Join Date: Dec 2009
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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.