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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

I have done this type of repair, although on a smaller scale. Epoxy will be more durable than wood filler, toe rails get a lot of abuse. Adding wood flour will give it more substance, and make it much easyer to work with. The slight cracks will have to be enlarged to get filled, large areas to be built up will need a form built to retain the epoxy (wood strips or stiff cardboard covered in plastic wrap will work).

As noted above epoxy is not UV stable so varnish or paint will be needed. The filled areas will have no grain, so even if you can match the color varnish will have an irregular look.

I have used MAS and System 3 epoxy with good results.

Another option is to replace it. You mentioned that is not your plan, but salvaging metal toe rails from another ruined boat might be pretty low cost. Labor wise it might be a break even proposition as you are looking at a lot of prep work, epoxy sanding and then finishing the rails.
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Yeah im with babboon on wondering how much you end up putting into an insecure not very tasty cover job when with abit of planning and study new rails make sense. Add paint filler epoxy etc and a few lengths of iroko are paid for with a very datsfying result.
Chris
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

I'm going to chime in here since I have the same boat Casey. FWIW, we replaced the teak cap rails and varnished them. It was a significant expense (materials alone were probably $1,600) and it was not easy. The rail has enough of a bend in it that you either need to steam bend the beam and the stern, cut them out of a wide piece, before scarfing the pieces to the rest of the rail or do what we ended up doing, which was to create the mid part of the rail in two halves (longitudinally) and then bend each half onto the rail and epoxy them together. I'm glad I didn't take this on personally, as it looked very difficult, but the work came out very nice. The varnish obligation is not insignificant.

So with all that out the way, I will say that there are certain boats that will stand out with a nice, varnished cap rail, and the S&S34 is one of them. I rarely take mine out without being approached by strangers to talk about the boat. It is a head turner. I can't say you won't regret going with a varnished cap rail (especially when you are laying on yet another coat of varnish), but it will have a return on your sweat equity. YMMV.
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

Plumbean,
Good points. I would like to keep the toe rail teak for looks, as you point out, and also for function, as we are barefoot on the boat and I would rather step on a rounded teak toe rail than an aluminum extrusion. Also, the screws holding my toe rail are not visible from the inside of the boat. There is another glass layer that covers both the toe rail fasteners and the deck to hull joint. Therefore, disturbing the fasteners opens up a can of worms. My boat is completely dry inside, even when beating into 35 knots and 10 foot wind chop, rather not do somthing that could change that.

I will try the epoxy route first, as I really do not have much to loose, and see how it goes. Maybe in 35 years I will need all new rails.
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Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

All told it makes sense to go ahead with the epoxy. I mentioned smaller cracks may have to be enlarged, but I have had some luck using a dental syringe to fill small cracks. You can try different types of wood flour to try to get a close match on larger areas, and from 10 feet or so it may not be very noticable. The best part is you can buy a small amount of material to start and see how it goes.

Better wood scrapers can save a lot of time with epoxy, get to it before it fully hardens and you can save a lot of sanding, a stanley surform rasp also works great for rough shaping.

Part of my change of heart as it relates to metal rails involve my boat, a Tartan 30, pretty much a slimmed down S&S 34 (S&S 30's were also made, very close to T30 and Yankee 30). I just finished stripping sanding and re-finishing my wood toe rails this afternoon and although I hate the labour it looks great.
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
...Also, the screws holding my toe rail are not visible from the inside of the boat. There is another glass layer that covers both the toe rail fasteners and the deck to hull joint. Therefore, disturbing the fasteners opens up a can of worms.
Same setup here. They added a layer of glass on the underside of the hull-deck joint, effectively creating a long box running the length of the boat. IIRC, the old rail was screwed, not bolted, into the joint, and we did the same thing with the new one. No leaks.

BTW, another option if you have a really bad section is to just scarf in a replacement in that section alone.
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Re: Repair of Teak Toe Rail

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Originally Posted by baboon View Post
Part of my change of heart as it relates to metal rails involve my boat, a Tartan 30, pretty much a slimmed down S&S 34 (S&S 30's were also made, very close to T30 and Yankee 30). I just finished stripping sanding and re-finishing my wood toe rails this afternoon and although I hate the labour it looks great.
Nice boat, although more like a slimmed down T34 I think. The S&S has very significant tumblehome and a much more pinched stern. I almost bought a Yankee 30 before I ended up with the S&S34.
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