Refinishing the Bowsprit

We move about the world at an irregular pace.  Occasionally we sail fast and appear to be on track to girdle the entire globe in a year.  Other times we seem stagnant, as if we have arrived to our destination and our journey is over.  Of course neither is true for long.  No matter how fast we sail, we will slow down sooner than later.  Dawn Treader, Debbie, and I can only pretend so long before we reveal our true slow natures.  But when we seem most stuck, we are actually purposefully moving to rest ourselves, prepare our boat, and wait for a season to arrive. 

Time for us here in Uruguay, on the surface, looks to have stopped.  But a closer examination reveals two sailing souls getting ready for what voyage might lie ahead.  We tackle jobs one at a time with our minds bent to faraway lands, all the while enjoying the slow and tranquilo Uruguayan life.

Last week we had the time to refinish Dawn Treader’s 55 year old Bowsprit.  We removed all the old varnish and painted the wood with 2 part marine paint.  This paint is far more durable than varnish and will save us much labor in the future.  We took the opportunity to fortify the sprit by gluing a strip of plywood over an area where the wood was beginning to separate at the grain and laminate.

It feels great to have completed this job as we were not certain of the condition of the wood before we uncovered it completely.  Now, when the time comes, we can sail confidently knowing the bowsprit is sound.  Just a little more resting, preparing, and waiting, just a little more and we’ll be off.

6 thoughts on “Refinishing the Bowsprit”

  1. Oh man!!!! Sorry… but I am sad to see that beautiful Bowsprit go away! Why not stabilize it from underneath and keep the beauty of the wood? Truly curious as to why you painted it? Seems like the chipping will start real soon?


  2. I re-varnished my cabin length hand rails during my refurbishment of my ‘good old boat’, all the time asking myself “why I am doing this….to look nice for a few dockside admirers?”
    They are a big bottom pain now as I prep to paint my cabin top.
    When due for a re-varnish I’m going to paint them out. No doubt to the “tsk tsk” of the ‘Bristol Fashion’ crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is what basically happened to us. I re-varnished all the brightwork, which took an enormous amount of time with the idea I would maintain as I go. Varnishing on the go hasn’t worked out so we will be painting everything when we are able to make time. There is so much to do on a working cruising boat, varnishing is difficult to justify.


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