Disposing of Bow Pulpit ? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2006
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Disposing of Bow Pulpit ?

Sorry, this might be a studid question, but has anyone out there just removed an old damaged bow pulpit and just left the deck bare ? I have a 25ft C&C and basically do not see much need for the pulpit, gets in the way of the genoa, and it would cost a bit to reinstall...the old pulpit was bent, and the deck attachments cracked and letting water below, rotting the reinforcement underneath...
Thanks in advance! D
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Old 09-29-2006
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The pulpit acts as the anchor for the lifelines... do you intend to do away with those as well? Sailing a boat without lifelines can be more comfortable, and in some cases the low-level "lifelines" can be more like trip lines.
However with youngsters or beginners the lifelines can represent safety and a deterrant to slipping over the side.
Simply attaching the lifelines to the deck forward from the forwardmost stanchion would not be strong enough to actually catch and stop a person falling into them.

Aesthetically, a boat may look a bit strange with no bow pulpit but still with a stern rail....

You will be able to seal your leaks in the deck more easily, but there's more involved than just the pulpit!
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Old 09-29-2006
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If you do not want lifelines then you do not need the pulpit.

It also helps if it is a daylight hours boat only (or you have an alternate mount for the running lights).

I am sure that some boats were built so lightly that the pulpit actually provides structural strength to the hull...but I do not think you have one of those.


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Appreciate the feedback...I agree the aesthetics might not be great...the lifelines would be attached to the side rails, which on the C&Cs are pretty stout...
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Old 09-29-2006
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Yes the toerail is solid on these boats, and the wire will not fail anyway.

IMO It's the stanchions that would likely fail if the lifelines lead simply to the toerail without the lateral support from the pulpit.
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Old 09-30-2006
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When we bought our new (to us) boat, the bow pulpit was pretty much off kilter too. The yard suggested that they knew a welder who'd be happy to come by with his mobile workshop to help us out for a couple of hundred dollars. A week later, and our pulpit was straight, we didn't have to worry about where our lifelines were led, and the lines of our boat were't screwed up by a nutty-looking forward end. We also didn't have to be so concerned about falling overboard. Well worth it. It's now been about 10 years since we had the pulpit fixed. Wish some of my other investments had paid off as well as this one has. You don't want to skimp on safety, even if you don't get out to that end of the boat that often.
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Old 09-30-2006
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One thing you've seemed to overlook is that the bow pulpit also goes a long way to helping keep a headsail on the boat, when you're putting one on or taking one off...which you have to do, even if you have roller furling headsails, at least once in a while.

Even if you don't care about the lifelines, or the safety factor... when you're working on hoisting a headsail or changing headsails, not having a pulpit makes the task much more dangerous for the person at the bow.

Also, not having a bow pulpit, makes it very likely that you won't be able to sell the boat at a later date.
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Many thanks for the advise !

Many thanks for the advise y'all...I appreciate you taking the time to share your views...D
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Old 10-01-2006
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Caulking Bow pulpit??

I have a 1981 Hunter 27' and the bow pulpit is cracked and worn through. I was thinking of just removing it, checking the structural integrety of the boat underneth it and filling in the cracks and holes with LifeCaulk and putting it back on. Is this foolish to do? How much support does the bow pulpit really give the headstay, lifelines etc...

And here is a basic question...pardon my newbieness...If I undo the headstay from the bow pulpit, is the mast going to have enough support to stay firmly in place for a couple of weeks?

Some friendly advice would be appreciated.

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The bow pulpit is the stainless steel "railing" at the bow of your boat. The photo is of the stem head fitting, in this case it looks like a cover plate.
If, as I suspect, your mast is deck-stepped (ie - it doesn't extend into the cabin, resting on the keel) then it will fall over if you disconnect your forestay.
You need to get some qualified advice before you go further!
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