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Old 02-26-2010
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Loose Wooden Cabin Handrail

I've got a '72 C&C 27, one of the outside wooden handrails on the cabin is loose towards the bow, has someone worked on these that could outline how they are fastened to the deck/cabin? I can see what look like rivets inside in the head, but I don't see any fasteners outside, how might I get started on fixing this? Thanks!

Phil
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On some boats, the rails were screwed down, by screws coming up through the cabintop. If you look closely at the handrail, you may be able to see plugs. If there are plugs, the hand rails may be through-bolted instead. Also, how is the cabin overhead lined. Does it use a fiberglass pan liner, cloth, or something else? Photos would help.
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I can't see any plugs, the inner cabin seems to be fiberglass, I'm pretty sure it's quite close to a stock C&C Mark I, I may have some images online somewhere of the issue, from the inside it's just silver rivets. Either way, plugs seems like I'd have to drill out the handrail no?

Phil
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Old 02-26-2010
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Do you have plugs on the top of the wooden handrail? Handrails are usually through bolted (really through screwed) the coach roof. You really ought to see the screw heads (or covers) in the headliner. Sometimes the builder will embed a stud in the coach roof if there is no access from inside the cabin. Then they finish off with a wooden plug on the handrail itself. If the builder “through screwed” the handrails before mating the headliner, I have no idea on how you are going to get this undone.

If the handrails are merely top screwed to the coach roof, you may want to completely redo them so they are through screwed. This is a serious safety issue if you plan on going offshore or sailing in deteriorating conditions.
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The hand rail is in good condition, seems a shame to waste it, and the other side to match. I haven't been able to indentify any plugs. I realize the risk of having this issue, fortunately I'm in Toronto, mostly just sailing Lake Ontario, here are some pics,







Phil
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Those are just metal filler plugs, you can just pry them out of the head liner and you may see the head of a wood screw or else a nut from a through bolt. If it is just a screw head you may be able to tighten it from inside. If it is a bolt, to tighten it you will have teak plugs on the outside of the hand rail that will have to come out.

You can get white plastic filler plugs to put back in the liner to replace the corroded ones you have now.

Looks like it is wet between your liner and the deck, you may want to give it some attention. Typically your sealant under the handles will not be in such good condition any more. Then of course you should also consider potting the deck holes.

Owning an old boat is so much fun.

Last edited by Gary M; 02-26-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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Thanks, knowing that those are just covers gives me a good place to start. I'm sure there's some moisture unfortunately. Great info.
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It does look like you have a fiberglass overhead liner, and the screws are under the metal caps.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Cool, my first boat, didn't want to just start prying things off to see if they're actually suppose to come off
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I felt that way on my first boat. Now I just cut and grind with wild abandon. If you cut away too much, at least you know the repair will get done right!
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