Do you want to be informed on new Posts on this Thread? (members only)

S&S Swan Maintenance - Swan 40 Bulkheads
17 January 2020 - 03:16
Join Date: 18 November 2008
Posts: 4

Swan 40 Bulkheads

The bulkhead aft of the saloon on Byzance, my 1971 Swan 40 (hull 26) has started to creak alarmingly when the vessel rolls, normally at anchor (I can feel the vibrations).  I have previously had this bulkhead re-glassed in (about ten years ago), when it creaked a little as the vessel was pitching under way.  Concurrently with this work, the stringers below the cabin sole between the fore and aft saloon bulkheads were re-placed/re-glassed in.


Has anyone had a similar problem, and does anyone have any suggestions as to the cause and rectification required?





David Saunders

18 January 2020 - 11:24
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear David
Sounds like something is loose again, and close inspection is required for finding the damaged areas. Would be good to do this in the water, then you can see and feel where the movement is when the yacht rolls.
The location and nature of the problem needs to be determined before advice can be provided.
Kind regards

18 January 2020 - 20:00
Join Date: 01 March 2007
Posts: 147

Hi David,

Another tool to identify problems in hull and internal laminations is Ultrasound. This can be carried out by a qualified engineer when the boat is out of the water and help identify areas where the structure is compromised.


Sarabande 47/029 


03 February 2020 - 12:57
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 57

I had a serious main bulkhead problem (the one forward of the mast) with my Swan 40, hull 45.   I bought my boat in 2006 and for the first few years' coastal sailing around Denmark had no issues.      The first time I heard the crack was in the Irish Sea, downwind in a force 7, with confused seas.   With each roll there was a crack audible from the helm, which corresponded to movement of a few millimetres at the base of the main bulkhead (the glassfibre bonding had broken).      I lived with this for 2-3 years and many ocean miles to Spain and the Azores but the crack got louder and the bulkhead movement bigger.    Cracks also started to appear between the floor pan and the galley bulkhead aft of the saloon.     I tried having the main bulkhead re-bonded at the base but after a first ocean sail downwind the familiar crack returned.    So I took the boat back to Walsteds in Denmark who had done a  lot of work on her previously, found a very good consultant and spent a lot of money to do some major strengthening.    I have never had any problems since then but it was quite heartbreaking to have to do this.   The consultants's name is Sixten Sandstrom, who worked in Nautor for many years.    He knows everything about cracking bulkheads.  Hopefully your problem is not so serious as mine.


  • Threads : 1701
  • Posts : 10215
  • Members: 820
  • Online Members: 0