The twin wooden Sampson posts next to the bowsprit on some west sails, how are they installed?

  • November 18, 2019 5:34 PM
    Message # 8128326

    Have seen some photos of Westsail's online with really nice looking twin sampson posts or bitts sticking out of the deck at the aft end of the bowsprit.  How are they installed on these boats and what do you fix them to below?  Working on purchasing a pretty plain jane westsail 32 and would definitely like to make and install a pair of these.



  • November 19, 2019 11:40 AM
    Reply # 8129535 on 8128326


    These were a standard item on all Westsail 32 bowsprits.  They are fastened to the chain locker bulkhead.  Drawings of them and the installation are available in the Westsail 32 Factory Construction Manual, a copy of which can be found on the website.

  • November 19, 2019 2:49 PM
    Reply # 8129945 on 8128326

    Here's what they look like after x-number of WestSail years.

    Bud's SS sprit w/ posts is the answer. 

    Ed & Karen 

    Caprica #687

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  • November 23, 2019 5:11 PM
    Reply # 8136578 on 8128326

    Thanks for the reply guys.  I am looking at a Westsail 32 that was not fitted out with these, I think the boat was purchased unfinished and the owner fitted the boat out.  But this is an addition I would be making almost right away.  I have access to some very large chunks of Ipe, a very hefty dense hardwood that a friend has used for new sampson posts on his 72 foot Norwegian ketch, and would like to make some nice custom bitts out of that.


  • November 23, 2019 5:31 PM
    Reply # 8136601 on 8128326

    The one I'm looking at Looks like it has a custom steel bracket mounting the bowsprit to the deck.  I'm a wooden boat guy, and love the look of the wooden bitts, and I will make them out of the best stuff I have access too.  Do you glass them solid into the deck or use a flexible sealant like 5200 to give them a bit of give as if they were going through a wooden deck?  I'm not used to fibreglass hulls so I'm pretty green to the sorts of techniques you guys would use.  

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    Last modified: November 23, 2019 5:34 PM | Anonymous member
  • November 24, 2019 11:36 AM
    Reply # 8137211 on 8128326

    Hello Ryan,  This is the way it was:  The sprit was thinned down at the inboard end by about 1/2” per side, exactly where the Sampson posts will touch it.  The hole in the deck should be cut as accurately as possible to the shape AND location to the posts.  The aft end of the post should be exactly on the same plane as the forward/ anchor locker bulkhead.  Hopefully the bulkhead is vertical as that will make the posts look better than if the bulkhead is perpendicular to the deck.  The post will pass through the holes, lie against the bulkhead and continue down to near the hull.  They do not need to be fiberglassed anywhere,  but are held against the bulkhead with 3 bolts each.   Above deck a horizontal bolt is used through the posts, centered, and through the sprit.  Originally this bolt and its nut were countersunk.  I do not recommend that.   That’s about it.  What I also do, however, is taper the post from a point just below deck level to about 1” at the bottom of the post.  I only do that to save a bit of weight.   Also:  the hole in the deck should be well epoxied to seal the coring.  The posts can be finished as you deem appropriate.  I seal the post to the deck with polysulfide, (Boatlife), NOT polyurethane ( 5200).   Certainly I left out 100 details but good luck.     Dave

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    Last modified: November 24, 2019 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • November 24, 2019 4:42 PM
    Reply # 8137535 on 8128326
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    If you are OK with NOT using wood -- one of the first fixes to Pygmalion W32 #567 was new SS Bowsprit --- several years later I remove the wooden Samson posts as over the years the water had seeped into the plywood core all around where the posts pass thru the deck. 

    These SS samson posts are bolted through the desk (I removed and replaced the bad plywood from the bottom along with the anchor locker bulk head). 

    I hope this helps 


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  • November 24, 2019 6:19 PM
    Reply # 8137629 on 8128326


    Here's my homemade version before sanding and polishing.

    Note the wooden mock-up during the building process. 

    Original holes for the rotten wooden posts where glassed in with mish-mash filler, and new thru-deck bolts were backed with a 1/4-inch AL plate roughly 12x10 inches.


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  • November 25, 2019 8:11 AM
    Reply # 8138316 on 8128326

    Thanks for the wealth of information guys!