Here at Upffront, we talk a lot about asymmetric sails and code zeros, and with good reason! Faster and more manageable, these are a popular choice among many sailors, with one caveat, they require a tack point for the drum forward of the forestay, which preferably means a bowsprit.
While most modern, performance sail boats have permanent bowsprits attached, many older boats require modification to install a bowsprit and get those precious few extra feet on the bow.
This blog will highlight the four most common methods of retrofitting a bowsprit to your boat and some of the advantages of Trogear's adjustable A-Frame design.
Any good refit yard will be able to design and install a custom bowsprit directly on to your boat. This will certainly ensure a clean and professional finish and you can customize your bowsprit, both functionally and aesthetically to be the best fit for your boat and sailing systems. For example, the one pictured below has been customised to include an anchor. But, as with all custom boat developments, this is the most costly solution because it requires the help of a number of specialists to design/engineer, build and install the bowsprit.
- Credit: Jim Vernon 2014
2. Through hull
A common solution amongst smaller sports boats. Cheaper than a full custom sprit, due to the use of an off the shelf carbon or aluminium tube section, however, it is still a significant task for a professional boatbuilder to retrofit. Whilst they have the advantage of being retractable the downside is the impact on space and/or structure below deck.
The natural progression from the through-hull option is to simply add your bowsprit to your boat directly on the foredeck. A significant advantage of these systems is that they are easily fitted and the sprit can be extended or retracted as needed. The downsides are that it can often be difficult to find a clear path across the foredeck, past the forestay and any anchor hardware. They also take up quite a bit of deck space when retracted and are the least aesthetically pleasing option. However, with the right bow setup this is definitely the easiest and most cost-effective method for many boats.
4. Trogear solution
Enter the Trogear A-Frame bowsprit which has been specifically designed to address the problems of on-deck systems whilst being relatively easy for amateurs to install. Comprising of an articulating A-frame carbon fibre design it can be mounted neatly on your bow and offers an affordable solution with the majority of the benefits of a fully custom bowsprit.
Like the through-hull and above-deck bowsprits, the Trogear can be retracted (raised) when not in use, or removed completely. It is considerably lighter than many on-deck alternatives which makes it easy to adjust and very versatile, whilst its solid A-frame construction make it strong, durable and reliable.
Whilst there are a range of external attachment options (hull or deck mounts) the recommended solution requires a hole to be drilled through your bow!
The idea of drilling a hole through your bow might seem counter-intuitive to many, however, in reality, it is a relatively easy installation. With the right amount of patience and careful measurement, it can be completed by an amateur with only a few tools and Trogear’s detailed and helpful installation guide.
Long story short: after preparing your two through-hull holes, a bearing tube is bonded / sealed between the two hulls on the inside, which allows the base of the A-Frame to pass through the bow area and articulate freely without any chance of water ingress.
The limiting factor for this installation method is if you have any under-deck furling gear or other structure in the bow area, in which case you can look at external attachments. The other potential issue is your bow mounted anchor / anchor roller, however, custom installations are possible to work on/around your existing anchor hardware.
Trogear bowsprits come in 4 standard sizes for boats from 25 – 50ft with larger, custom sizes available on request.
We have a great blog here if you want to learn more about the Trogear Bowsprit and its applications.
Already installed your bowsprit? Head over to our blog on rigging the bobstay to get the most out of your Trogear bowsprit.
Looking for a bowsprit?
Browse Trogear Bowsprits here or click on the link below if you would like help to determine the best bowsprit for your needs.