The time came to cut an opening for the bowsprit in the stem of the boat.
Cutting holes in the hull is always somewhat traumatic, because you can't easily recover the situation if it all goes wrong.
Which is why I left this particular hole until now - it looked quite tricky to get the geometry right, and I wasn't entirely certain if I had built enough depth into the stem between the forward deck and the upper breast hook.
I wasn't worried about the required width of 3", but the slot needs to be no less than 2 1/2" deep to accommodate the bowsprit.
First I made a dummy section of the bowsprit where it passes through the hull, from some foam scrap.
Then I offered it up to the stem and pencilled in the outline of the required slot. Like this.
I then drilled a pilot hole at each corner, to see where they emerged inside the bow.
Here are the holes in the starboard side.
You can't drill a hole in the bottom forward corner because it is solid epoxy fillet behind there, all the way to the other side.
An extra long twist bit is handy here, to drill the bottom rear hole which is right next to the rub rail. Here is the bit.
I then poked bits of wire through the holes to make sure that there was enough room for the bowsprit when the slot was cut out. Like this, on the starboard side.
It looked like all would be well, so the next task would be to cut the slot itself.