When we bought the boat we could see the bowsprit was de-laminating and would need some work. Last weekend I removed the bowsprit. The removal was fairly easy. I used the two forward halyards to stabilize the mast I tied them to the forward stanchions for the time being. All the bolts came out without much problem. But what I found was a bit disturbing to say the least. The middle bronze bolt that goes thru the deck came out wet. Ah-Oh that's never good. I knew the bowsprit had a little rot in the very aft end of it but to pull out a wet bolt? Any way when the time came for the actual removal a few of the marina locals came to help. So I have to say thanks to Wes, John and Marty. Marty walked me through it all as he has removed his bowsprit on his Hans Christian 43. But his weighs WAY more than mine! Once it was removed we could see more rot on the bottom side.
While I was there I went ahead and pulled both the Samson posts because I new the port side one had some rot also. The starboard side looked good. But the chain locker bulk head had some rot also. Again I knew this as it was easy to see from the vee-berth.
|The middle bolt was wet coming out....|
|Some of the rot left behind when the bowsprit was removed|
|The all thread on the left is stainless steel. It is the rod that goes through the Samson posts and the bowsprit. Looks like it is about half way gone in one spot!|
|The lower Samson post is the port side. See the rot just below the paint.|
|Miss Mae the wiener dog supervisor doing cabin check.|
|Doesn't look to bad....right...|
|Aft end of bowsprit where the through bolt goes.|
|SNAP...or really mush! This is where the middle board just broke while trying to take off the stainless cap on the other end. I'm not sure broke is the right word as it was really soft at the break.|
I'm thinking that stainless steel plates should go where the three through bolts go. This would help spread the load across all three pieces of wood. I might end up making the bowsprit all one piece of fir if I can get one.