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OhioTom 07-05-2009 05:50 AM

Deck Repair
I got my Soverel 26 moved to my house on July 1st and I am prepared to begin the task of repairing the deck. I have a question first.

I need to re-core some soft spots and plan on re-bedding all the deck hardware to prevent any future core rot. I also plan on adding backing to all the stanction bases and other deck hardware. Of course, I will need to repaint afterwards.

My big question is whether or not I should remove the teak toe rail as part of my renovation?

The hull to deck joint is held together by bolts passing through the toe rails, so the toe rails are held on by the same bolts holding the deck on. The edges of the deck are not cored - solid GRP for the first several inches - so there is no need to cut the deck in that area as part of my core repair. The sealant between the deck and hull is still pliable and I see no evidence of leaks at the joint, but I've never had her in the water so I don't know if leaks will appear once the hull and deck are under the strain of the rigging under load.

The only two reasons I would remove the toe rail is to re-bed it and the through bolts for leak proofing and to avoid masking it off for the paint job.

I'm conflicted as to whether leaving the toe rail in place is being lazy or being smart.

cielo 07-05-2009 07:16 AM

Soft seating of fittings and an alternative
Not sure about your toe rail but I have a suggestion wrt fixing hardware to decks and this applies to stanchions as well. When I fitted my hardware I did not want the hassle of water seeping under fitting after a year so I looked into alternatives. Since my boat is ply and epoxy I purchased the Gougeon Brothers on boat construction and in there read the epoxy fixing method which I used throughout my boat and to date some 8 years on I do not have a single instance of water seeping under a stanchion or deck fitting.

In principle the system uses a different approach to fixing fittings. All the stress on a winch which is fixed to a deck with 4 bolts and bedded down on flexible sealant travels through those 4 bolts with some stress on the sealnt which flexes. In time the sealant will break it's seal....when it does water seeps in and the weakening will stress the bolts and utimately the deck in that area will become damaged.

On the other hand, using the Gougeon method of hard fixing all the stress is taken by the entire base of the winch because it is effectively hard boned to the deck. The stresses are now spread over a wider surface and therefore dissipated and not localized.

I highly recommend you look into this method more thoroughly as I simply cannot explain the method adequately here. All I can say is that it works! It takes longer to do and one has to be thorough and do the job properly but the result is that you will in all likelihood not have to concern yourself with leaking deck fitting for a long time to come.

Happy sailing

s/v Cielo

cielo 07-05-2009 07:20 AM

ooops.... "hard boned" should read hard bonded.

OhioTom 07-08-2009 11:35 PM

Thanks for the reply. I've read the West Systems books and I am considering their method for the more "permanent" deck hardware. I'm glad to hear that it has worked so well for you.

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