Here's a simple A-frame bowsprit made
for "Ballerina" from inexpensive materials. It's light,
cheap, simple, strong, preserves anchor compartment door function
and there's nothing to trip over on the fore deck. A dolphin-striker
wire forms about the 30-degree angle with the sprit, as recommended
for boom vang to boom. Cinching the tack line to the bow rail
keeps the striker tight when the Aspin's not up.
(2) 1" x 1"
x 4' square aluminum tubes
(1) 1/4" x 1" x 4' aluminum bar
(1) 1/8 x 1" x 4' aluminum bar
(2) 5/16" x 2" stainless steel bolts and Nylok
(2) 5/16" x 1 1/2" stainless steel bolts and Nylok
(8) 5/16" stainless steel flat washers
(1) 1/4" x 3 1/2" stainless steel bolt and Nylok
(4) 1/4" stainless steel flat washers
(1) 1/8" 1 x 19 stainless steel wire, about 48"
(2) 1/8" stainless steel thimbles
(2) 1/8" swage sleeves
(1) 1/4" pin Harken (#138) stamped "D" shackle
(West Marine, $15)
(2) tubular spacers 5/8" long, cut from 3/8" OD
x 9/32" ID stainless steel tube
- Ace Marine Epoxy
- Goop Marine Adhesive (Ace Hardware, $50)
- US Spars old-style boom gooseneck pin, left over from
The square tubes were used full-length.
With a table saw, I ripped some of the aluminum bar stock to 7/8",
the inside dimension of the aluminum tubing. I epoxyed short pieces
into the ends of the tubes for mounting tangs and spacers. First,
I heated and bent the tangs to an angle that would mate w/ the
toe rail where I had drilled one 11/32" diameter hole on
each side midway between two large, stock holes.
The tangs and spacers form a sandwich inside the
tube ends to keep the thru-bolts from crushing the tubes. Bedding
them in marine epoxy filled the joints and sealed the tubes. The
aft tangs extend 5" into the tubing, 5" out (outer sections
were not ripped). The forward inboard spacer extends in 5".
The sprit's blunt forward end seemed inelegant at first, but mimics
the F-235's plumb bow.
After snug-bolting on the A-frame, I supported
it, running the tack line to the bow rail, then measured the exact
length for the dolphin-striker wire. My local West Marine provides
a workbench, swage press and wire cutters at no charge. After
fabricating the dolphin-striker wire, I pressed two tubular spacers
into its thimbles in a vice. The 1/4" x 4" bolt goes
through one, flanked by washers, at the sprit's forward end. A
tack block shackles to it. The other captive tubular spacer keeps
the "D" shackle from cocking at the tow eye.
An ATN Spinnaker Sleeve (www.atninc.com)
snuffer is invaluable in strong winds and sailing solo.
Ballarina's A-Frame Bowsprit
Mod as seen from starboard and directly above
Click on each photo for full 1000px resolution