pointy bow bumper question

Greetings all-
I just finished my new VM “Madcap” and I suddenly realized it needs a bow bumper.

(See video)

I have a yellow rubber ball with a smiley face on it and I’ve mounted that on the bow but it really ruins the look if you know what I mean. The “Madcap” has a pointy bow like a J boat so one thought is to saw off a chunk of the bow and cast that in rubber and glue it back on. She’s carved out of pine so there’s plenty of wood in there. For some reason I can’t seem to bring myself to do that. But maybe I will (haven’t ruled it out) I’ve seen on other VM’s those bow bumpers made of clear rubber that sort-of look like the bumper on a tug-boat. They fit right on and you can secure them to the Jib rack. Does anyone make those? or any thoughts on casting one? Its sort-of a complicated shape to cast. General bow bumper ideas?

thanks very much
John Storrow

Hans Berger makes these for the EC12 and Canterbury J class boats (as well as others I think). You should be able to adapt one to just about any “pointy bow” boat. They are pretty slick and virtually invisible. http://ec12.com/supplier_pgs/Berger/bumper.htm

Hello John,

She really is absolutely beautiful, a definite credit to your very apparent skills. Do you have any further photographs of the construction process or indeed, any further pictures of her in/out of the water? Any additional details will be much appreciated.



PS: Regarding the bow bumper, I too think that taking a saw to something so attractive would be nothing short of sacrilegious and think your best bet is also to look at Hans Bergers’ neat solution. At least that way the lines are preserved.

Thanks, she’s my third VM, hope I got it right this time. I did make a bow bumper out of a turkey baster bulb which seems to work well.
will take a look at Bergers solution

here’s some more pics on my Flickr page. There’s a pic of the current rudder which works much better than the one I started with being much bigger for better steering. It sort-of spoils the look below the water-line but I can actually steer the boat going down-wind in a puff. The smaller one prettier rudder would cavitate all the time. Not really sure why. I think other Madcaps have enlarged rudders too. I’ll probably paint it green to match and move it up about an eighth of an inch. That will help, or maybe make another rudder with some balance area forward of the shaft, angling up to the skeg.


Here’s how I did the bow bumper on my V36 Sonder: go to WalMart and buy a ladies high-heeled beach sandal. Enough good stiff foam in those things for a dozen boats. Cut a square block oversize for bumper and glue to the future bow block with Locktite “Stick’n Seal” outdoor adhesive. Follow instructions on tube, clamp hard overnight. Mount laminated wood/rubber bow block on hull. Carve rubber using very light strokes of a Dremel tool with a sanding drum in it.

This boat will sail at the Vintage Nationals in Marblehead next week.



Good luck at the regatta next week, Earl !


I like your V36. Nice to see a gaff with some Unique character.

John Storrow