Fabricating an open bow... My safety concern
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Fabricating an open bow... My safety concern

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    Default Fabricating an open bow... My safety concern

    I have a 19 1/2 foot 1986 daycruiser that I am looking to make an open bow. Can this be done and still provide the level of safety that a factory open bow provides? Any recommondations?
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    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    Ya, DON'T DO IT!!!!!

    But if you decide to cut that beautiful deck, it can be done correctly. I would take it to some one like Islander Marine in Ontario to have the work done the right way.

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    I like the deck and haven't fully decided to make an open bow.... but was wondering about the safety if I do... so you say it can be done?

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    SEVERAL of this style of daycruiser have been made open-bow. In MY opinion, it only ADDS VALUE to the boat. I grew up in a Tahiti 20.5 open-bow and there was always room for friends and family. Also, the closed-bow boats we had earlier were un-useable under the bow. Just storage. In the summer, it was way too hot to remain under there. The storage under the front seats keeps important items handy and also protected. With upholstery, the storage underneath doesn't get hear as hot as in the closed-bow oven.

    Again, in my OPINION, it makes the boat more user-friendly and creates additional re-sale value.

    Back in the day (early 2000s) Keith Sayre said it was about $3000-3500 total, to convert to open-bow. Probably up a bit these days, but any place worth it's salt will properly brace/bulkhead the area to retain strength. I say two thumbs up
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    Senior Member ICECREAMAN's Avatar
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    Yes it can be done safely. I would suggest that in a 19 1/2' boat the opening is going to be pretty small so your only gaining maybe 2 seats. Plus I never liked having people in front of me in such a small boat. I had an 18' run about years ago with an open bow when I had small kids. I hit a sizable wake once and literally launched one of them from the bow to the back like they were on a trampoline.

    That's a gorgeous, classic boat you have there. It breaks my heart to see some one cut these up, but that's just me and it's your boat. You could probably find an open bow cheaper than the cost of converting yours, but like I said Islander Marine in Ontario Ca, could do this job safely and structurally correct. You need to replace the support the deck gives the boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toddjo2424 View Post
    I have a 19 1/2 foot 1986 daycruiser that I am looking to make an open bow. Can this be done and still provide the level of safety that a factory open bow provides? Any recommondations?
    Factory open bow's of this era all started out as a closed bow. Then the builder would cut out the deck and place bulkheads where needed. It isn't that hard to do. I have been looking for a good candidate boat to do the same. The cost of doing the conversion would be far less than buying an open bow. I am gonna do most of the work myself if I find one and have estimated the cost to be somewhere in the area of $500. Then add in the cost of a good upholstery job and you would be looking at somewhere between $1500 and $2000.

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    .02....don't do it. Boat looks killer as is. Sure you can't sell it and find one already hacked up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Need4Speed77 View Post
    Factory open bow's of this era all started out as a closed bow. Then the builder would cut out the deck and place bulkheads where needed. It isn't that hard to do.
    You're right about the open bows starting out as closed bows but the bulkheads were built and temporarily set in place before any cutting was done. If the bow is cut out before the bulkheads are installed, the dash and what's left of the bow will sag. Once the dash and bow were cut out, the bulkheads were cut to exact size and shape needed then set and glassed into place.

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    It is fairly simple, have done many. As someone else has noted, the big expense is the interior work. Would most likely add value to this type of boat, and also would sell easier.

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    Do you guys have any pictures or information showing steps involved with an open bow conversion? I'm considering to convert my 18' Hurst this winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetblack View Post
    Do you guys have any pictures or information showing steps involved with an open bow conversion? I'm considering to convert my 18' Hurst this winter.
    HB mag had a write up on doing this years ago. I my still have the issue, I'll have to dig around.

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