We all look at our chainplates and usually think, “Yeah, those look good.” But what, exactly are you looking at? Stephens Waring is going to tell you…
In terms of unknown, unloved, and uncared-for naval engineering heroes, it’s tough to beat chainplates. That’s right, chainplates. The deeply-engineered chunks of metal or space-age composites that join hulls to rigging and masts. Chainplates aren’t exactly flashy. They do none of the sexy “sail-ish” stuff of generating lift or foiling through water.
They don’t help a boat float or navigate. Think of chainplates as anchors, they merely connect. They are part of the virtual engineering chain that manages the enormous loads of a large boat moving through wind and water. Chainplates do their work using bronze, stainless steel, aluminum and composite materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber.
Chainplates may be brave. They may be fearless. But they take some effort to understand. That makes now the time of chainplate’s secrets.
And what it takes to tell a good one from a bad one.