Now that the bowsprit is on, it looked about time to get the tired old bobstay replaced.  Tired?  You may be wondering what makes it so tired.  Perhaps it is the cracks showing through the turnbuckle forks, or maybe its the rust stains seeping out of the Sta-lok fitting.  I don’t know, but it just seemed time to replace it.

Old Dolphin Striker connections

The first thing we did today was set up the dink so I could get down there and work at the water line.  I pulled the lower clevis pin and then took the front of the bobstay off.
Old Dolphin Striker being removed

The turnbuckle body looked like it was in pretty good shape.  It is chromed bronze, so I elected to only change the forks.   You can see the new ones are pretty substantial compared to the old ones.
New vs old Dolphin Striker fittings

After disconnecting the turnbuckle and removing the sta-lok fittings we laid out the old bobstay along with some new 3/8″ rigging on the dock to measure out and mark where I would cut the new wire.
measuring and marking for the new Dolphin Striker

I used an angle grinder with a cutting wheel to make the cut.  At first I didn’t think this was going to work well because the grinder can flatten out the “heads” of the wires but after a bit of practice I got really good at making clean cuts.
Cutting new wire

I used a flat head screw driver to unlay the outer wires from the core.  I pulled them out and untwisted them two at a time.
The start of the new wire unraveled

Then I put the sta-lok cone onto the core and twisted everything back around the cone.   I have sort of a nagging fear that I left too much wire past the end of the cone though.
Dolphin Striker with Staloc cone

Here I tested to see if I had room to start the threads on the fitting before getting serious about putting it together.  As you can see, Dani is showing the “former” in the foreground.  Its a little cap that goes in the fittings that squeezes the wires around the tail of the cone.
Wire cap

After making sure everything would fit, I’d push the cap fitting towards the end of the wire and try to arrange the wires at equal distances without slipping anything into the cone slot.  Finally I’d oil the threads, squirt caulk into the female end of the fitting and then put it together.
Caulking Cap
Tighting Dolphin Striker cap
Finished cap

The only thing left to do was to hook everything back up and then tighten.
Installing new Dolphin Stiker

Sundowner with her bobstay(s).
Dolphin Striker complete

As you can see we have two bobstays.  The second one I didn’t fuss with since it is just a back up in case the primary fails.  It did get some modest attention though as I went through it with new cotter pins.  It was missing a couple at the turnbuckle.  I still need to add the split rings to the turnbuckles once I’ve tuned the rig and also to mouse the hole on the d-shackle that replaced a standard clevis pin.

All in all it was a satisfying day of work.  Though I always worry about rigging.  I wonder if I left too much of the core through the cones and I wonder if the wires were evenly spaced enough or if they accidently slipped into the cone slot.  I think for the next pieces I may tighten them down and then disassemble them again before putting sealant into the fittings and doing a final tighten.