interesting discussion...i made a bowsprit recently...i used a timber called "cardinal wood"...apparently it comes from columbia
...it is extremely heavy, strong, but surprisingly flexible...and full of oil
...so no varnishing...it has weathered a little now and it looks great.
re balancing your sails...it is all about getting the center of effort about 20% forward of the center of lateral resistance...so your boat's designer
will have made those calculations so adding sail forward is likely to thro off the balance, espcially going to windward. my guess is that too much sail and you will end up with lee helm when heading up. however, on a broad reach or a run it should work perfectly. who wants to beat to windward anyway?!
i added a bowsprit because they look great on the right boat, and yours looks perfect for one. add a little netting on the sides and you've got a great platform to sit on while you slice through those crystal clear waters...oh the dream!