Adding A bowsprit

Yes, I did add a bowsprit. It's about 20" wide and goes out about 3' 4" from the point of the boat. I had a new forestay made and moved it out to the end. Advantages are:

-Place to put the anchors on rollers.
-Getting the forestay out gets rid of some of the weather helm.
-Adds some power.
-Adds a place to mount the anchor windlass.
-Give you a place to do anchor work.

Here's a quick run down on how I did it:

I removed the forestay and fitting, then the chocks, mooring bit and the fiberglass trim cover. I ground down all the soft, flaky glass, all the gell coat and trimmed the edge of the deck back about an inch from the very tip all the way back to where the hull to deck joint starts on the sides. There is now a hull to deck joint for about the last 12" to 14" of the bow, which it didn't have before. This allowed a good solid place to build up any glass I put on.

I mounted the new bowsprit temporarily where it would go, then used a piece of plywood on each side to make a mold. With wax paper on the wood, I moved it up to fit against the bowsprit, then screwed it to the hull, one on each side. Then a small piece of plywood was added in the front to make the small flat portion on the very front.

Then, after removing the bowsprit, I glassed it all in, building it up until it was exactly flat on top. I did this by taking another piece of plywood with wax paper on it, and while the glass is still wet, smashed it down until it fit tightly against the side plywood molds. After it was hard, I removed the top piece of plywood and filled any slight low spots. I removed the plywood molds from the sides. This left the front as a flat, solid structurally sound place to mount the bowsprit.

I sawed off about 6" of the front of the anchor locker lid to make more room. I laminated 2-3/4" plywood pieces that were sawed into "v" shapes to fit under the deck in the front of the locker to make a solid top in the 6" area where the locker lid no longer was. I then built the top of this area up a half inch or so with resin and roving. This made a very structurally sound place to bolt the bowsprit. I fit two pieces of teak to fill the level between the deck (where the locker used to be) to bring it up level with the flat area in front made with the mold. The through bolts to hold it together went through these pieces.

I mounted the bowsprit, using the anchor windlass in back, the mooring bit in front, all through bolted with stainless allthread.

The finished item, minus the wood.
These were taken recently, after an extended cruise. I never cored the bolt holes and water was beginning to weaken the plywood I cored the new addition with. In these pictures I'm preparing to drill out the holes much larger, then fill them with resin, then re-drill them to the original size to seal the plywood from water intrusion.

Back to the original installation, I welded up a fitting to take the bobstay on the front just above the water line. I ground off a flat area to bolt it to, went inside and built it up an area about 1" thick and about 8" square to spread the load. After drilling a couple holes, I mounted it with 1/2" stainless bolts.

The new home made bobstay fitting

This is the old forestay fitting, moved to the end of the bowsprit.

I mounted the old fitting for the forestay at the end of the bowsprit and had a new bobstay made to fit. I installed the original chocks, but out on the edge of the bowsprit.

Then I made a bender for stainless tubing, bent up the tubes and hauled them to a friend who has a tig welder. I welded it up, took it back and fitted it.

Total cost, let's see:

Teak, about $200
tubing, about $200
bobstay and forestay, about $400 (could have been cheaper - I was pinched for time.
metal for bobstay fitting, about $20
Various materials, like welding rod, gas, fiberglass, etc, about $50.

Old sails still work, no problem with them.

Another change, not so obvious, was to saw out the anchor locker and put in a new bottom. This gave an anchor locker about 10 times as big, and stopped the dripping that seems to always come from the fittings in the front into the v-berth.

Also, I installed two 6" opening ports in the sides of the hull in the v-berth. I really recommend this, it's easy to do, really ventilates the v-berth, gives you a lot of view, and you can leave them open when it's raining.

Gene Gruender
Rainbow Chaser

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