steel )with threaded couplers flattened out and drilled for shroud. The nylon has never broke. Sullivan has some that are brass? Gold-N-Clevis (12) $6 locking collar that I haven’t tried.

That Chain-plate is really neat, I will have to try harder with mine!
John. [:-ashamed]

Kevlar line can also be used for chainplates - especially if you are building an ultra-light class boat.

Simply fray (fan) the ends so they lay flat, make a loop and CA glue to hull. You can then cover with a skim coat of thickened epoxy and fair into the hull. There virtually no weight compared to aluminuim or brass, and multiple loops can be made if you need the ability to change location of shrouds.

I use similar idea for my big cat, but of “nylon” line, as nylon has a bit of stretch available when sailing in light wind through powerboat chop. Since there is a lot less mast banging on the little boats, the less stretchy Kevlar will work fine.

Just another idea.

Need to drill a line of holes and make them look like Greg’s?.
Try this, Electronic parts Shops, stock boards of varying sizes for Prototyping electronic circuits on.
They consist of rows of Copper tracks, with holes punched through for the Components.
Cut a piece of this Board to the size required, decide which holes you need, open up the holes in the Board (drill), clamp the Board into place on (Chainplate) and drill through.
Not very durable, but cheap and cheerful!!.
In the UK we have a selection of hole pitches, choose the one most suitable.
A small hole can be Drilled through the new part first, then enlarged to suit.
See Photo,
Download Attachment: Vero.jpg

Bend some 1/16 s/s wire to u shape,bend it over 90 degrees and epoxy it through/underneath 2 1/16th holes in the deck.
simple cheap and light.
Not as light as Dicks though.

I considered options like this on the boat I just finished and wrote them off as not being strong enough. Has anyone done any testing to determine the loads on deck attachments?

Vancouver Island

A lot of the chainplate load also depends on how you rig your boat. I run with a lot of tension in my lower sidestays which I use as a checkstay to help limit the bend of the mast. I have a LEGO tensiometer that I use to measure my rig loads and found that I regularly run 8 to 10 lbs of tension in my lowers. I run about 1.5 to 2 lbs in my backstay (for reference). And that is just the static load. The dynamic loading is going to be a bit higher when you add the sail loads and mast pumping loads to that. So the chainplates are pretty highly stressed for my application. I would not trust loops of wire or kevlar glued under the deck with that kind of load.

But if you are running with a carbon fiber mast (I have an aluminum mast which is quite flexible) then the normal working loads on the sidestays will problaby be only 1 or 2 lbs. You could probably get away with loops of wire or kevlar under those loads. For the kevlar, you might want to simply tie it off below the deck so that you can easily replace it if it becomes frayed… As far as the stainless wire, I would feel a lot better with some sort of swedge fitting rather than glue to hold it. Glue does not stick to metal very well…

  • Will

Will Gorgen

I’m going to try and build a dynamic load tester. It will basically be a spring with a marker for maximun extension. I can duplicate the extension on the bench and measure the tension. Do you think 20 lbs. would be the max dynamic load I will see. I have to choose the spring first and build the tester around it. I just need a ballpark figure to start.

Vancouver Island


I would be surprised if you saw anything close to 20 lbs for meterboats or smaller. My 8 lb lower rig tension produces a fairly high pitched gituar twang when plucked. It is very tight. If you have a good spring that will give you accurate reads up to 20 lbs then you can use that. I would suggest something smaller (15 lbs should be fine) unless you want to be able to accomidate larger than meter boat rigs…

  • Will

Will Gorgen

I have just used a similar method to Dick’s on the forestay and sidestays mast attachments on my F100.

I used 1 mm dia polyester braid, and a small sail eyelet to make a hard eye, unravel the braid to make a fan and then epoxyied to the mast section. Resin had graphite added to continue the black theme of the boat.

Download Attachment: [ F100 Stays Attachment.jpg]( Stays Attachment.jpg)

F100 mast/stay attachment.Note not finished needs flairing.

Here’s a photo of my son’s Farr 3.7 dinghy kelvar jumper attachment to the carbon mast.

Download Attachment: [ Farr 3.7 Jumper Attachment.jpg]( 3.7 Jumper Attachment.jpg)

I usually take a walk on trash night, and if I spot an old aluminium door or window(frame), I’ll grab it, and hack it up into the shapes I need, like masthead crane, bow chainplate, side chanplates, etc. No reason to let that stuff go "unrecycled). :smiley:

It sounds to me after reading these posts that the aluminium chain plate ideas are fairly new.

Over here in the country that is way behind, we have been making chainplates this way for 12 years.

We now glass them on when the hull and deck are joined.

Another idea is for mast steps for those of you who just can’t seem to get it in the right place the first time.

Get a piece of T section aluminium and cut verticals in it to make several cut outs about 1/8 wide.

Now drill a hole in the base of your mast, and then cut a groove in the mast that fits over the T section. Put a 1/8 bolt through the hole, and there you have it, an adjustable for and aft mast step.

Oh, I get it!

The “slot” in the mast allows you to position anywhere on the t-plate. At first I though you need to cut pairs of slots on the t-plate. GOOD IDEA!