I have a 33 foot boat that I'm adding a bowsprit to. I'm not asking whether or not I should add one. I've made up my mind and it's mostly completed already. My question is more about securing the shrouds, particularly the whisker stays. I searched locally for a while and couldn't find a reasonably priced bronze cranse iron, gammon iron... whatever term you want to use. Port Townsend wants $550 for one. So I'm making chainplates of 1/4"x1 1/2" bronze flat stock, which I have plenty of for various projects. It's actually bronze sail track from a large wooden mast. I've mostly made the chainplate for the forestay and bobstay. I just have to bend it to the proper angle. The chainplate I would need to make for the whisker stays is a bit more complex and heavy. My sprit design includes a platform, which the single chainplate for the whisker stay would have to wrap around, so it ends up being rather long with lots of angles. Instead, I'm wondering whether or not it would be strong enough to use two large diamond pad eyes, possibly with backing plates. The pad eyes take (4) quarter inch bolts. With bolts going through two pad eyes, a backing plate on each side, and through my 3 1/2" wide douglas fir bowsprit, I'm curious if that would hold if I were hard on the wind. The jib I'm using is 11'4"x30'6", with a moderately high cut. The math makes it 167 sq ft, but that doesn't account for the foot not being perpendicular to the luff, which seems is the standard for measuring sail area.
So I'm just looking for a general consensus from those of you who have cruised with a bowsprit... is a large backed pad eye with four quarter inch bolts through 3 1/2" of douglas fir strong enough? Will the holes I drill in the fir create a weak point to worry about, even with equal tension on the whisker stays?