I'm not a wooden boat builder
but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!
That said, I am assuming you mean the fitting at the end of the bow sprit and not the gammon iron--being the fitting that wraps the sprit at the prow. The traditional way to install/remove a cranse (or "cranze" for some in the UK) iron is by heating
it, in some cases (if it is in fact Iron or Bronze) nearly red hot, at which point it will expand enough that you can remove it. Doing that while it's on the sprit can be something of a problem but if you wrap the timber with glass fibre insulation
and then a number of layers of aluminum
foil, you should be able to train the flame from a tourch on the metal and get it pretty hot without damaging the timber. The wood is, itself, a good insulator so other than a little discoloration under the band, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Once it is hot however, you'll need to be ready to move quickly with tongs and a mallet to knock it loose.
If the foregoing is too "scary", you can also cut through one side of the band with a drummel cut-off wheel
, expand it a little to get in off the sprit, and then take it to a machine shop and have them do a full penetration weld to rejoin the edges. You'll still have to do the heating
trick to re-install it, but that's not so difficult.
The repair of the Sprit is pretty straight forward. Dispite popular misconception, a bow-sprit is a compression member
, and is rarely subjected to much bending. Accordingly, you can grind out the damaged area and make a "fish" of teak
or oak to fill the resulting hole. Thoroughly "glue" that in place with epoxy
and, if you have any doubt about the snugness of its fit, add a couple of 1/4" lag screws driven through pre-drilled pilot holes and then cut off flush with the surface as drift pins. Sand the whole business smooth and finish with epoxy
. Then re-heat your cranse iron, slip it in place, and wrap it with a rag soaked in cold water
to shrink it in place and you're good to go. In future, be sure your varnish-work is maintained on the Sprit, particularly in the vicinity of the edges of the cranse iron.