Building the Bowsprint Part 1

When I removed the bow sprint, I was surprised at the lack of rot initially. It actually looked like it was in great shape! I threw it in the back of the truck and brought it home. However once the disassembly started the situation started to get gloomier. Under the stay sail goose-neck attachment thing there was a load of rot. also under the windlass…also under the inner forestay chain plate.

In retrospect, the sprint is made of a teak soft wood sandwich and could have probably been repaired. But by the time I realized this i was already the proud owner of 4 planks of straight grain fur.

Enter Tom Burge. I’ve done a bunch of things in my life so far but fine woodworking is not one of them. I have neither the tools of the expertise to carry out the carving, planing and cutting that building a new sprint will require. Tom is the father of the guitar player in our band. They have been great supporters of the band and are all around fantastic, generous people.

Anyway Tom rebuilds grand pianos in his basement and agreed to help me with this project. I went to exotic wood and ordered 4 12X2X8 lengths of knot free fur. We then laminated them together with west system and clamped everything together.

Getting the old sprint apart was a challenge in itself the sprint platform is through bolted with 1/4″ rod at three places. Eventually we persuaded it to separate and were able to salvage the 1 1/2″ teak platforms for use on the new sprint.

Once the laminate had cured, we ran the entire thing through a planer/joiner and were left with something almost perfectly square and ready for carving. The first and most difficult thing to carve was the very front of the sprint where the cranze iron attaches. Getting a 6X6″ block to a 3″ round peg requires some time and careful thought. Eventually Tom worked his vodoo and had it looking great. The rest of the cuts to from the sprint employed the skill saw and a steady hand.


tayana bowsprint clamps on the bowsprint old bowsprint

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