Ask SAIL: Bashed-up Bow Pulpit

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

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

sailingabove-2

Swan Flyer: A Hot New One-design

In a racing scene that’s bristling with innovation, legacy builder Nautor’s Swan refuses to be left behind in its quest to dominate the champagne end of one-design sailing. Arriving hard on the heels of the radical Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50, the ClubSwan 36 offers a ...read more

Maiden sets out for Uruguay during the 1989-90 Whitbread race

Making Maiden and the 1989-90 Whitbread Race

As recently as the late 1980s, the idea of an all-female sailing team in the Whitbread Round the World Race (the predecessor to the Volvo Ocean Race) seemed laughable to many. How could women handle the competition? They weren’t strong enough. They wouldn’t be able to take the ...read more

01-LEAD-J99

Four Very Different New Boat Designs

Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boats award in 2018, the new J/99 represents a similar concept in a smaller package. Specifically, the new 32-footer’s deck layout and rig have been optimized for smaller and even doublehanded crews, with an eye toward meeting the ...read more

Dinghy Suggested CROP

Ask Sail: Dinghy Dilemma

DINGHY DILEMMA Q: We are in the throes of choosing a dinghy, and I would like to ask if you would recommend buying a RIB with a double-skinned hull rather than a single-skinned hull. Which provides better handling or stays drier? Also, aside from the heavier weight of a ...read more

Groupe Beneteau charging its boats in NEOLINE vessel

Transporting Sailboats Under Sail

Transporting sailboats under sail? That sounds like a cool concept, and it’s one that looks set to become reality in 2021 when shipping company Neoline brings its sailing cargo ships into service. Groupe Beneteau has committed to transporting boats between Europe and the United ...read more

01_vor120612_ross_0644

Sailing Master Ken Read

Images trigger memory. Preparing to interview the golden boy of American sailing, I thought I would find a picture that would show Ken Read at the peak of his sailing career, his heyday, to share and have a warm and fuzzy start to our conversation. It was a commanding image from ...read more

New-engine-being-lifted-over-stern

Know how: Replacing the Auxiliary Power System

One of the most complex tasks undertaken during Passion’s refit was the complete replacement of her auxiliary power system—engine, V-drive and fuel tanks. I needed more horsepower, which drove the need for more fuel capacity and a larger V-drive to handle the higher engine ...read more