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FWFIV 03-18-2007 10:57 PM

Rail/Teak to Deck Joint
I have removed the teak rails and siding from the fiberglass deck in order to refinish them (Cetol Light, not varnish, due to time) what shoulD I use as a sealant on the joins when I screw them back on?

sailingdog 03-18-2007 11:23 PM

First, are the teak rails over a cored section of the deck.

If so, then I would drill each screw hole oversized and fill it with thickened epoxy and let it set. Then re-drill for the screws. That way, the thickened epoxy will protect the core and give the screws something a bit more substantial to bite into. However, it would be better would be through-bolting the rails than screw them.

In any case, I would drill a small countersink into each of the screw holes in the deck. This will allow the sealant to form an "o-ring" at each spot. As for the sealant, I would use 3M 101 or BoatLife Life Calk. They're both really good for use on oily woods like teak.

I hope this helps.

Wayne25 03-19-2007 12:07 AM

Polyeither is one of the best new products to use on oily wood to fiberglass. West Marine Multi Caulk or 3M's 4000UV. Good advise given on the core deck. Remember not to tighten all the way at first. Leave a gasket thickness to set up and then tighten down.


sailingdog 03-19-2007 12:16 AM


While I would normally agree with you regarding leaving a gasket thickness and then going back and tightening down after the sealant cures, IMHO this is generally not advisable with screwed down items, rather than through-bolted items. :rolleyes:

If you do this with a through-bolted item, you can have some one hold the bolt in place, and then tighten the nut onto the bolt, below the deck. This will not break the seal between the sealant and the fastener or apply torque to the sealant in the fastener hole. :D

However, if the fitting is held in place by screws, the only option is to turn the screw, which will inevitably break any sealant's adhesion to the fastener and likely to the fastener hole...leaving small tears that water will happily migrate down. It may also tear the sealant in-between the rail and the deck, again leaving places for water to enter. :eek:

Just my $0.02 worth on the idea.

FWFIV 03-19-2007 12:23 AM

Thanks, screws go under the deck upward and into the wood. There was some type of putty/sealant used before, it took a puttyknife to scrape it off the teak. There were NO leaks before I took these off, I just want to keep itthat way when I put them back on.

Wayne25 03-19-2007 12:29 AM

I agree if your only seal is around the screw. However, on a larger bedding surface like a teak rail, you water proof the surface being beded, not the screw hole. I would prefer to see lag to thread bolts be installed and eggcorn nuts used inside. That way both the bedding surface and the fastener can be sealed as described. Also with a bolt, a little countersink on the exterior of the hole filled with polyether will create a great seal.


sailingdog 03-19-2007 12:44 AM


My experience is that most people use insufficient amounts of sealant, due to the difficulty of applying it, the cost and their inexperience with working with it. Also, many have difficulty running a good solid, continuous bead of sealant properly.

Given his description... and my guess that the screws do not go through the teak, but end somewhere within it... using the appropriate amount of caulk and leaving enough to form a gasket and then tightening as appropriate after the sealant cures would work quite well for him.

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