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Old 06-05-2017, 16:50   #1
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$$$ for new pulpit?

Last year I screwed up a mangled my pulpit. I need to replace it. In central Newfoundland. Having a devil of a time finding a local fabricator. So I got a quote from a Canadian shop (off island) to do the work. The price quote astounded me.


So I'm just wondering if any folks here have had cause to replace pulpit railing and if so what kind of cost was involved? I'm just trying to figure out if I'm that out of touch with reality.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:36   #2
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Try stainless outfitters in Barrie Ontario
Ask to speak to John
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:08   #3
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

I have seen a small one done well in Europe for just below US1000.00. Boat about 30ft.

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Old 07-05-2017, 09:25   #4
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

John or Andrew at Stainless in Barrie Ontario. Really good designs completed by them. They built the pushpit/arch/dingy davits on our Ontario32 in 2004. Knowhow and quality have a price. Transportation costs will also be an issue even though there is not a lot of weight involved, it will be the outside dimensions/volume that will bite. Its not square box freight
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:35   #5
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I have seen a small one done well in Europe for just below US1000.00. Boat about 30ft.

b.
That's more like what I was expecting, maybe up to $3,000. I was quoted closer to $6,000 exclusive of shipping and tax, and I was doing the install.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:44   #6
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Metal fabricators earn the big bucks. You won't find one under $100/hour. Welding stainless is not something that any joe blow muffler guy has experience with. You can DIY. Maybe even reuse some of the old pulpit especially the bases. That will save you a lot of time and $$$. Stainless can be welded with oxy-acetylene or stick. Both of those set ups can be rented by the day. You also need a way to bend the tubing.

A great way to lower your cost if you don't want to weld is to fabricate all the pieces and then just take them to a welder to finish. That would cut your cost from ~$2000 down to <$500.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:46   #7
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

a boat owner is very similar to a homeowner in the fact that doing work for them can be very difficult at times ( it's not the actual job but the people) price sometimes reflects this.

also lots of people don't get how expensive a metal shop can be to setup. as an example your average industrial welder is 5k-12000. a decent press brake is 40-60k
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:05   #8
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

A picture would be worth a thousand words..... We do a fair amount of fab work, and I would think that you should be able to find someone considerably cheaper than $6k, if the project is what I'm understanding it to be. A competent TIG welder and a tubing bender should make quick work of something like this. Profit is not a bad word, but that kind of sounds like attempted robbery. Take it to an inland fab shop and don't mention that it's for a boat/yacht.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:27   #9
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Thanks guys. I did a CAD drawing of what I wanted. I took all responsibility for final installation I would do myself. I've done some SS fabrication myself, not a lot, but stuff sticks together.

Material costs, my retail, generous allowance is $1,200 for 316, retail.

I'm gonna keep trying to figure this out.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:34   #10
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Last year I screwed up a mangled my pulpit. I need to replace it. In central Newfoundland. Having a devil of a time finding a local fabricator. So I got a quote from a Canadian shop (off island) to do the work. The price quote astounded me.


So I'm just wondering if any folks here have had cause to replace pulpit railing and if so what kind of cost was involved? I'm just trying to figure out if I'm that out of touch with reality.
I got mine used thru Craigslist for about US$150.

In NF that may be more difficult.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:05   #11
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Thanks guys. I did a CAD drawing of what I wanted. I took all responsibility for final installation I would do myself. I've done some SS fabrication myself, not a lot, but stuff sticks together.

Material costs, my retail, generous allowance is $1,200 for 316, retail.

I'm gonna keep trying to figure this out.
update the post with pictures if you can. I am always curious as to how much time the DIY fellas put into this.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:35   #12
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Thanks guys. I did a CAD drawing of what I wanted. I took all responsibility for final installation I would do myself. I've done some SS fabrication myself, not a lot, but stuff sticks together.

Material costs, my retail, generous allowance is $1,200 for 316, retail.

I'm gonna keep trying to figure this out.
I think in the cost of materials you're starting to see why it's so expensive. Because labor is way more than materials in a build like this. Cutting, bending, welding, and polishing, it adds up, particularly with a relatively complicated item like a pulpit which needs to be symmetrical but has virtually no right angles. A fair amount of time is spent just jigging, fitting and clamping pieces. The polishing, which is usually the expensive part of ss work, is pretty negligible in a project like this, thankfully. Depending on complexity from start to finish I think this is probably a 3 day job give or take.

I know amazing ss guys who are $80/hour, but I agree that $100/hr is probably your baseline, at least on the east coast. I'm sure that there are some cheaper out there but would not know where to look. You don't need anything more than a journeyman for this..it's not complicated, it's just time consuming.

So 24 hours of labor at $80/hr with materials is putting you over the $3k mark as a baseline.
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Old 07-05-2017, 13:10   #13
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

Post a few pics of the mangled one, including a tape measure or something for scale in each pic. It may be fixable, if not in the long term, in the interim. At least until you get the boat somewhere that welding such things is common.

The other option is to draw, to scale, a footprint of your foredeck. And then start looking at other pulpit designs which might work. And or, seeing what pulpit from another vessel would fit. Since used boat gear places, & boatyards have loads of them.

Also, nothing says that the pulpit has to be all one piece, nor a complex 3-dimensional item. As on a lot of racing boats there's a linear tubing rail on each side of the bow. Which amounts to a 3-sided trapezoid on either side of the boat, with deck leg reinforcements/braces. Some with connecting pieces up front, others not. And the connecting pieces on some are detachable, or connected with lugs so that the central bars/tubes can be detached & reattached at will. Or you can use stainless rigging wire, or Spectra to connect the two sides together, out in front of the forestay.

Look for examples of custom lugs for connecting tubing anyplace that builds old school custom bicycle frames using high end tubing. They've been built that way since before welding was common, & in fact still are brazed on in order to build bike frames. It's an iddea source anway. And brazed, lugged joints are stronger than is the tubing.

You can also use gussets at any critical joints, in lieu of, or in addition to, seamless welded joints. They're a lot stronger & simpler to do. Or even metal "biscut joints" to align the pieces of tubing while it's being welded. Which will also add strength to the joints.
See examples via custom, artisan/botique blacksmith shops, & metal artists. Any & all of them do these kinds of things, in a whole variety of metals.

So there are a LOT of much, much cheaper options out there. Peruse www.jboats.com for some ideas, as well as www.yachtworld.com for more views of bow pulpits on racers. And there are plenty of other online sources of images. Which, assuming that you don't find a used pulpit that you can adapt to your boat, or a set of "parallel" bars as described above, then you'll have plenty of image ideas to work with, to generate a simpler, & more functional, pulpit.

Also, if there's anyone local who can bend tubing, then having a bar made for each side of the bow is pretty much the way to go. Then you only need to add a cross brace or three in a couple of locations. Which can be done sans welding, by using lugs, & clamp on connections. Or again, rigging wire, spectra, or even stainless chain.

Think outside of the box


PS: You can probably even find a nautical, stainless custom fab guy who has an online album of various projects from which you can draw ideas. And I'm guessing that lots of the spar manufacturers & resellers also have similar catalogs online.

Also, in a pinch, you can use square tubing. And plenty of custom, & or racing boats have the legs of the pulpits attached to the hull sides. With custom welded on feet. Or slotted into off the shelf brackets that bolt onto the hull sides. KISS

Would you be comfortable with a custom carbon fiber pulpit? Some racing boats have them, & plenty of bike frames are made from the stuff. So it'd be easy to find sources for tubing & lugs. Or a bicycle builder who'd take on the job.
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Old 07-05-2017, 18:45   #14
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Re: $$$ for new pulpit?

I never liked the old pulpit railing. While most fails go around the bow you alder the occasional one where the bow is not enclosed, the side rails turn down. That means the rails can catch in a piling rather than fend off. In my case, my bad, I "caught" a big steel bouy. And there were other features I didn't like including how it was welded and how the lights were mounted. So there is not much point in posting the pics, I'm not going to duplicate it.

After mulling this over I'm contemplating building it myself. Several years ago I bought some 1" 0.12 316 on eBay because it was dirt cheap. 40' I think, not quite enough but a good start. I've got a cheaply Bender and a mug welder at my dirt place, even though that's rented out. So I'm thinking I can do the bends when I pass through Philly and cart the bits up to The Rock in my truck on the way up. I'll assemble it there and make the finish welds. I can use a bit of 3/4" stock to splice the joints and be a weld backer.

It won't be as shucks pretty but it will be more functional than the old 3/4" steel rail. And I don't ever intend to sell the boat so that all works out. I didn't want yet another project, I've already got to rip off and replace the porch on our cabin. So this will end up costing me a week or two of time.

But I can do the job for under $500 US. At worse I will have to buy a welder and drill press up there and that will be about $2,000 but then I'll have a welder at my cabin shop. Not a bad thing.

So anyway, that's my current thinking. May change. Other than time I'm not seeing a big downside.

Thanks for all the input, helps me clear my head out. Funny, at first I forgot about my Bender and existing tubing. Must be getting old or something.
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