I know you all think I abandoned this blog and gave ownership over it to Dani.  Now this wouldn’t really be a bad thing since she has been churning out some pretty cool articles on cushions and fabric and other stuff like that.  But, I think its time to return to Tate’s Dog and Pony show.  So now, I submit to my readers a very dry and picture laden post to document the process of resinstalling the sprit.  I apologize that I haven’t included any of my usual antics (read: smartassed remarks).

Where in the world have I been?   Well between delays due to Dani’s injury and then a minor SNAFU with the bowsprit, I’ve sort of been in hibernation.  A couple of weeks ago I went to the boat sanded off all that thickened epoxy we put down.
Sanding Bowsprit
And then progress came to a grinding horrible halt.  Alan came and helped me bring the sprit to the boat and we were going to try to put it on but then tragedy struck when I realized that the SS pad welded to the bottom of the sprit was too short, or alternatively, the stemfitting was too tall.  That left me with three options.  I could…

  1. Add more to the pad
  2. Lower the stemfitting (redrill holes)
  3. Shorten the stemfitting (remake the chainplate)

It seemed to me that the obvious answer was just to add something to build up the pad for the sprit.  But what to put under there?  This part of the boat needs to handle some very high loads.  I only needed to raise it another quarter of an inch or so.  I selected FR4 G10 Material.  This is fiberglass impregnated epoxy that you often see used in circuit boards. However, the piece I bought is 1/4″ thick.  I cut it into three strips.
Cutting G10 F4 board

Here you can see I have a piece laying where the new sprit will sit.
Placing G10 F4 board

The first steps in the install were to connect the forward stay to support the end of the sprit while I tinkered around.  Here I am measuring to see if I want to raise the mounting pad by 1/4″ or 1/2″.  I decided to only add 1/4″.
Arranging G10 F4 board

Next I lined the G10 directly up under the SS pad and marked the holes.
Measuring G10 F4 board

This stuff was pretty tough to drill through.  You’d be amazed at this material.  It has a crush strength in excess of 60k PSI.  I had to use a punch just to get a little divet to start the bit running.  I’m drilling 1/2″ holes for the bolts.
Drilling G10 F4 board for bowsprit

Testing the holes.
Putting bolts in the board for bowsprit

Next I put the board back under the sprit and lined everything up exactly as I wanted it and marked the corners of the board with a marker.  We put the sprit aside and I put the board back down aligned to my squared marks on the deck.  Then I drilled through the predrilled holes and through the deck.
Drilling bowsprit deck bolts

Finally, I used the board to drill a duplicate set of holes in another one of the pieces of G10 to use as a backing plate.
Drilling two boards for bowsprit

I then sanded both sides of the G10 and put caulk around each of the holes on both sides of the board.
Caulking board for bowsprit
Caulking top of the board for bowsprit

FINALLY, I put the sprit into place and put the bolts into their new homes!   Caulk above and below each washer.

Caulking bowsprit bolts

I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever get to see this sight.
Bowsprit all caulked and in place

On the underside.  The backing plate in place giving good load distribution.
Backing plate for the bowsprit

Sundowner with her nose again!
Bowsprit installed