Plug/Bow bumper

Just finished my plug tonight, a Todd Brown designed USOM. Completely primered and ready to go. A quick question about bow bumpers. What to make them out of, I am assuming they have to be made specifically for each boat but not too sure. Thanks for the help.
Andrew Miller

I cut mine from flip-flops, aka go-aheads, aka shower clogs aka beach/pool sandals. Use Marine Goop (that’s a trade name) to attach.



hi Millrtme i don’t know where ya from but i cut mine from a boot floater a rubber thing you strap to a child to go in a pool. Flip flops are what we call thongs in australia (i know what a thong is in the usa)

Thanks for the input, not exactly sure what I will go with,just curious along the lines of what other people use. Should be getting the hull vacuum bagged sometime this week.

I use a belt sander and a flip flop. Pretty good results. I will be making a mold in the future for silicone bow bumpers.


I made a plug from moulding clay and moulded to shape on the hull, when dried the plug was used to make a plaster of paris mould. Using black silicone in the mould for the bumper. With a small amount of silicone to bond it to the hull. It worked fine.

I use cork sanding blocks. Very easy to sand to shape and cheap.


Here’s how I made mine:

I made a plug out of balsa, to the regulation depth, covered it with cling film. Then covered that with plasticine to make a mould, and filled it with silicone sealant.

Once it had set, I just glued it on the bow with more silicone sealant and faired it off while sticky with the goo that squidged out of the side :slight_smile:


Dick wrote a good artical about making bumpers, he can explain it better then me but the gist of it was:

Supplies,: Marine Silicone, Heavy cardboard, wax paper, a sharp knife.

Basically, you can the cardbaord, put a crease in it as sharp as you want your bow, line it with wax paper, the place a second piece of heavy cardboard to act as the ‘back’ and to set the depth of of bow bumper… Squeeze the silicone into the ‘mold’ making sure there are no airbubbles… (you can make the mold as long as you want and cut the finual piece(s) to any length you want) let dy, peel off the wax paper and cardboard… trim, and use a little more silicone to ‘glue’ the new bumper onto the boat.

When i find the website where he posted that artical I wil lpass it along here (couldn’t find it right now)


Like Dick, I just tape some plythene strips to the hull and form a V- or a U- shape at the bow, then fill the cavity with RTV stuff.

If you are looking for squishy stuff, go shopping! Go to the discount/dollar store and look for soft or squishy things, then cut, shape & glue. If you’re close to a boat supply, maybe they have some used boat bumpers you could get a chunk of.

There’s no requirements for the bow bumper, except size. It should cushion (and not scratch) any bumps.

Article and sketches here:

I might add that the web site, last updated in 1998 was one of the very first sites to be based on multihulls. Collin Spence put it together - then left for college for naval architecture. Haven’t heard from him since - but the site remains.