Unbending pulpit

eddystone

Well-known member
Joined
18 Aug 2013
Messages
1,820
Location
North West Devon
Due to a botched attempt at extricating myself from a botched mooring, I have a bent pulpit. Not a lot, but the (single) forward upright is maybe 3" off straight at the peak where Nav light is screwed on. While I think i have a reasonable technique for straightening Laser masts, that's aluminium so doubt if same technique would apply. I'm assuming I need to remove it from its bases and then somehow clamp it and perhaps insert a steel pole inside the front upright tube and bend it back that way? Any thoughts?
 

30boat

N/A
Joined
26 Oct 2001
Messages
8,558
Location
Portugal
Mine has been bent since I bought the boat 15 years ago.... too much hassle to straighten it. But it may be easier to cut off the bent area and weld in a new one.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
24,169
Location
SW Scotland
Due to a botched attempt at extricating myself from a botched mooring, I have a bent pulpit. Not a lot, but the (single) forward upright is maybe 3" off straight at the peak where Nav light is screwed on. While I think i have a reasonable technique for straightening Laser masts, that's aluminium so doubt if same technique would apply. I'm assuming I need to remove it from its bases and then somehow clamp it and perhaps insert a steel pole inside the front upright tube and bend it back that way? Any thoughts?

I had to tighten the curve on a Hunter 19 pulpit a little in order to fit it to my Hunter 490. It was surprisingly difficult - well, it surprised me - though I succeeded by putting it sideways on the ground and bouncing on the top with my full weight. Moral: it'll probably take more effort than you'd think, and I'd be very surprised if it could be done in situ.
 
Last edited:

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
38,444
Location
Essex
Our local stainless specialists use a long wooden pole and apply a lot of leverage. They prefer the owner not to be present.
 

ProDave

Well-known member
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Messages
15,023
Location
Alness / Black Isle Northern Scottish Highlands.
I straightened a bent SS stanchion using my hilmor pipe bender, obviously trying to bend it in the opposite direction to the bend I was removing.

I was successful, but boy it was VERY much harder work to straighten it than bending even mild steel pipe of the same size.

Having straightened it, and knowing how much force it took to straighten I have a new respect for the strength of fibreglass (how the hell did it bend like that without ripping the stanchion base out of the GRP deck)
 

theoldsalt

Active member
Joined
24 Nov 2010
Messages
2,115
Location
Bristol
A few years ago a "frenchie" bent my pulpit while we were at anchor. I unbolted it and took it over to a nearby pontoon. I staightened it by wedging it under one of the pontoon cleats and then pulling out the kinks until straight (or the required curve). It is helpful to take measurements of the distances between deck fixings to make sure it will fit after straightening.
 

vyv_cox

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
25,299
Location
France, sailing Aegean Sea.
I put shallow bends in two long straight lengths of inch tubing for my stern arch very easily, simply by trapping one end under a cradle and heaving upwards. Conversely I recently modified a stern ladder to fit another boat, bending it in a conduit bender. As others have found, it takes a lot of effort. We added a pipe about two metres long to the handle and heaved mightily to achieve a bend of only ten degrees or so. Best is undoubtedly a hired hydraulic bender but they don't come cheap.
 

earlybird

Well-known member
Joined
18 Aug 2004
Messages
3,874
Location
Cumbria; U.K.
Can't add a lot to other posts, but when I straightened my pulpit I used a large, 7lb. hide mallet and a strong vice attached to an immoveable bench. The bends were only slight, but as said, a lot of force is needed. I found a 2ft. length of 7/8" steel bar useful for sliding inside the 1" tube as far as possible up to the bend location. Hitting/pulling this bar avoided denting the tube and the job was successful.
Heat, dull red, helps considerably, but this requires a big propane blow-lamp and discolouration would need to be polished out.
Might be best to live with it, or even pay a pro.
 

Heckler

Active member
Joined
24 Feb 2003
Messages
15,820
Due to a botched attempt at extricating myself from a botched mooring, I have a bent pulpit. Not a lot, but the (single) forward upright is maybe 3" off straight at the peak where Nav light is screwed on. While I think i have a reasonable technique for straightening Laser masts, that's aluminium so doubt if same technique would apply. I'm assuming I need to remove it from its bases and then somehow clamp it and perhaps insert a steel pole inside the front upright tube and bend it back that way? Any thoughts?
I used a car scissor jack, plenty of power and very controllable
S
 

Halo

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2009
Messages
1,873
Location
Wetherby
I bent my old boat's pullpit when navigating a river in spate (silly boy ! ). I simply could not bend it back in situ. The trouble is that 316 work hardens rapidly and the bending process on top of the original forming made it very hard to bend back and it had a kink.
I took the pullpit off, then made a wooden fixture that could be used to locate the 4 feet pads in the required positions to match the boat. Then took the bent pulpit and fixture to a local fabrictor who sorted it. Basic instructions were to make it shiny, symetrical and to match the required feet positions
Remember to give the whole thing a really good polish before you refit - this can prevent rust forming on the worked and welded surfaces
Martin
 

salar

Active member
Joined
5 May 2009
Messages
944
Location
Hampshire, UK
When Rebel Runner was in the yard for the major refit work I was able to spy on the guys making the rails. They used a simple contraption consisting of a length of strong angle section and hooks with nuts on the end and various blocks to make adjustments to bends. A simple bolt has tremendous pulling power as you do up a nut.

NewRails.jpg
 
Last edited:

vic008

Active member
Joined
18 Aug 2007
Messages
467
Location
CHCH. NZ
Dont know if applicable to your case, but just bent 1in SS pipe for a new cockpit dodger frame, using the sand inside method and masking tape at the 2 ends to contain. Very impressed.
 

William_H

Well-known member
Joined
28 Jul 2003
Messages
13,586
Location
West Australia
My advice to OP would be do not rush to remove the rail. It will probably have a lot of tension in it making it difficult to refit now it is bent. So if at all possible do the straightening on the boat. Use of car jacks and clamps might work. Or just put up with the bend . good luck olewill
 

eddystone

Well-known member
Joined
18 Aug 2013
Messages
1,820
Location
North West Devon
My advice to OP would be do not rush to remove the rail. It will probably have a lot of tension in it making it difficult to refit now it is bent. So if at all possible do the straightening on the boat. Use of car jacks and clamps might work. Or just put up with the bend . good luck olewill

Very good point but that takes me back to where I started - how to straighten in situ without stressing the mounting points on the hull/deck join.
 

ex-Gladys

Well-known member
Joined
29 Aug 2003
Messages
5,185
Location
Colchester, Essex
Very good point but that takes me back to where I started - how to straighten in situ without stressing the mounting points on the hull/deck join.

Absolutely agree... Examine the mountings from inside... On Gladys the boatbuilder who fitted her out cut away the balsa core under the deck and just bolted through the outer skin with no backing pad....
 
Top