It appears that the bowsprit sucked up water which drained to the samson posts which in turn went into the chain locker bulkhead.
I have been trying to figure out how to repair the bulkhead without having to replace the whole thing. Bud Taplin during his survey said to just cut to the tabs and attach the new plywood to that as that area is still sound. That is what I am going to do but I want to be sure I make it look as nice as possible.
I figured I should cut out all the rot then I would know what I have to work with. This is what I ended up with.
Looks like its time to clean the lens on my phone!What I have done so far is to make a template of the sides of the hull in cardboard. I will not be able to put in one big piece of wood because I just can't physically get it in this space. So I will have to do at least two pieces of wood. The samson posts are bolted to the bulkhead. So the bulkhead is tight to the samson posts. This means I can't double up the plywood on the backside of the bulkhead as this would not allow my samson posts to come down from the deck. I guess I could cut a piece of plywood to cover the opening as you see in the picture above. My concern is that the samson post get some of it's strength by being attached to the bulkhead. So instead of that I might fiberglass in a 2x4 near the bottom of the samson posts to the hull and bolt the post to that. I think that would actually be stronger than it was before.
While in this area I want to split the chain locker in two and run a PVC pipe down from the deck to below the V berth to allow the chain to be stored below the shower pan. This detail is shown in the Westsail factory manual that came with the boat. I want to try to keep as much weight out of the front of the hull as possible.
As soon as I figure out what I want to do I post again about this...so stay tuned for more exciting chain locker bulkhead drama!