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ranger22owner 07-02-2014 10:55 PM

Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
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Earlier today I made the huge mistake of hitting the pillar of my dock at the marina. Yes, it was an operator error, yes it was very windy, and I take full responsibility over what I did and will definitely take this as a huge lesson learned :(.

However, I have a question on how to go about the repairs. My pulpit is toast for it has bent back. The tip of the bow that the base of the middle fork of the pulpit was ripped off because of the sheer force. Thankfully no screws were ripped out of the deck. The place where the fiberglass broke off was on the outer part of the boat so there are no holes/leaks exposed to the cabin.

I would really prefer to do the repairs myself. Any suggestions on how to go about doing them? I have a friend who has done fiberglass repairs before on a hull. Also, an estimated cost would be great to. Please do not criticize for I know my mistake and am definitely embarrassed enough, just any repair advice would be extremely helpful.

deniseO30 07-03-2014 12:34 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
the pulpit can be fixed by a welder with stainless welding experence. or you could try to bend it back with it OFF the boat.

You can "glue" the broken piece back in place with epoxy. fill with marine tex.

Glass can be fixed with "kitty hair" or putty you mix up. matching the color of the gelcoat is always difficult most people don't try and use Marine Tex. You could "maybe find alum or stainless tubing with an inside dia of the rail that is damaged, cut it into half round channels. have the welder make up a plate.... and add an anchor roller...

Zarathu 07-03-2014 12:46 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
I'm real handy, but I'm not sure that is a job you want to do yourself. That's not a bandaid, the whole front piece that hold your bow pulpit is simply ripped off. If you lost one of your fingers, you'd go to a surgeon to put it back on, you wouldn't try superglue.

IMO, your problem is that you need a triangle piece of 1/2 inch stainless steel to connect to your decking to connect the bow pulpit to. I doubt whether you can make that strong enough yourself when the whole front piece of the sail boat was ripped off with just an epoxy re-attachment.

I'd sand it down, epoxy seal it, and put in a new bow piece made of SS custom cut for the attachement to the pulpit, and six inches on both sides down the rail. And you need a whole new bow pulpit from the factory. You can't fix that one, its bent in three places.

OTHERWISE find a pro to help you.

justified 07-03-2014 01:03 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
First off sorry for your bad day.....just remember we all have had days like that even if we don't admit it. I would agree with what Denise said and might add that you may want to look closely at the forestay connection and make sure there was no damage there. The ss you will need help with, the glass part is easy.

SchwarckT 07-03-2014 02:04 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
That would be an easy repair with polyester resin/mat/cloth. I repaired something similar where the stem plate along with a piece of the deck was torn off a boat that I had purchased. Hiding the repair with gel coat or paint would be the hardest part.

ranger22owner 07-03-2014 03:09 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
Thank-you for all of the suggestions/responses.

The connection of the fore stay was one of the first things I looked at to see if there was damage. Thankfully there was not. It is literally just the tip of the bow.

I was thinking of doing what denise said and put it back on with marine tex. Please correct me if I am wrong but if I do it that way, it won't be nearly as strong as it would be with Zarathu's suggestion of a steel 1/2 plate but it will still be strong enough to drill in an entire new pulpit.

Also, I can try to bend back the aluminum but I feel like that would make the pulpit much weaker. I have been looking for new pulpits but I cannot find one from the factory. Do you happen to know where I can find a 1978 ranger 22 pulpit or are are there any other's I can use. I would like to avoid going to another fab shop to save on cost. The pulpits I found for 22-24 foot sailboats (similar to my old pulpit) were 200 dollars.

CalebD 07-03-2014 04:28 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
We replaced the pulpit on our 27' boat with one supposedly made for our boat. The footprint of the pulpit was different than our old pulpit! We also paid way more than $200 for our new pulpit ($750 - yikes!).

So I'd suggest you buy a new pulpit from a similar sized boat for $200. I'd want to get one with a different footprint anyway - I am not fond of the way your 3 legged pulpit has the one leg at the extreme bow of the boat. A pulpit with 4 legs (2 on either side) will set back the pulpit legs from the extreme bow making it less likely to be the first thing to meet a dock the next time around.

Get some epoxy or polyester resin to use for repairing the bow & filling the old pulpit foot holes. It will come in handy for future projects and repairs.

mike dryver 07-03-2014 04:30 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
Take the p[ulpit to a good metal fab shop, they should be able to straighten out the dmgd center strut enough to get a measurement for repair/replacement piece. They should also be able to heat the upper angle bends and bring them back to shape. As far as the glass repair What Denise said, or just reconstruct a new top section in place with glass and resin, and have a plate vmade to fit the shape of the bow with an attachment point for the bow rail that can be through bolted over a wider area!

ccriders 07-03-2014 05:49 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
Learning to work fiberglass, what fun. Denise has the answer, though I would be tempted to fashion a new four leg pulpit. Is there a welding teaching program where you live? I'd bet that if you did the cutting and filling they would welcome the welding opportunity.
Let us know how it turns out.
And don't feel bad about the incident. Surely you have seen how many bent pulpits there are in any good size marina. Some people just bend them back to almost original shape and say good enough.

TQA 07-03-2014 09:53 PM

Re: Fiberglass Bow Tip Repair
The glass work is easy. Color matching not so as others have said. Either pay your local gel coat color matching specialist to do it OR take the damaged bit to the local Napa store and pick up the closest rattle can. I went the latter route once and even though it was a patch on the side of the hull you could not find it after a week or two.

I don't think the pulpit is worth repairing but ask your local stainless guy. Adapting a used one might work.

Getting a new one made to fit will be expensive.

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