May 10, 2021

Thanks to a number of members of the group, here's some info on replacing the bobstay tang at the waterline. This is primarily from info from Ryan Langley and these are his pictures::

Lower bobstay fitting - large 5/8"pin 1/2" bolts
Spartan Marine - Georgetown, Maine

My Seawind II had a 1/2" pin on the old bobstay tang so the Spartan 5/8" pin was different but obviously larger.  Also, i may be wrong but it seemed that my old tang was lower than some of the others I've seen. Just by a few inches. I raised the new bronze fitting slightly as it actually gave a better angle to the bowsprit and allowed the anchor locker to drain. 

1522 Feb 11, 2002
I had a question about the bobstay. The ½" stainless rod is corroded and in need of replacement. I am looking into changing the rod to wire. I looked up the breaking strength of ½" rod and it was something like 40,000lbs. The comparison for wire was 5/8" wire. This seems way to much to me and I understand one person used 5/16" wire. What are your thoughts and what strength are we trying to match the forestay or the original rod? Also, did any one have an opinion of using a turnbuckle for the bobstay. I understand the wire will stretch over time but does the anchor rode cause any problems with the turnbuckle.
Thanks for the help,


1523 Feb 11, 2002
The biggest problem with a wire bobstay is that the bobstay gets a lot of water.
It is claimed that the bowsprit itself will support the headstay, that the bobstay is just to keep the headstay tight.
I have used a turnbuckle on the upper end of the bobstay for 10-15 years and have never had a problem with the anchor rode.
Dick Weaver SWII75K

1527 Feb 11, 2002
I had addressed the issue of rod rigging previously as I have had some experience with rod failure in the Beneteau 50 foot charter boats in my rather extensive fleet at the Moorings.
Once the rod is machined for appropriate threading the die cuts away the micro (electro) polishing and encourages the stainless to deteriorate.
I have used half inch wire as my replacement. The amount of leverage a whipping mast can place upon the bob-stay is indeed incredibly high. BIGGER is Better.
I met with Ted Vander Wiede this evening for dinner in New Jersey. He duplicated his frayed, wire, bob-stay for about $60 at the rigging shop.
Paul, Sea Quill # 29K

1536 Feb 12, 2002
After a swage at the bottom of my 3 year old wire bobstay failed, I replaced the stay again with a stay-loc fitting at the bottom, as recommended by my rigger. I believe that a swage that is often under water is not a good idea.
I am still using a swage at the turnbuckle on top. The stay is subject to very large forces if you make mistakes while docking.

Feb 12, 2002
After the second ½" SS rod bobstay broke, I went to a short piece of specially made rod-rigging. It does not have threads but enlargements at the ends of the rod which are held by the end fittings and I think they give some toggle effect. Then I added a turnbuckle to take up the slack. This has been in place for 15 years. It was a little expensive but has been very durable. I understand rod-rigging has is quite corrosion resistant, that most of the failures are due to undue stress or bending of the rod. I keep a piece of ½" 1 x 19 wire with swage fittings as spare.
Dick Weaver, SWII75K

1540 Feb 12, 2002
We replace ours with a new rod same as original every 10 years just to be safe. If planned at a haul out it no problem and cost from a local machine shop is minimal. So we stuck with the original design.
Don Bundy

1543 Feb 12, 2002
Tough to argue with the logic of swaged fittings underwater. Good advise as far as I can see. Stayloc or Norseman on the lower bobstay fitting.

1544 Feb 13, 2002
Pick Pocket has a 3/8"SS chain bobstay with a ½" turnbuckle at the stemhead and a shackle at the tang just above the water line.
I have little experience to provide on this arrangement other than to say maybe it might chafe the anchor rode and it looks expensive.
It fairs well in collisions.
What is the Gilmer original design for the bobstay and what is the "design" forestay wire diameter supposed to be?
My boat has a new ¼"dia. headstay with a 3/8"dia pin clevis. The stem head fitting looks like it should have a ½" pin.
Appreciate all comments.
Dale, PickPocket #K14

1547 Feb 13, 2002
On my boat, built in 1977, the bobstay was ½" SS rod. It lasted about 5 years before it broke from corrosion.

Dick Weaver SWII75K

1598 Feb 25, 2002
Paul: Can you give details of end fittings on your bobstay ½" wire, and any other data (eg, length) please?
I have climbed a bit over a low dock in Porto Santo after losing my reverse shift (corroded cable broke, allowing fwd shifting but no reverse, although OK on shifting back to neutral, thank Neptune!), and am checking the rod carefully, but I want to replace it before it breaks!

Bert dF, SWII 80K

1599 Feb 26, 2002
I have Sea Quill back in the water but not easily accessible for measurements but perhaps Ted can help. He may be "watching" the/our news. He had a new, replacement wire bobstay made last month and is traveling about in the US for a week or two before heading back to Costa Rica to retrieve "Flicka". If he is not watching here I know he monitors his personal email intently. Send him a note....

1600 Feb 26, 2002
I replaced Voyager’s ½" solid bobstay with 5/16" wire last year, using Norseman terminal ends. The old machined fittings on the solid bobstay showed tiny cracks... no doubt made worse by the mast hitting a bridge a couple of years ago.

1601 Feb 26, 2002
Replaced my rod bobstay in 1998or99 with 5/16 wire with staylock terminals on both ends, It has worked quite well with NO problems to date. The old bottom block terminal had 2 longitudnal cracks on 2 sides approximatly ¾" long.
Bob Forsman, Seawind II #27K, Tuesday’s Child

Feb 22, 2004
The tang on my bobstay gave out. I looked at chain, replacing the tang,a new solid rod and finally settled on wire. I used five feet of 3/8" 0 wire, a 3/8" turnbuckle and a 3/8" toggle. It was fast and easy. The only glitch was that in order to keep the strength by using 3/8" wire, the holes on the attachment points were too small for the hardware. I solved that problem by putting spacers around the bolts in the turnbuckle and toggle. The fabrication was done by Annapolis Rigging Company, 7416 Edgewood Rd., Annapolis MD 21403 410-269-8035, Fax: 410-269-8035 for about $220.00