Out with the old…
Bow Pulpit before and after
In with the… modified.  See the difference?

The bow pulpit on Sundowner had two major flaws.   The first major flaw was the cross bars welded from side to side in the middle of the pulpit.   Now I’ve long speculated on how this particular wizardry came to be because I’ve never seen another boat with a setup even remotely close to that of ours.

You see, cross bars were welded in place.  Then “ears” were welded onto them.  Then another set of ears was welded onto that.  Which in turn had three layers of plastic screwed onto it.  And FINALLY, the seeming purpose… There were lights bolted to the plastic.  It reminded me a lot of a rubber band ball.

Now I speculate that the lights were moved inboard on the pulpit to protect them.  I further speculate that the cross bars were welded in place to add some sort of structural support and possibly to prevent people from going out to the end of the pulpit.  Mission accomplished.

The problem with that?  Well first, I don’t see any need to add structural strength. The thing is engineered to support what it is engineered to support. I’m not parking a truck on it. Secondly, why prevent someone from getting out to the end of the pulpit? Its been a constant annoyance.

But the final straw is that the thing gets in the way of our sail bags. Or maybe its more accurate to say that the sail bags get in the way of it.
Bow Pulpit before and after
Now look at that nice open middle section of the pulpit. Free and clear to walk down. And of course, the plates for mounting the running lights have been moved forward and outboard on the pulpit to a position where they will be more visible and less obstructive. Possibly more exposed to taking a beating from waves, but so be it.
Welding the Bow Pulpit

The plates that were welded on were actually just small cut outs of the “ears” that were welded to the cross bars. These plates were cut off the tubes and then ground down to smooth everything out. You can hardly tell any surgery was done.
Bow Pulpit plates removed

The welder just cut around the plastic pieces. I’ll soon remove them and mount the lights directly onto the metal plates for a slightly more “normal” looking setup. Unless of course everyone just digs these weird plastic “ears” that stick out the sides of the boat. Maybe its mark of character or something.
Bow Pulpit light revision

Now you may be asking yourself what in the world the second major problem was with the pulpit. Well actually you probably forgot as I droned on about running light mounts, but no matter, I’ll remind you.  The lifeline hoops had corroded to the point of imminent failure. It was just a matter of time.  I had dreams of Dani crashing into the life lines and the weld giving way. As she is sucked off the deck and out to sea she screams, “I need new heeeeeeeeeeeels……” Its a really vivid nightmare. Hard to shake it. Something had to be done.

To correct this, 5/16″ SS rod was bent into shape and welded in place of the old hoops.
New Bow Pulpit hoops

Looks like it could hold up a tank now!

Thanks to Dani’s Dad, Mr. Skip, who hooked us up with a welder who could do a little moonlighting. Hiring a “marine pro” to do this job would have probably put me into indentured servitude or something. Can you tell I’m bitter about the “marine industry”? Also I don’t trust them. The guy we got to do the work is an industrial and certified welder who welds all the time. That’s the type of guy I want working on my stuff.

So we’ll keep Dani on the boat. Sailbags out of the way of the running lights. And Tate will sleep well at night.  Amen.