Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

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Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby PondSailor » Sun May 14, 2023 12:00 pm

So I finally found a Daysailer 2 in good condition last week and went down to NH to pick it up yesterday. Hooray!

But during load onto the trailer, I managed to break the bow eye. I read a few other posts about installing new U-bolt bow eyes, but I wanted to double check to see if that was still recommended in this case. For reference this is Daysailer II, Sail #4857, so 1971 or 1972 vintage if I read the chart correctly.

I was also considering getting a 4x6 steel plate, bending it in the middle to conform to the bow angle then tapping holes into the corners to make a bracket that I could bolt and epoxy onto the bow to make a stronger fitting. (6 bolts through the hull to secure the bow eye and bracket, instead of just two, basically) Would that be overkill?

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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby GreenLake » Sun May 14, 2023 4:51 pm

Your pictures show a standard single-bolt bow eye. They are typically made from chrome-plated brass.

I had one like that break on my boat the very first time I launched her by myself (the maiden voyage had been accompanied by an experienced skipper). The break occurred on retrieval, and as a newbie I was at a loss what to do. Running a line to the foredeck cleat, or alternatively, around the mast, would allow you to dock or retrieve your boat.

I simply replaced like for like, and have had no further problems since then. So I believe you may be overthinking this.

I would avoid putting excessive sideways load on the bow eye: when docking temporarily at the launch lead the line as far forward as is practical and make sure there's slack in the dock lines, so there are no sudden increase in tension when stepping on or off the boat. When docking for longer stretches or where the boat is subject to waves or wake action, belay the dock lines to the foredeck cleat. You might use the painter as a spring line going forward, but not for holding the boat against the dock. As shown in this post.

Now, if you were keeping your boat unattended on a mooring and had your heart set on using the bow eye for that, a stronger bow eye might be indicated, however, it's not clear why you wouldn't use the foredeck cleat, instead. Unless your bow isn't equipped with the proper fairlead.
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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby PondSailor » Sun May 14, 2023 6:25 pm

Thanks for the tips!

I'd read a couple other threads where people had U-bolt bow eyes and wondered if something like that would be more appropriate. I doubt I'll be spending much time at mooring, and like you noted I'd be more inclined to use the foredeck cleat.

Anyhow, I'll see if I can find a single bolt bow eye to replace this with. Mostly I was worried that there might be hull damage that would preclude a simple swap-out. I won't have time to really get after it until later this week but I figured if someone else here might have seen something like this before and save me from reinventing the wheel to fix it.
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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby GreenLake » Mon May 15, 2023 4:25 am

The hull at the bow is pretty indestructible. That would be the least of my worries. You might like to use an epoxy paste like Marine Tex or 3M High Strength Repair filler to partially fill the hole and re-drill it to get a cleaner and tighter hole, but I think even that isn't necessary (and your pictures show little that would be indicative of a concern. I assume you "broke" the threaded rod part, and didn't, like, pull the whole thing out.

If it is the latter, you would want to use a bit of a backing plate, or very large washer under the nut to prevent that from happening again (and perhaps make that hole a bit tighter).

Replacement parts should be available. My preferred supplier lists them as "in stock". There are some differences in price and materials, but Sea Dog and Buck Algonquin are the two brands that I see.
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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby bilbo » Tue May 16, 2023 9:52 pm

My single bolt bow eye broke in a windstorm incident. It was loose to be fun with and due for replacement, that just hastened things. I toyed with the U-bolt idea, but eventually decided to just use a like-kind replacement and be done with it. I figured it held up for nearly 50 years so it’s probably good enough, and wouldn’t require any modifications. I got mine at WestMarine, but it looks to be ZAMAC not brass/bronze. Bronze would be a better choice for salt water. If I notice any issues I’ll track down or make a bronze one. Also, I added a large fender washer when I installed it to help spread the load inside the hull. Good luck!
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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 17, 2023 3:25 am

Duck Algonquin makes the bronze kind.
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Re: Bow Eye Repair/Replacement

Postby bilbo » Wed May 17, 2023 7:09 am

Thanks, good to know. I'm going to order one and put it in my parts tote. I don't expect my zinc one to last long in the salt and brackish water here.
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