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
• 7/8" diameter polished stainless steel
tube (West Marine, 6 ft. @ $40 - $32 on sale)
• 2 - 5/16" x 2" stainless steel bolts
• 4 - 5/16" stainless steel fender washers
• 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
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
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
Ballarina's new four-post
bow pulpit from above