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Old 14-12-2014, 16:16   #1
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Bow protector

Hello,

I intend to make a custom bow protector for my Beneteau Oceanis 40. I refer to a folded piece made from a flat sheet of stainless steel that goes from the area under the bow roller to near the water line. The protector is to prevent the gelcoat damage when rising the anchor (Delta 20KG).

I used a cardboard to get a mould to take to a stainless steel workshop. I ended up with a trapeze of about 90cm height and bases of 35cm (top) and 30cm (bottom). However, despite the straight lines of the bow of my boat, I feel that it will be very difficult to make a perfect fit between the folded plate and the bow. I wonder if anyone has this type of protector and I would like to know how it was done (thickness, fixing with glue or screws ...)

Thanks in advance, Vladis
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Old 14-12-2014, 17:05   #2
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Re: Bow protector

Worthwhile Plating the Bow?
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Old 18-12-2014, 17:22   #3
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Re: Bow protector

Have you thought about a solution that you can drop in place only when you need it? So something that fits the bow contour with a couple of lines from the bottom corners that tie on the stanchions (to hold it in place at the waterline) while you're raising anchor. Then take it off and stow it when not needed.

Make it go just below waterline and you can use it if there are large branches, logs, pumice, whatever floating in a cruising area.

New hull designs with finer cutwater profiles would benefit from this as well. I'm using this approaach on our new cat.
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:24   #4
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Re: Bow protector

Hello,

Thank you for the feedback. I shall say that my only concern is to avoid the gelcoat damage when rising the anchor, it hits the hull. Every winter I have to repair a number a small cuts an dents. Taking into account that the stainless steel job was not easy (see the folding in the cardboard of the 1st picture), I turned my attention to bow fenders. The best that I found were these:

Compass Marine | Stem Fenders

However, I do not like the idea of having 4 lines to hold the fender. I would like a permanent installation. So, earlier today, I visited a local rubber shop, and I purchased a sheet of white rubber (shown in the second picture) with a thickness of 4mm. It has 120cm by 60cm and weights 4KG. I plan to cut it to the right size and glue it with some kind of sikaflex and the help of some screws. However, this job was postponed until April when the boat is hauled out for the anti-fouling.

Best Regards, Vladis
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:37   #5
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Re: Bow protector

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladis View Post
Hello,

Thank you for the feedback. I shall say that my only concern is to avoid the gelcoat damage when rising the anchor, it hits the hull. Every winter I have to repair a number a small cuts an dents. Taking into account that the stainless steel job was not easy (see the folding in the cardboard of the 1st picture), I turned my attention to bow fenders. The best that I found were these:

Compass Marine | Stem Fenders

However, I do like the idea of having 4 lines to hold the fender. I would like a permanent installation. So, earlier today, I visited a local rubber shop, and I purchased a sheet of white rubber (shown in the second picture) with a thickness of 4mm. It has 120cm by 60cm and weights 4KG. I plan to cut it to the right size and glue it with some kind of sikaflex and the help of some screws. However, this job was postponed until April when the boat is hauled out for the anti-fouling.

Best Regards, Luis
Vladis, this is exactly what I did for our nearly plumb bow. I don't have a picture handy, but I used just a few small screws to hold it in place whilst the Sikaflex 291 set up. Left the screws there in case of glue bond failure. It has been there for about five years now and is a bit beaten about but it cleans up with an acetone scrub and one does not notice the dents and scrapes in a casual inspection. I reckon it is a good solution.

BTW, before this I made a fairly thin s/s guard like you were planning. It worked ok as a protector, but became quite dented and kinda ugly. I guess if you made it thick enough it would be ok, but then fitting it to the shape of the bow would be difficult. I think the rubber is better, and quieter when banged by the anchor!

Jim
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:40   #6
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Re: Bow protector

Most of the ones which I've seen have been affixed with screws, or a line of small diameter bolts. Mostly running vertically on the trailing edge.

As to getting a perfect fit, a couple of options come to mind:
- Some neoprene, cut to fit, & glued into place.
- Tape off the bow with some clear plastic packing tape, & or Visquine.
Lay a couple of layers of cloth over this, & then some high strength bog. Like a mix of epoxy & milled fibers.
Have a good coat of epoxy already applied to & sanded into the guard, & then bolt in into place. Removing the excess bog as it gels.
Remove the guard, trim off the excess glass, peel the packing tape off of the bow, & reinstall it with sealant on the fasteners, for a perfect fit.

Epoxy mixed with milled, & or chopped fiber (as in fiberglass fibers) is used to bed keels, & other very highly loaded items (the longer the fibers, & the more of them in the mix, the stronger it is). So it'd provide a seriously solid backer to such a plate I'd imagine.

You could also take a casting of your bow, & make a heavy duty mockup of the bow from it. And then us it as a mandrel onto which to hammer to a perfect fit, some medium weight stainless steel plating. And attach it as denoted above.

I've also seen a few done with/in. Multiple strips of stout wood (a more work boat'ish look), or some in UHMW Polyethylene. The latter is pretty darn durable stuff, assuming that you can get a good thickness, which will conform to your bow. That, or do it in vertical strips, akin to the wood above, or even in a "Clinker Built" style. - NOTE: With this stuff, don't use a heat gun, you'll destroy a lot of it's physical properties.

Kydex might be an option too, however, I'm uncertain as to it's long term UV resistance. But it to is pretty dang durable, given that they make Military knife sheaths out of it. - NOTE: With Kydex, use caution if/when using a heat gun, as if you get it north of about 190 degrees Fahrenheit, it starts to give off acidic gasses (Hydrochloric if memory serves). Not huge volumes of the stuff, but... Read the MSDS on it!
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:53   #7
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Re: Bow protector

"and the help of some screws."
No, no, no. Screws will make holes in the hull. And if the anchor hits those screws, it will crack the hull around them.
Work on finding the best possible glue, and think about vacuum-bagging the rubber to the hull to hold it in place while the adhesive sets up, if you need to.


Screws are just asking for trouble.


3M's VHB tape might be a good way to go instead of using adhesives. No holes, no curing time, extreme grip.
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Old 18-12-2014, 22:17   #8
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Re: Bow protector

Such a shame I'm not on the boat to take some pics , but I've solved my anchor problem (we all have that) with a kind of protective diy blanket or bowsheet.
Inside a few layers of -I'm not sure what material it is - the stuff they use to transport solarpanels to prevent them from getting damaged. I have a bunch of that sheet lying here , so I've built it up to about 1"1/2 and than wrapped and stitched a polyester cover around it. holes in the 4 corners and canvas-eyelets to reinforce.
4 elastic ropes to fix it on the toe rail and I can even sail with it , which is normally not the intention , but I sometimes forget to take it away.
I can roll it up and store it in the gennaker bag attached to the railing.
It does the job and you keep your bow like .....a bow.

If you insist on using a s/s plate , make sure to add sikaflex 191i in between .
Also on the edge of the plate because after awhile the ss plate -even 316 - will rust when seawater gets in between the plate and the bow . The permanent rust-stripes will make you wish you've never put that plate on in the first place .
Also use thin bolts and nuts to secure the plate to the bow unless the shape is so perfect you can glue it on with sikaflex and it will never come off.
But making the shape exactly like the bow will be a mission impossible I guess , so bolts/nuts will be your ally.

Good luck

EDIT:
how will the ss protection be looking like after some years of use you think ?
Indeed , dented and scarred .
All I need to do is make a new cover , and by the looks of it that wont be for several years to come.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:44   #9
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Re: Bow protector

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how will the ss protection be looking like after some years of use you think ?
Indeed , dented and scarred .
This is after 26 years...



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