Toe rail: Replace existing mahogany, or go with aluminum? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 78 Old 02-26-2011 Thread Starter
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I do think heat would be a bad idea... it won't do the anodizing any good and may cause severe discolouration. As I indicated before, attaching one end and applying pressure with some friends as you drill/bolt your way along should do it.. but you'll need some space/clearance alongside as you deal with the exit angle and the sheer changes while you bend.
Makes total sense, thanks. I hate to be such a noob when it comes to all these things I have to tackle for the first time. I have read a lot on all the projects I need to get done, but being able to discus it with you guys gives me the kind of insight that really helps me understand a lot of what I have read. Thanks

Next question: How do I bed using butyl tape while installing a metal rail like we are talking about? Specifically, should I make the bend, but leave the rail "up" two or three inches with the bolts going through the rail and deck, and place the tape all at once under the rail then tighten it down?

Should I make the bend, and then remove the rail completely to place the tape, then re install the rail at that point?
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post #22 of 78 Old 02-26-2011
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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Makes total sense, thanks. I hate to be such a noob when it comes to all these things I have to tackle for the first time. I have read a lot on all the projects I need to get done, but being able to discus it with you guys gives me the kind of insight that really helps me understand a lot of what I have read. Thanks

Next question: How do I bed using butyl tape while installing a metal rail like we are talking about? Specifically, should I make the bend, but leave the rail "up" two or three inches with the bolts going through the rail and deck, and place the tape all at once under the rail then tighten it down?

Should I make the bend, and then remove the rail completely to place the tape, then re install the rail at that point?
You'll probably want to apply the butyl tape on the bottom of the rail but leave the backing paper on it until you're ready to bolt it down. Remove the backing paper three-to-six feet at a time, depending on how close the bolts are and how much the rail has to bend. That will help prevent you from getting butyl tape over everything. Make sure you get the grey or white butyl tape, not the black. The black can make a serious mess and is much harder to clean up after.

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post #23 of 78 Old 02-26-2011
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No heat needed.
Chris,
As the owner of a 27' boat with a teak toe rail/cap rail I can confess that I would love to install the aluminum toe rail you propose. Sure the wood looks good when it is maintained but it is nearly useless without installing padeyes/Beckets and what not as there is no way to attach a boom preventer or moving blocks to it. The aluminum rail is so much more useful that aesthetic concerns are overruled in my book. The problem I have is that our hull/deck joint on our Tartan 27' is flanged outward and there is no easy solution for me but maybe much easier for your boat.
For the record I have replaced several pieces of teak toe rail on our boat and have been lucky enough to find some pieces of 'rippings' of teak that only cost $5/board ft. instead of the $20+/bd. ft. it normally costs. And yes, longer pieces are better. You might also be surprised how easy it is to bend a flat extrusion like this (or a piece of wood) to the shape of a typical sailboat hull.
If you miss the aesthetic of the wooden toe rail you could add a stripe that follows the lines just below the new rail and mimics the 'old' look.
Best o' luck with this.
Do it right and do it once.

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post #24 of 78 Old 02-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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No heat needed.
Chris,
As the owner of a 27' boat with a teak toe rail/cap rail I can confess that I would love to install the aluminum toe rail you propose. Sure the wood looks good when it is maintained but it is nearly useless without installing padeyes/Beckets and what not as there is no way to attach a boom preventer or moving blocks to it. The aluminum rail is so much more useful that aesthetic concerns are overruled in my book. The problem I have is that our hull/deck joint on our Tartan 27' is flanged outward and there is no easy solution for me but maybe much easier for your boat.
For the record I have replaced several pieces of teak toe rail on our boat and have been lucky enough to find some pieces of 'rippings' of teak that only cost $5/board ft. instead of the $20+/bd. ft. it normally costs. And yes, longer pieces are better. You might also be surprised how easy it is to bend a flat extrusion like this (or a piece of wood) to the shape of a typical sailboat hull.
If you miss the aesthetic of the wooden toe rail you could add a stripe that follows the lines just below the new rail and mimics the 'old' look.
Best o' luck with this.
Do it right and do it once.
Good idea, if I do wind up with the aluminum one (and it looks like I will), I am going to really try to do whatever I can to keep a traditional look to her. The stripe is a great idea, thanks.

So you seem to think it will bend fairly easy? I really hope so. When you think about it, and consider the lines of my boat, it does seem like it will work out pretty good (the bend I mean).

sailingdog:
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You'll probably want to apply the butyl tape on the bottom of the rail but leave the backing paper on it until you're ready to bolt it down. Remove the backing paper three-to-six feet at a time, depending on how close the bolts are and how much the rail has to bend. That will help prevent you from getting butyl tape over everything. Make sure you get the grey or white butyl tape, not the black. The black can make a serious mess and is much harder to clean up after.
Makes sense, do you think I should bend the rail and "fit" it, then remove it completely to apply the tape to the bottom of the rail, then reinstall the rail?

Or try to leave the rail on but loose and apply the tape with the bolts thru the rail but not bolted down and with a couple inch clearance height..

?
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Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Good idea, if I do wind up with the aluminum one (and it looks like I will), I am going to really try to do whatever I can to keep a traditional look to her. The stripe is a great idea, thanks.

So you seem to think it will bend fairly easy? I really hope so. When you think about it, and consider the lines of my boat, it does seem like it will work out pretty good (the bend I mean).
It should bend pretty easily... you'll probably be surprised.

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sailingdog:

Makes sense, do you think I should bend the rail and "fit" it, then remove it completely to apply the tape to the bottom of the rail, then reinstall the rail?

Or try to leave the rail on but loose and apply the tape with the bolts thru the rail but not bolted down and with a couple inch clearance height..

?
No, bend and bed it all in one step. The rail is likely flexible enough to fit and probably won't "set" in the bend that fits the boat. You should be able to apply the tape to the rail and then remove the backing paper as you're moving along and bolting it into place. Don't forget to put a "cone" of it around the head of each screw. A drinking straw is probably the easiest way to cut the holes for the bolts/screws to go through.

A cordless impact driver is going to be a really good thing to have along while doing this. It will be invaluable for removing the old toe rail and almost as useful for installing the new one.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
Makes sense, do you think I should bend the rail and "fit" it, then remove it completely to apply the tape to the bottom of the rail, then reinstall the rail?

Or try to leave the rail on but loose and apply the tape with the bolts thru the rail but not bolted down and with a couple inch clearance height..

?
You're going to have to use the hull/deck edge as a form to bend it.. and if you dry mount it and try again, it will likely spring back quite a bit and need coaxing back into shape again anyway (less, but still some)

I'm trying to picture the whole project, thinking of bedding not only the deck edge, but also the sideof the 'corner' under the lower half of the "T", all while having to force the rail in place.. Wondering if a spreadable bedding compoud would work out better, esp if you can pre-mask the edges (and the rail) to make cleanup easier down the road.

Ron

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You could use butyl on the deck section and Sika Flex 291 or similar on the hull section, masking below a predetermined line as posted by Faster. All the holes in the deck should be countersunk to create an "O" ring around each one as well.

As far as looks, I think you can get black anodized rail as well as silver. Might look better with the blue hull.

Brian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
You're going to have to use the hull/deck edge as a form to bend it.. and if you dry mount it and try again, it will likely spring back quite a bit and need coaxing back into shape again anyway (less, but still some)
Exactly my point.

Quote:
I'm trying to picture the whole project, thinking of bedding not only the deck edge, but also the sideof the 'corner' under the lower half of the "T", all while having to force the rail in place.. Wondering if a spreadable bedding compoud would work out better, esp if you can pre-mask the edges (and the rail) to make cleanup easier down the road.
No, butyl tape tends to be perfect for something like this since it doesn't actually cure, so you don't have a time limit to working with it. Cleaning up with butyl tape is pretty simple too, again because it doesn't actually cure, so it remains easy to clean up, even after a day or two, where a regular marine sealant or bedding compound has a very short working time in most cases.

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post #29 of 78 Old 02-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
You could use butyl on the deck section and Sika Flex 291 or similar on the hull section, masking below a predetermined line as posted by Faster. All the holes in the deck should be countersunk to create an "O" ring around each one as well.

As far as looks, I think you can get black anodized rail as well as silver. Might look better with the blue hull.
The one problem with the black anodized rail is that it tends to heat up a lot in the sun... more so than the silver, which reflects more of the sun and heats up less as a result.

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The problem as I see it is forcing the rail close enough to the hull to compress the butyl as the bolts are all vertical. I think it would be easier with Sika Flex. An extra person with a cartridge gun staying just ahead of the bolters should work.

Brian
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