\ˈrī-nō-ˌplas-tē\ noun: Plastic surgery performed on the nose, usually for cosmetic purposes
Ramble On got a nose job this week. The doctor say she’s stable and should make a full recovery. Though not entirely for cosmetic purposes, we still think she looks pretty good after the procedure.
I’ve read of other people replacing their bowsprits before, but for some reason no one ever goes into detail on how they support the mast during the process. I was pretty nervous about removing the forestay for the week it was going to take to do the work, and was praying for little to no wind. You see, I still had to remove the last bit of teak deck that was hiding under the sprit, fill in all the screw holes, glass over the joint where we replaced the core material on the foredeck, fair everything smooth, and get at least one coat of primer under the sprit before hanging it. Whew, that’s a tall order. So to keep the mast up during this lengthy process I ran a couple halyards to the mooring cleats on the foredeck. We actually only have one halyard exiting forward of the masthead, so I climbed the stick and tied a spare line to the headstay tang. Truckers hitches at the cleats put the stretchy dacron line under enough tension that I was feeling a little more comfortable with removing the headstay.
With the new Sampson posts installed and the sprit temporarily sitting in place it was time to check the alignment of the bow pulpit. We hoisted that into place with the staysail halyard and made sure everything was straight before permanently mounting the bowsprit. Next came the tricky job of drilling through the sprit and installing the stainless ferrules. They protect the wood from wearing on the bolts as the rig moves, and eventually causing the whole thing to rot again.
The fork fittings on the old whisker stays were too narrow to fit over the tangs on the new kranze iron. Also, one of them was bent where the previous owner had presumably smacked it with the anchor, and both wires looked pretty rusty at the swages anyway. I built two new stays using 5/16″ 1X19 wire, and Hi-Mod toggles and studs. The mechanical fittings are far from cheap at nearly $100/ea., but they’re completely reusable and very DIY friendly for the wannabe rigger such as myself.
I still need to build a new teak platform to fit the pulpit and relocate the anchor rollers to lead fair to the newly relocated sprit-mounted windlass, but that’s yet another project for another day. The bowsprit has been taking up room in my shop since March, and I’m just glad to finally have it installed on the boat.