Let me start by saying… NEVER DO THIS!!! (Commentary by Allison: When Josh says this, he’s serious. Listen. Please.) This was one of the dumbest things I ever talked my brother into doing as a kid! It’s really a miracle that he didn’t break his back or something.
I grew up on twenty-six acres in the middle-of-nowhere Tennessee. One day my brothers and I decided to move our trampoline from the immediate back yard to a tree in the field. The goal was to move it under the tree so that we could jump from the tree onto the trampoline. After having a little fun jumping out of the tree we decided to move it back to the yard. By this point our arms were getting tired so we decided that it would be a good idea to set it on its side and roll it. I guess now is a good time to point out that at this time I was 14 years old, my brother Luke was 11 and my brother Nathan was 10. It really shouldn’t be a problem for us to control. Its not like trampolines are heavy or anything.
After about ten seconds of rolling it I came up with a great idea. I guess while we were rolling it through the field I thought that it looked like a Ferris wheel. I think the conversation went something like this-
Me: Guys… I just came up with the best idea ever! We should ride the trampoline like a Ferris wheel!
Nathan: Uh.. No… You do it.
Me: I will… I just can’t do it first. I need to see how heavy it is with a person on it to make sure you guys can handle the weight. “Luke Just hold on, if you don’t like it we can stop!” (Commentary by Allison: Wow, you were all kinds of manipulative)
With a twinkle of curiosity in his eye, Luke shrugs his shoulders, grabs on and wraps his ankles around the legs of the trampoline.
As we start to roll its pretty obvious that Luke is getting a little nervous. I however was determined to make this work. So instead of slowing down and making sure he was ok, I sped up so that we would be sure to get him to the top. (Commentary by Allison: HOLY MOLY, JOSH!!! WORST BIG BROTHER EVER)
At this point Luke began to scream at the top of his lungs (as a grown up I really don’t blame him) only stopping to take short gasps of air. I have never seen my brother that terrified in my life. Before I could coach him down, he came up with a solution on his own… let go.
Not unwrap his feet from the trampoline and then drop. He let go with his hands and feet at the same time. Resulting in falling horizontally from 15′ in the air and landing flat on his back on the ground. Nathan and I were terrified. Obviously it knocked the wind out of him. Nathan was convinced that he was going to die and I was convinced that we were all going to die.
Luckily he didn’t die. Nor did mom kill us all after she found out. Come to think of it, I don’t even think she grounded us. Probably because with all the kids in hysterics and without a paint diagram she had no clue what was going on!
I have a tendency to under exaggerate things (Commentary by Allison: This is so true. It’s annoying. Anyone who has heard us try to tell a story knows how we argue about this. Josh tells me I’m exaggerating even when I’m not and then tries to make the story BORING by downplaying it all). I guess over the years I had convinced myself that it probably wasn’t as tall as I was remembering because we were so young at the time. That is until the other day when I drove by a 13′ trampoline (ours was 15′) sitting next to someones house!
(Final Commentary by Allison: How is Luke not dead or a paraplegic? And how did Charlotte not murder you?)
So, I already explained how we installed a new bulkhead. After we finished that project, we re-bedded the chainplates. Chances are that at some point moisture had found its way to the deck of your boat around the chainplates. Its not easy to prevent that. This is a pretty good trick for preventing moisture from finding its way through.
Step 1: After you take the chain plates out feel in the hole and see if you feel moisture/ rot. If there is moisture take a heat gun and (without catching the boat on fire) dry out the rot/moisture.
Step 2: If you have just replaced the bulkhead go ahead and install the chainplates where you want them. This will ensure that they are in the right place for rebedding.
Step 3: Once you have the holes for the chainplates drilled where you want them take them back out and put a thin coat of wax (we used a wax toilet bowl ring) on the part of the chaniplates that will stick through the deck. Go ahead and put them back through the deck.
Step 4: Take some epoxy that has been thickened to a peanut butter consistency and fill the space around the chainplate with it. This will create an exact mold of the chainplate and at the same time help stop any existing rot in the deck.
Step 5: Use a polysulfide based caulk such as Lifecaulk, or 3m 301 to ensure that it is completely sealed between the plates and deck. Having an exact mold of the chainplates will make it much more difficult for water to find its way through.
One of the first projects we had to tackle after getting our boat was replacing one of the bulkheads that had rotted through. Knowing more about boats might have prevented us from attempting this, but we didn’t know more and, we did replace it ourselves. A year and many sailing trips later, the mast is still standing so I guess we did an alright job. This is a step by step breakdown of how to replace a bulkhead.
Step 1: Rip out the old bulkhead. Ours was located in an extremely difficult spot to reach squeezed in between the ice box and gas tank.
Step 2: Make a template out of cardboard.
Step 3: Thoroughly clean the area where you plan on fiberglassing the new bulkhead with acetone. Make sure there is no leftover grime from removing the old bulkhead.
Step 4: Cut a new bulkhead out of marine grade plywood using your template as a guide.
Step 5: After making sure the bulkhead fits, cut tabbing slits three inches from the edge of the bulkhead. The tabbing slits should be a couple inches in length and six to ten inches apart.
Step 6: Cut strips of fiberglass cloth run them through the tabbing slits and glass them to the hull.
Step 7: Fiberglass additional layers to the top and bottom of the new bulkhead. We did six additional layers of glass after tabbing it to the hull it might be overkill, but the mast is still standing so I don’t see a problem.
Be sure to glass it to both the hull and deck of the boat.