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Re: How are lifeline stanchons mounted?
The downside to bolting stanchions into the toe rail is that the toe rail now has to be much stronger, and the stanchion will be levering it off the hull/deck joint and opening that up in typical construction. This is not a one-size-fits-all retrofit, in some cases it could be a very bad idea. In others, an equally good one.
And of course if you have modern slotted aluminum RAILS designed to be used with "stuff", there's no way to bolt stanchions onto them. Not a lot of heavy teak lumber rails on small craft.