Last year I discovered a crack in stem head fitting, and a few days I took it off for my friend Mika to repair in his welding shop. It turned out the crack went all the way through, running along the welding between the horizontal plate and the part running down the bow. The new repair was finished beautifully, but in the process, two more cracks where discovered along the base of the vertical piece to which the forestay is fixed.
The smithy sais that the fitting is probably cast, rather than forged. All cracks have now been welded properly.
My stemhead fitting had previously been re-inforced with an extra extension of the the part running down the bow, with holes for four extra bolts through the hull. Belts and braces and all things good, but that weld was very poor, and is now replaced by a new, completely invisible one.
Big thanks to Mika!