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Old 12-04-2019, 15:25   #31
rbk
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

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Originally Posted by sailandbail View Post
This is really encouraging. I know it's a big project to undertake but I now see how absolutely necessary it is. A lot is depending and relying on the strength of the sprit, which to a completely naive (idiotic) novice like me, I've been conveniently ignoring. I'll tackle this project and count myself very lucky, because I've taken her out sailing in pretty heavy winds dozens of times in the last couple months. Makes me nervous now just thinking about the risk I was taking.

I'm a woodworker by trade and have some great tools and some really beautiful old growth VG fir beams that I think will work beautifully. Until I posted this I hadn't realized fir would be an option because it is softer and couldn't be more pleased that I can put those beams I've been saving to use. I think that I've got a beam or two that are large enough to construct the new sprit out of one piece which would be great, otherwise I'm assuming I can epoxy two of them together?

If anyone is local in the Washington area, I would be happy to share some of my clear, vertical grain fir beams if you have a boat project in mind. I traded my labor a couple years ago for a large stack of good looking old growth fir fresh from a sawmill 50+ years ago that has never been used.

Let the measuring begin... I will make the new bowsprit before I remove the existing. Really hoping that this project doesn't eat up too much time as this weather is changing and it's a beautiful time of year to be out on the water!!

Thank you so much, everyone, for all of the advice.

Evan
Sea Bird
I would avoid using a single large piece. They are subject to twisting, checking and cracking. A laminated beam is much more stable, more so if you cross drill and epoxy dowel through the cross section. Followed by epoxy and paint as mentioned above. Port Townsend foundry can make you up a new cranze/kranse etc or check out classic marine uk for about half the price, or just have a local welder fab one up, but consider cast bronze for many reasons. Also a good time to replace all your fangs as they are prob original and due.
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Old 12-04-2019, 15:51   #32
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

Just so, Greg :-)! Now, shall we tell people WHY it needs to be conical ;-)?

And rbk is right about a laminated spar being better than a solid one. Attention needs to be given to the orientation of the annular rings as you prepare the individual "stocks", i.e. to the manner in which the stocks are cut from the bole, "quarter sawn" being better than "flat sawn" for this purpose.

TP
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Old 12-04-2019, 15:59   #33
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

When my replacement bowsprit was made in Ireland we had a single piece of CVG Doug Fir that would have served, but it would have been subject to any unseen flaws. It was sawn horizontally for the full length then one piece was reoriented before laminating. Epoxy is not the preferred glue for spars as heat can soften it (think tropical sailing). Resorcinol glues have a long history of success in spar-building. Whichever glue you use be certain to follow the instructions to the letter.

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Old 12-04-2019, 16:59   #34
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

I agree that Resorcinol would be the preferred glue and certainly that is what would be used in a shop. Resorcinol, however, requires much more clamping pressure and a much more careful set-up than does epoxy which means that epoxy is easier to use in an open boatyard. But of course your sprit is so small that you could do make a new one in your basement or garage :-)

I take the point that epoxy softens with heat, but never having lived in the tropics I have no experience with that. Here in the Salish Sea I don't think temperature would ever be a problem :-)!

Just out of interest, is your sprit held to the stem-head by a metal gammoning or is it bolted through the deck?

TP

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Old 12-04-2019, 17:33   #35
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

IIRC my sprit is about 8' overall; short but long enough to get the job done

As to attachment I am a belt & suspenders type. The original bowsprit was bolted in place with a single 1/2" bolt through the teak kingplank, underdeck Bruynzheel Sapele plywood and a 1" cedar beam, and two 3/8" bolts through the gammon iron. During construction I added a large bow cleat with four 3/8" bronze bolts through the lot and a backing plate. When replacing it I did away with the 1/2" bolt and instead counted on the bow cleat and gammon. I also replaced the rather industrial-looking SS gammon with a bronze casting I had Pt. Townsend Foundry make from my pattern, and did some glass and wood work to stop a leak at the gammon. Since I had converted to bronze external chain plates the last thing to do is change the backstay chainplate to bronze. I love bronze...

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Old 13-04-2019, 15:44   #36
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

Duct Tape! It even comes in white now, so no need to paint!

(Sorry couldn't resist channeling father in law. It was his solution to everything.)
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Old 19-04-2019, 09:24   #37
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

I ran into the same problem with the bowsprit on my Hans Christian 34 last year. Rot in my bowsprit looked very much like that in yours. I immediately opted to replace it. Mine was not teak, but looked like old growth fir. I went to various lumber specialty shops and was quoted over $700 for the lumber needed to do the job. I then went to a boat yard that has old wooden masts and was given a nice box-built mast that was made of beautiful old growth fir. I cut two 10 foot sections out of it and opened one side of one section which left an open topped box. I cut the other section into planks and fitted them into the open topped box. After all was epoxied together and with the top back on, I cut the resulting timber down to the dimensions and shape of my bowsprit. The entire job only took two weeks, working between rain storms, and I can't tell it from the old one. My total cost was a little time, a little epoxy and a little varnish (actually Cetol). I did not repaint the new bowsprit, but left it varnished. You need to do what others have said and replace the bowsprit before it breaks at the wrong time.
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Old 19-04-2019, 09:51   #38
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

Bravo, 1246 :-)!

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Old 19-04-2019, 12:53   #39
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Re: Hoping I can repair my bowsprit! Yikes!

I would agree that it would be risky to sail with that compromised sprit. Some have suggested reinforcement by glue & screw, but it appears the rot is too close to the bow for that to work. A boat builder/sailor friend just rebuilt the sprit on his Downeast 38. The mast was support by a halyard or 2 during repairs. He laminated several pieces of Sapele (if i recall correctly). He did a fine job of it. Might be able to help you out as he is near Kingston. Let me know if you want to ask him.
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