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Beam punching into hull

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Hi I'm a newbie and a few weeks ago I bought an old Windrush 14 it has 2683 on the sails and on the aft beam and yesterday was the first time I was able to take her out. Unfortunately after an hour on calm water we noticed the forward beam had started to punch through the port hull and the hull had movement. Can you please let me know what the issue is, and what is the best method of fixing the problem. Looking at the other mounting points I can see stress cracks which up until now I figured was just the gelcoat because of the age. Any advice or information would be appreciated.


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Hi Curious George,

That doesn't look good at all. The first thing I'd do is get a pair of vice grips and undo the beam bolts (both front & rear bear) then roll the hull under the beam to expose the hull were the beam seats.

Upload a photo of the beam seats on both hulls (both front & rear) and we'll have a better idea of what is going wrong. It may just be delamination, which requires a good angle grinding and rebuilding with chop strand fibreglass.


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Thanks Michael, I have managed to get the hulls separated and photos.
This is the port forward mount.
Seems that there are bulkheads but I wonder if they are water affected if they are glass over marine ply.



This is the starboard aft and it is showing the same type of problem.



What I'm thinking of doing is to cut a hole in the side of the hull so I can cut out the bulkheads and recreate. I would do this for all 4 mounts.
I think it would be best to leave the top well alone except for resealing the glass. I think rebuilding the bulkheads would be the priority so the mounts are supported strongly.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks, Warren







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Curious George, where are you located ? The bulkhead Windies are the next best performing boats to the foam models,

and as such probably deserves more than a rough fix, the castings on the rear of the hulls (That lock the beam to the hulls)

should have the weight stamped in the casting, the damage to your boat suggests lightweight (Desirable) hulls, 25 kg ?     

Ph 0243591729 anytime for more.

Edited by darcy1945
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Hi, I'm located just north of Brisbane. Thanks for the comment.

I doubt it is a lightweight version and I am guessing about the bulkheads as it looks to me that there is. I can see no marks on the hinge mounts on the rear of the hulls - took some pics of the mounts. My best guess would be between 1979 and 1984 vintage. 1979 based on feedback from Windrush and 1984 based on trailer.  I agree that it would be a shame to do heart surgery, but unfortunately I think the patient is near dead. Given that it would be an expensive for a professional fix on an old boat, I am willing to undertake a DIY. I am still thinking to not disturb the deck and come in from the side of the hull may be the best option. Then gut whatever is under the mounts and glass in new bulkheads. Then remove the cracks from the deck and reglass. 



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Hi Warren,

Thanks for the photos, to me it looks fixable though it's not an easy fix.

Looking at the photos it's hard to tell whether it has bulkheads or not, though if it does and they are the original bulkheads then they would be glassed in marine ply, which inevitably rots out and all race maintained bulkhead Windies have had them replaced at some point, along with reseating the horizontal foam blocks.

There are a few forum members on here that would be able to help you, Paul (forum name "Just One More") or Tony (forum name "Sando") from Port Kembla Sailing Club would likely have contact details for John Van Meegan who would be able to talk you through the best method to replace the bulkheads.

Darcy will also likely be able to help and has a wealth of knowledge on all things 14ft cats.

Hopefully the fix goes well and you're back on the water soon.



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Thanks HooD ... you are probably right but I will persist albeit foolishly! At least I will pick up a new skill in wasting time and money ... oh and learn a bit about fibreglassing! I'm not looking to go far or fast, so long as I can squeeze a few more years out of her I'll be happy.  Thanks also Michael for the feedback and contacts ... I like not feeling like I'm in the wilderness, thanks for your support!

I have removed the carpet from the deck and not surprisingly found more stress cracks.
I then remove the tray from beneath the aft inspection port. I found a few interesting things.
1. there was a small hole at the waterline which looks like an old air bubble in the original manufacture, very hard to spot from the outside, but would have been leaking for a long time.
2. all of the foam is detached from the hull and freely moves. Anyone know if it's an issue that they are just resting in the hull? Do they have to be firmly reattached, or would tacking in place be okay?
3. surprisingly there are 3 holes in the stern where the bottom rudder bracket is riveted. The rivets are hollow and look original. So were they once filled, or are they supposed to be open : )
4. definitely not bulkhead version, so more likely late 1970's.

I won't be digging through the hull as I first thought and I'm feeling confident that I can rebuilt the deck around the puncture/stress areas around the beam mounts. This old boat won't be pushed hard. I am also toying with the idea of an external bracket to screw to the top of the beam which is then bolted to the top of the deck to spread the load over a wider surface which is probably smarter than hacking the hull but not exactly aesthetic.

I have a renewed appreciation for my supertool which makes if very easy to cut rivets, scrape stupid silicone sealant, and sand. What a handy tool. I have removed the inspection ports and am ready to start removing all the stress fractures and rebuild around the beam mounts. 



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  • 1 month later...

I had a beam connection collapse on an old pair of hulls when I cartwheeled in a strong wind.  Actually I think I did the damage standing on the hull trying to right the yacht!!  I did glass it up fairly successfully but my damaged hull leaked afterwards.  I was able to buy a secondhand pair of hulls in better condition, complete with cross members and tramp for $100.  The bonus was that they had forward hatches fitted with foam bulkheads.

I weigh 112kg so the stress on the beam to hull connections in a strong wind can be very high, so I suggest you do a good job of the fix, otherwise you'll get another cave-in.

BTW my old hulls are available FOC if you can make it to Vic!


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/25/2016 at 4:10 PM, slammin said:

How'd you go any luck?

Hi, been working on it as best I can. Felt like a dentist digging out the decaying glass. Found quite bad delamination in places.

As it's pretty much a lost cause, I have decided not to hack the hulls and build in bulkheads, instead opting for an outer strengthening which actually looks okay but time will tell if it can withstand the stresses. I have finished the major rebuilds 2 weeks ago and am waiting another couple of weeks to let it cure fully. To strengthen the areas I have epoxied 2mm thick aluminium plate around the outside of the mounting cups. I am thinking this will help to distribute the stress to a wide area of the deck.

I found that the main cause of the problems was the support under the mount was pretty lightly engineered with marine ply wrapped in roving and for the most part the roving was very lightly epoxied. 

While I was at it, I dug through all the gelcoat around the deck where there was spider cracks. In several places there was little (almost none) glass underneath so I have rebuilt those areas. I found huge cracks running along the bend half way down the side of the deck between the mounts of both hulls. These had been there quite a while and I have had to do quite a bit to rebuild and strengthen these areas. All in all a lot of work on hulls which should have been retired.

I believe that the hulls had been leaking for a long time as previous owners had used a lot of silicone to try and seal the hulls. As they didn't actually find and repair the problems it meant the boat could have been sailed many times with significant weight in the hulls ... I believe this put way too much stress on the whole boat. 

Anyway, I'm currently putting in new inspection ports, then reassembling everything. If the weather isn't too cold in a few weeks I hope to get out on the water and test my new fibreglassing skills and whether my concept of an exoskeleton will actually hold up to the stresses.


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