Monday, July 16, 2012

Bowsprit Removal

Bowsprit Removal
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.

Here is the chain locker bulk head. All this was rot. But it does not go beyond what you see. So I might be able to replace just the rotten part or just patch over it. I'll have to look at it closer to see what is the best way to repair it. I might end up replacing the whole bulk head. We'll see.
An overall view
Port side Samson post opening in the deck. The core is mushy so I will dig it out and replace it with epoxy. The starboard side is still solid. But I will at least coat it with epoxy.
Doesn't look to bad....right...
 I brought the bowsprit home and started to disassemble it. I noticed that it was made with 3 pieces of mahogany. I took the pulpit off and then the teak platform. The bolts for the platform were all in good shape and came out without too much trouble. The stay sail eye bolt had been broken off  with nothing sticking through the bottom of the bowsprit. I removed the eye bolt and found it to be galvanized and not stainless. The anchor roller came off with out any grief. But the stainless fitting at the end of the bowsprit does not want to come off. I was hitting it with a rubber hammer trying to get it to move when all of the sudden the middle piece of wood at the aft end fell off. It broke where the middle bronze bolt was wet. The wood was wet and musty smelling. This thing could have broke in half if I tried to sail it. Good thing I didn't!
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.