Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bowsprit and forward handrails

In regard to handling the anchor and related gear I've always thought a bowsprit or pulpit would be a safety item for all who have to work on the bow. I wanted my anchor to be far enough away from the hull so that the anchor might not bang into the hull as it is deployed or retrieved. I also wanted the bowsprit to be stout enough to handle all forces put upon it by a rough anchorage. I'm thinking I probably went a little overboard in constructing the pulpit, but since I'm new at this boat building thing I'm giving myself a little bit of leeway.

I figured that the pulpit would be an area of the boat that will see it's fair share of abuse and for this reason I constructed the pulpit out of stainless steel. Most of the items I build out of stainless steel are going to get painted, but I want the stainless underneath the paint for the lower maintenance it will provide. I made the pulpit using 1.5" sch. 40 stainless pipe, and sheathed it in 3/16 stainless plate. All the stainless is of the "L" variety ( low carbon), and all of the stainless came used from the scrap yard costing about 30 cents on the dollar. I love going to the scrap yard and I'm always amazed at what gets thrown away. I added a front door that bolts on to the pulpit so that I would be able to paint and maintain the inside of the frame, and also for some storage. On the port side of the pulpit I added a recess for a wash down hose and a line for compressed air. Compressed air in my opinion is such a handy tool, I want it at both ends of the boat.

I'm planning on using a Maxwell hydraulic windlass with chain rode to starboard, and rope rode to port. I looked through the marine catalogs and for what anchor roller assemblies cost and how light duty they appeared to be I decided to build my own. Once again I probably went a little overboard but I've seen boats with the anchor rollers twisted off of them, and I have a strong opinion that one should not compromise on ground tackle and it's related infrastructure. I constructed the anchor rollers out of 1/2" stainless steel. To give the roller frames a more finished look I wrapped the roller frame with a piece of 3/4" stainless round stock. This round stock will make the paint stick better, it gives a much more fair edge, and is much more friendly on ones hands and feet. I turned the chain roller in my lathe out of a piece of 6" stainless round bar I found at the scrap yard. I turned the roller in such a way that my 3/8" anchor chain will lay down flat in the roller with a groove for the chain to ride in. I'm hoping that this design will prevent the chain from twisting as it comes home. The spindle is 3/4" round stock and I used two sealed bearings pressed in to the roller to prevent wear on the shaft and my roller. The shaft is pinned to the roller frame through a 3/4" boss's I turned in the lathe and welded to the frame. I made the rope roller frame the same way as the chain roller frame except that I purchased the roller wheel from a marine supplier.

I built the forward handrails out of 1.5" stainless sch. 40 and the uprights are 1" stainless sch. 40. I installed the 1" uprights at the same angle as the reverse rake of my wheelhouse windows. I ended up making a full size plywood template of the curve of the boat and used that template on the shop floor to bend the pipe. To cut the uprights I first used a chop saw to cut the miter where the uprights weld to the bulwark cap, then I clamped the pieces in my mill vise at the correct angle then used a hole saw to cope the joint where the upright welds to the rail. All the uprights are welded directly above a frame on the bulwark, and are extremely stout with absolutely no wiggle in them at all. I'd guess one could tow the boat with these rails if one wanted to. I'm going to polish the rails and leave them shiny vs painting them. The height of the rail off of the deck is 42" and all who grab a hold of the rail comment on the good height and how secure one feels by being behind the rail. With the addition of the swim platform and the bowsprit, the overall length of the boat is a hair under 49'. She's still 44 as far as the harbor bill is concerned ( that's my story at least)


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