Ask SAIL: Bashed-up Bow Pulpit

Author:
Updated:
Original:

BASHED-UP BOW PULPIT

Q: The bow pulpit on my old 34-footer has seen more than its share of abuse over the years, and now it’s bent and dented to the point where I’m afraid to simply bend it back into shape. A couple of the sockets where it attaches to the deck/bow also appear to be loose. I’m thinking of scrapping the entire thing and starting from scratch, but I’m concerned it will be very expensive. What are the costs for a new pulpit? How can I re-secure those sockets?

Neil Prynne, via

There are a number of options available if your bow pulpit is bent out of shape

There are a number of options available if your bow pulpit is bent out of shape

DON CASEY REPLIES

The cost for a new pulpit depends on its size and complexity, and to some extent on where in the country you are. You have several choices. You can take your existing pulpit to a local machine shop and price out having it reconditioned. Or you can take it to a local fabricator and price out getting one made brand-new. Because sailboat bows are mostly similar, if you are in an area with a lot of boatyards, some inquiries might find you a decent used pulpit. It sounds like you need to remount the sockets anyway, so moving them to any new locations required by the geometry of a different pulpit will not be much of an inconvenience. I have also occasionally seen bow pulpits on eBay and Craig’s List, typically priced for around $200. However, unless the seller is nearby, shipping can be an obstacle.

If you are the do-it-yourself type, making a rudimentary tubing bender is not difficult, and it would allow you to take a length of 1in stainless tubing and put in the needed three bends. Add some intermediate supports with T-fittings, and you will have a new pulpit for under $150. (Note: you need to slide on the T-fittings before making the bends.)

As for those sockets on deck, they must be through-bolted. That means the securing nuts are inside the boat somewhere, perhaps inside a cabinet or behind an interior liner. You will need to gain access, remove the sockets entirely, clean away all sealant from both the socket and the deck, and then reinstall them with backing plates, new fasteners and fresh bedding.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

June 2016

Related

grenadapromo_0

A Grand Grenada Charter

I have often sailed in the swath of more accessible West Indian islands that lie between Antigua and Puerto Rico. But I had never before cruised around any of the islands south of Antigua, so I jumped at the chance last April to step aboard a Lagoon 380 catamaran from Horizon ...read more

SunFast-600x

Video tour: Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300

Jeanneau America's Mike Coe takes SAIL aboard the brand new Sun Fast 3300 for an exclusive tour. This mid-sized stripped-down racing boat has a perfect balance of amenities and weight-saving simplicity to make it a blast to sail. Though it boasts sleeping space for up to six, ...read more

furlex2

Know-how: Installing an Electric Furler

Push-Button Reefing Boats have never been easier to sail, and yet, designers and builders still strive for that extra iota or two of convenience. A case in point is the growing acceptance of powered headsail furlers. Roller-furling headsails are ubiquitous not only on cruising ...read more

New-Lead

Know-how: Modify a Blackwater System

My dissatisfaction with the head and holding tank plumbing arrangement on our 1987 Sabre 38 had grown as we cruised the boat away from the comforts of a marina for longer periods of time. When we are tied up at a marina, the use of regular bathrooms generally trumps the ...read more

01-LEAD-Suzuki-55f19d31e297c

Choosing the Right Outboard

Two of the most indispensable items on board a cruising yacht are a dinghy and an outboard motor. At anchor or on a buoy, of course, they are your only means of getting ashore. They also have a thousand other uses. For example, they can allow you to motor across to friends’ ...read more

2019-giftGuide

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Sailing America Rizzoli International Publications has released this striking portrait of American sailing by nautical photography legend Onne van der Wal just in time for the holidays. Featuring 200 stunning photographs spanning the length and breadth of the sailing scene—from ...read more

01-Sailing-La-Vagabonde,-Outremer-48

Cruising: the Vagabonde Life

Once upon a time conquering your dream of sailing off into the sunset was enough, but these days it seems like you have to be popular on social media too. Balancing the stresses of sailing around the world while keeping a successful—not to mention financially lucrative—social ...read more

191114

Video: 11th Hour Racing Arrives in Brazil

Team 11th Hour Racing finished in fourth place this past week among the 29 IMOCA 60s competing in the 4,335-mile doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Aboard were American Charlie Enright and French sailor Pascal Bidégorry, ...read more