When I was a kid of six or seven my parents owned a sleep-on-board sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay. I remember many happy times spent on that boat. One of my favorite things to do was to row its dingy. It was a small rowboat and apparently just the right size for me because I only remember that I could go just about anywhere I wanted with ease.
That is where I became acquainted with the word “painter”. The painter is the line attached to the dingy that you used to tie it up when you were finished using it. I also learned that a point of etiquette was not to allow the painter to drag in the water while you were out and about. Any captain that that allowed that breach of etiquette was branded as a poor seaman indeed.
Painter rings are really handy things to have on a guideboat. With the painter attached they allow you to tie up at a dock or pier or to easily drag the boat out of the water and onto the beach. They also enable you to tie your boat down securely when car topping it. And, they add an attractive accent to the boat
I purchased the above rings from Island Falls Canoe in Atkinson, Maine (207) 564-7612. They cost $25 each but I felt they were well worth it. The painter rings I had used with my previous boats are smaller and do not show off as well as these.
To mount the rings you need to drill a 3/16″ dia. hole through the top portion of the stem above where the stem band ends. You will need a drill bit that is longer than normal because the stem is still rather thick even near the top. The trick is to square up the drill so the hole runs parallel to the sides of the stem. If the hole wanders right or left you can get into real trouble. That is because you have to open up the hole on inside of the stem. The threaded portion of the painter ring fastener just isn’t long enough to go entirely through the stem. You need to drill a 5/8″ hole from the inside about 1/2″ deep into the stem so that you can get a washer and nut on the threaded portion. If the hole is not squared up you could see daylight!
See the photo below showing the painter ring fastener and the enlarged hole.
The trick now is to get the washer and nut onto the threaded portion of the painter ring fastener. I tried several strategies and finally wound up putting some scotch tape sticky side out on a rod and sticking the nut to it.
You will need to drill a 1/8″ hole on the forward side of the stem that the other end of the U-shaped fastener fits into. Then fasten everything down tight and you are good to go.