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Old 01-23-2015, 10:19 AM   #1
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MT36 - Bow Pulpit Replacement.

Hi All -

My bow pulpit looks looks like the dog has been chewing on the front of it -its some kind of fiberglass-wrapped plywood, coming apart - quite a mess to look at. I've had our 30-year-old boat for 5 years and the pulpit has gradually degraded.

I went to my local marine wood supply house and the owner advises me against Ipe wood saying it leeches toxins. I could easily go teak or another kind of water-resistant wood. I would likely have the wood-supply shop or similar craftsman build the product, while I would install and finish on the boat. Installation would be four carriage bolts and 8 screws for the railing deck - this part I am comfortable with.

Wood recommendations?
Advice?
War stories?

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. B. Was unfamiliar wit Ipe wood so I looked it up. This information says it contains no harmful chemicals but recommends dust masks etc. Ipe Lumber- ipe wood's properties, toxicity, hardness etc.
Would you consider replacing with the same as what is already there? It lasted almost 30 years the first time and encapsulation in epoxy rather than what it was built with originally (I suspect polyester) might just give you a lasting repair.
That being said, teak DOES look good.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
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I did some research and found that it is the ipe dust that can be toxic. It contains silica and proper protection is required(dust mask, shower after working with it, etc).
It is used around the water everywhere and one of it's traits is that it doesn't leech anything into the water.
At least that's what I found.
EDIT: I see Mr RTF can outdraw me!
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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I rebuilt mine last year and used teak . I epoxied pcs together to get the width I needed . I had use acetone on the teak before laminating pcs together because of the natural oil in teak. I think Ipe would work and you would probably have to use acetone before gluing also . Ipe is heavier that teak but it's pretty tough .
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:36 AM   #5
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i may replace mine next summer and I am looking at prebuilt fiberglass units. Not quite as period correct but maintenance free.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I did some research and found that it is the ipe dust that can be toxic. It contains silica and proper protection is required(dust mask, shower after working with it, etc).
It is used around the water everywhere and one of it's traits is that it doesn't leech anything into the water.
At least that's what I found.
EDIT: I see Mr RTF can outdraw me!
Thank you! I mis-quoted my wood supplier. You are right. Some of what you describe is common protection for alot of boat work. So for me, if I have the right tools and protection, I could finish up the wood.

Another comment indicated for me to patch up the pulpit- definitely a possibility. Some fiberglass, resin, etc would clean up the exposed forward end. I think I would like a nice wood pulpit, but depends on priority to other projects. I have fiberglass that has rubbed through to show exposed wood lamination. Not horrific, but looks pretty ugly.

This is five years ago. Look where the anchor meets the pulpit. It's worse now. I had other projects and it's not clearly visible always, so I didn't focus on it, but now I want to fix it.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. B. Whoa! That's just a pimple. I thought from your description that it was a LOT worse. Get onto the frayed spots and those rusty fastenings with a SS wire wheel, clean all the loose goop and flaking paint off really well (as in down to bare wood/FG). Fill any voids (can't be any big ones as far as I can see) with a good quality marine filler put on a few coats of good paint and caulk any cracks. Done!
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:54 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. B. Whoa! That's just a pimple. I thought from your description that it was a LOT worse. Get onto the frayed spots and those rusty fastenings with a SS wire wheel, clean all the loose goop and flaking paint off really well (as in down to bare wood/FG). Fill any voids (can't be any big ones as far as I can see) with a good quality marine filler put on a few coats of good paint and caulk any cracks. Done!
That's what I would do if the rest of the pulpit isn't soft .
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. B. Whoa! That's just a pimple. I thought from your description that it was a LOT worse. Get onto the frayed spots and those rusty fastenings with a SS wire wheel, clean all the loose goop and flaking paint off really well (as in down to bare wood/FG). Fill any voids (can't be any big ones as far as I can see) with a good quality marine filler put on a few coats of good paint and caulk any cracks. Done!
It's a 5 year old shot, worse now. The end is more exposed, and a bit frayed. But still, maybe salvageable. Still would look best with wood...
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