First 235 Four-Leg Bow Pulpit
The Roller Furler Solution - By Art Kara

Thanks to Denis Granier for posting photos of his four-post bow pulpit, which allows for a deck based roller furler. Here¹s how Ballerina¹s pulpit was converted from three support posts to four.

First, using a sliding bevel gauge, I determined the slope of the aft section of bow-rail (wanting the new posts parallel). After disconnecting the pulpit-mounted bow light and lifelines, I peeled back the under-deck overhead carpet, removed the three pulpit nuts, and then lifted the pulpit off.


•  7/8" diameter polished stainless steel tube (West Marine, 6 ft. @ $40 - $32 on sale)
•  2 - 5/16" x 2" stainless steel bolts and nuts
•  4 - 5/16" stainless steel fender washers (1.5" OD)
•  Buffing wheel & compound for stainless steel (Ace Hardware, $14.18)
•  3M 5200 marine sealant

Skipping one rivet forward of the pulpit¹s aft-bolt holes, I drilled out the second-next rivet forward in each side rail. I laid a scrap piece of 1/2" plywood on deck across the side rails, covering all four holes. With a pencil I scribed along the side rails on the underside of the plywood. Using a jig saw I cut the plywood along these lines and also cut a hole for the bow cleat.

Wedging the plywood into place on deck, I went below and marked it through the four holes. Next, I turned the plywood over and drilled 11/32" holes through at the four marks. Then I bolted the aft ends of the pulpit to the plywood.

Using a metal cut-off blade on a chop saw set to the angle of the bevel gauge, I cut two 2' lengths of 7/8" diameter stainless steel tube. Separately, I put a fender washer on each of the two 5/16" x 2" bolts and TIG-welded the bolt heads to the washers. Then I butt-welded these washer/bolts to one angle-cut end of each new support tube< heads inside, threads out. I ground and polished these welds, and then temporarily bolted the tubes in the plywood¹s forward two holes.

After determining the final length and top angle for the support tubes, I removed them for cutting, and then re-bolted them in and welded their top ends to the bow-rail. Finally, I cut off the old forward support post and, with the assembly still bolted to the plywood, ground and polished the old and new welds.

I used a vacuum cleaner to suck a string through the bow-rail for pulling the bow light¹s wire. A tiny piece of rag tied to the string¹s end helped speed it on its way from entry hole to exit. I had considered moving the bow light off the pulpit to below deck level on the bow, but there it seemed vulnerable to an overrun anchor line.

At the boat, I removed the plywood from the completed pulpit, applied sealant around the four bolts and pressed it in place. I used the last two new fender washers below-deck on the two new posts¹ bolts.

Lastly, I sealed-up the old forward post¹s hole in the deck. A Fortress anchor easily passes through the pulpit between the roller furler and the new starboard pulpit post.

Ballarina's new four-post bow pulpit from above

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