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I am planning to make a bowsprit for an 18ft cutter which is about 8' 6" in length, 3" dia. at the butt, and 2.25" at the tip. I have several nice lengths of Doug Fir but I can't get a 3" square section out of any of it, so I am considering gluing 3 x 3"x1" pieces together. If do laminate it I am also uncertain about which way to mount it..laminations vertical or horizontal? How about birdsmouth construction, is it worth the effort, and is it appropriate for a bowsprit? I would be grateful for any advice forumites have to offer. My DF is all imported Pacific coast and is rift sawn.
01-23-2011, 12:59 PM
Since a properly stayed bowsprit will only experience load in compression, I'd mount laminations horizontal just to keep the glue lines off of the "drip line". And personally, I'd pass on the birdsmouth construction unless you're fitting it on a race boat. The pound or two you'd save wouldn't be worth the effort/time to me.
01-23-2011, 01:00 PM
Doesn't make any difference in spite of what some may think. Small differences will be lost in the variation of individual planks of wood. Also not worth the effort to make a hollow spar unless the weight difference adversely affects the balance of the boat.
Thanks for the advice guys, I appreciate it.
01-23-2011, 06:11 PM
The bowsprit on my dory skiff is about the same dimensions, just a lot shorter. Oversize and I take some ribbing about it, but since I'd broken the previous one I overbuilt.
I just epoxied two clear DF 2x4's together and planed to shape, leaving the joint in the vertical plane since I have a bolt passing through that direction anyway. But your plan to lam up 3 boards is probably much better.
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