GB Stem Thickness

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Mac G

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Joined
Apr 27, 2022
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188
Does anyone know the thinkness of the GB stem (fore/aft) well above the waterline?
Am considering drilling and thru-bolting a well caulked eye-bolt into the chain locker to accept the bitter-end of anchor rode.
Outside of bolt would exit stem, well above waterline, and be backed with fender washer or backing plate and locknut - all 3/4" stainless.
Had a similar setup on a sailboat once to accept backing plate for inner forestay.
Figured the stem is one of the strongest parts of the boat and a good place to secure a bitter end if it ever came to being necessary to accept a substantial load.
All the woodwork and bulkhead structure inside just seem too flimsy to me.
Anyone ever drilled a hole competely fore/aft thru their GB stem at chainlocker level?
If so, how thick is it?
Will find out myself soon enough but looking to see if anyone has ever done this.
Please advise.
Thanks
 
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BTW - I intend to caulk and epoxy the crap out of it so water intrusion and movement will be a non-issue.
 
Following
 
I don’t think you will have a problem with a 3/4” eye bolt in the stem. I bet it is solid glass, 1-1/2-2” thick there.

David
 
I understand a reason to secure the end of your anchor tackle, but why the need to lift the boat by it?

I could see the eye bolt on the outside for lower rode connection or a towing point with minimal chafe....but doesn't securing the chain/rode from runaway only need to stop from losing the bitter end from departing the boat?

It wouldn't take that amount of securing by a long shot and isn't the anchor tackle usually secured for even storm conditions above deck? Why have the strongest part below deck where chafe/sawing would cause an issue?

Sorry about not just answering your question, but I am curious as to why you are planning this project.
 
An eyebolt exists in your chain locker already. Also, it’s probably best to tie a rope line to the bolt inside the locker and extend it to the deck. Then splice it to the chain. That way you could cut the rope in case you have to move under emergency conditions.
 
I want the very bitter end secured in case the windlass breaks, snubbers part, the deckhand screws up or max scope needs to be released and no one pays attention to how much is actually left.
Current set-up is just a tie-off to a large object that cannot physically fit out the deck hawser but that seems bush-league and would just induce upward strain on and in wrong direction on the deck in a manner it was not designed to accommodate.
Am a heavy-duty overkill guy who tries to plan ahead and think of all the possible things that could go wrong so I can address them and put them out of my mind.
Loosing entire anchor rode overboard is something I never want to have to worry about no matter who is running the foredeck.
Currently the GB (at least mine) provides no padeye or proper fitting for this down below unlike other boats i have seen.
And that surprised me for an otherwise well thought out and well made vessel.
I have no problem drilling holes in my boat if the end result is to improve the situation.
Also learned long ago to never assume the prior owner knew what they were doing.
Need to look at everything with fresh eyes and anticipate and plan for problems so they don't happen.
Thanks for asking
 
An eyebolt exists in your chain locker already. Also, it’s probably best to tie a rope line to the bolt inside the locker and extend it to the deck. Then splice it to the chain. That way you could cut the rope in case you have to move under emergency conditions.

Unfortunately my vessel is lacking that eyebolt you mentioned.
Yes i will tie line to my new setup so it can be cut in emergency.
Am going to splice in a special lanyard for this.
Thank you
 
I think you are seeing a problem that is bigger than what other's do.

You boat, your decision but you are the first in my career of boating that sees it this way.
 
Unfortunately my vessel is lacking that eyebolt you mentioned.
Yes i will tie line to my new setup so it can be cut in emergency.
Am going to splice in a special lanyard for this.

I have a similar arrangement, and added a short length of line as you propose. No further concerns for me.

There are lots of snubber arrangements to relieve the windlass or chain end attachment of undue stress.
 
I think you are seeing a problem that is bigger than what other's do.

You boat, your decision but you are the first in my career of boating that sees it this way.

Currently have nothing below strong enough to accomodate bitter end.
Just flimsy plywood interior trim, etc. Not going to rely on inadequate attachment point so will add my own.

You are an accident investigator, right?
Please see the attached.

Am someone who learns from the mistakes of others (in addition to my own) and never skimp on safety. Used to be in commercial tramp-shipping so picked up info from those big boys that I apply on my own smaller scale now.

And the fact that no one else ever does it this way is a compliment to me as I am an out-of-box thinker always looking for ways to improve on what other humans think they know. So thank you!
 

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OK, I give up...if you equate those accidents to our scale, I see I am not getting through.

Based on my posts, most will agree I too am a out of the box thinker, but veering too far from the norm doesn't always make it right either.

Large vessel anchoring and our boats can't be scaled down...they have a different practice altogether.
 
I wouldn't anchor it to something flimsy, but the large object to jam against the deck method should work fine. The deck already holds the loads from the windlass, and on many setups, cleats as well. So with the rode being led forward off the windlass (or through a hole in the deck if the windlass was somehow broken away) the loading should be fairly horizontal to the deck, not the strong upward pull you're imagining. So I doubt the deck would end up being too weak to handle it.
 
I wouldn't anchor it to something flimsy, but the large object to jam against the deck method should work fine. The deck already holds the loads from the windlass, and on many setups, cleats as well. So with the rode being led forward off the windlass (or through a hole in the deck if the windlass was somehow broken away) the loading should be fairly horizontal to the deck, not the strong upward pull you're imagining. So I doubt the deck would end up being too weak to handle it.

That is an excellent observation.
The mounting bolt through is on the underside where a padeye can be added.
 
If all your deck hardware, the deck, and windlass fails.... really?

I might look into those weaknesses as if I have to hang my trawler from a reinforced stem, those are conditions that I hope to never be in or at least aboard for.
 
I wouldn't anchor it to something flimsy, but the large object to jam against the deck method should work fine. The deck already holds the loads from the windlass, and on many setups, cleats as well. So with the rode being led forward off the windlass (or through a hole in the deck if the windlass was somehow broken away) the loading should be fairly horizontal to the deck, not the strong upward pull you're imagining. So I doubt the deck would end up being too weak to handle it.

I once had a wave lift the anchor out of its bow fitting and the chain jump off the Gypsey and then run away. With 300 feet of chain, it took quite a while for much of the chain to leave and as I had slowed the boat, I had time to figure out how to stop the running away, then wind it back in.
That is not the point though, but it gave me real evidence of just how fast (slow) that runaway of the anchor and chain occurs. If allowed to run all the way out, likely taking 3 to 5 times the time it takes you to react and correct the runaway, it is running out at a rate that equals the speed your anchor and chain fall through the water. That is not something that accelerates. Once 100 feet, or even 50 feet is out, it has reached its maximum speed. Then if it reaches the end and you have the bitter end of the rode fastened to a 2x4 so that it can't all leave, it won't extert enough force on the bottom of the hole in the deck to do any damage.

My boat is a 1980 C&L 44, looks like Marine Trader as it is probably from their hull and deck molds, so likely construction is no more robust, MacG, than your GB 42. My deck at the chain hole is 3/4 ply, glass, then teak cover. Likely that is the same as yours.
 
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Do you have a line attached to the end of you chain to allow cutting with a knife if you ever need to drop the chain and anchor overboard? That line would attach to the eye bolt or pad eye in your chain locker.

After the anchor is hoisted in to position on the pulpit with the winch I use a second line which has a hook that hooks into the anchor, the line then belay to a cleat which secures the anchor independent of anchor winch chain.
 
Yes. The end is line that can be cut.
Problem is there is no padeye or fitting presently.
Rather than relying on loose object to prevent line from exiting deck fitting would prefer dedicated fixed tie-off point visible inside chain locker.
Existing woodwork below in that area is furniture quality not structural.
Could spend a lot of time and effort modifying and beefing up bulkhead area to accept the installation of a padeye
Or alternatively could drill one single 3/4 hole.
And mount one single 3/4 inch eye bolt.'
Very simple.
Very strong.
Minimal effort.
Maximum result.
Problem solved.
On to next project....

Thank you
 
I’d think it could potentially be even thicker than that. Just visualizing the stem as it sits proud of the hull sides, and adding the thickness of the hull and the blending of the glass on the interior makes me think it could be 3 inches or so. If it were me, I’d drill a 1/4 or 3/8 pilot hole first, then open it up to 3/4 for the bolt. Either use an eye bolt and acorn nut to finish, or a button head or carriage bolt and eye nut.
Is there any way to include a rubber snubber to lessen the shock of coming up hard on the bitter end?
 
Your boat your call, but what about attaching w/ an eye nut to one (or more) of your windlass or cleat bolts? To keep your anchor & chain from falling into the sea you’ll need to hold MAYBE 1000 lbs, which is not a big load on a small line or SS fitting.

The bolts I mention are already there, and presumably looked at from time to time. A big ss nut from nowhere ‘may’ look silly on the stem of your boat.
 
Yes.
Thought of that and see those bolts.
But don't like the sharp angle the line would then have to take to exit up around and out the deck fitting.
Prefer nice fair lead as straight as possible.
Also prefer it to be easily visible at eye level rather than up under deck out of sight.
But thank you for the suggestion.
Not concerned about minor aesthetics here.
Will make it look nice.
Thank you
 
I once had a wave lift the anchor out of its bow fitting and the chain jump off the Gypsey and then run away. With 300 feet of chain, it took quite a while for much of the chain to leave and as I had slowed the boat, I had time to figure out how to stop the running away, then wind it back in.

You can’t just leave us hanging. How did you stop the runaway chain?
 
Your boat your call, but what about attaching w/ an eye nut to one (or more) of your windlass or cleat bolts? To keep your anchor & chain from falling into the sea you’ll need to hold MAYBE 1000 lbs, which is not a big load on a small line or SS fitting.

The bolts I mention are already there, and presumably looked at from time to time. A big ss nut from nowhere ‘may’ look silly on the stem of your boat.

The end of a long bolt in sheer is not its intended direction of pull.
Think how easy it is to snap off the end of a protruding bolt with vice grips.
 
You can’t just leave us hanging. How did you stop the runaway chain?

Well...it wasn't actually moving fast. Once the boat's fwd motion was stopped, the falling anchor and chain were pulling chain out of its locker at a rate that was slow enough that I could grab and hang on without any drama.
I have a line that runs to the head of the anchor that I had neglected to use on that occasion. I am more diligent about using that since that event.
 
We have a friend that had a grounding incident in their 42 that required work on the stem at the waterline. It was almost 10" of solid glass at that point. Get a long bit!
 
Does anyone know the thinkness of the GB stem (fore/aft) well above the waterline?
Am considering drilling and thru-bolting a well caulked eye-bolt into the chain locker to accept the bitter-end of anchor rode.
Outside of bolt would exit stem, well above waterline, and be backed with fender washer or backing plate and locknut - all 3/4" stainless.
Had a similar setup on a sailboat once to accept backing plate for inner forestay.
Figured the stem is one of the strongest parts of the boat and a good place to secure a bitter end if it ever came to being necessary to accept a substantial load.
All the woodwork and bulkhead structure inside just seem too flimsy to me.
Anyone ever drilled a hole competely fore/aft thru their GB stem at chainlocker level?
If so, how thick is it?
Will find out myself soon enough but looking to see if anyone has ever done this.
Please advise.
Thanks

Why would you want to do that? I can think of better solutions to every reason you would that I can imagine so, before you do that, please explain a little more completely what it is you are trying to accomplish. Thanks.
 
I want the very bitter end secured in case the windlass breaks, snubbers part, the deckhand screws up or max scope needs to be released and no one pays attention to how much is actually left.
Current set-up is just a tie-off to a large object that cannot physically fit out the deck hawser but that seems bush-league and would just induce upward strain on and in wrong direction on the deck in a manner it was not designed to accommodate.
Am a heavy-duty overkill guy who tries to plan ahead and think of all the possible things that could go wrong so I can address them and put them out of my mind.
Loosing entire anchor rode overboard is something I never want to have to worry about no matter who is running the foredeck.
Currently the GB (at least mine) provides no padeye or proper fitting for this down below unlike other boats i have seen.
And that surprised me for an otherwise well thought out and well made vessel.
I have no problem drilling holes in my boat if the end result is to improve the situation.
Also learned long ago to never assume the prior owner knew what they were doing.
Need to look at everything with fresh eyes and anticipate and plan for problems so they don't happen.
Thanks for asking

But, you want to maintain the ability to cut it away in worst case scenario, not to be tied to it come hell or high water. Your bits/cleats/sampson post/whatever, should be made to take the strain, not an eye-bolt you can't get to. In a case worse than that, you want to fire up the iron wind and prepare to fight.
 
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