Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Liberty Landing
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screws or bolts for a teak handrail?
I want to install a teak handrail on the forward part of the cabin of my hunter 25, so I have something to grab onto when I'm up there changing head sails. I recently installed a solar vent just behind the forward hatch, and the part of the deck I cut out was basically foam cored. This is a different part of the deck than where I will install the rails, but not that far from it so I think there is a very good chance it is all foam.
The hand rails around the companionway hatch do not appear to be through-bolted, and I read on some forum post that some hunters used screws for this purpose, but I can't see under the liner so I really don't know. There are no through-bolts going through the liner.
Well if I try and use screws, I fear they will have nothing to bite into but 1/4 inch of fiberglass and 2 inches of foam, not exactly an arrangement I would trust my life to. But if I through bolt it, besides having unsightly bolts over my v-berth, I fear I would be compressing the liner and the foam, and again, it may not be that strong for that reason. I suppose I could make a backing plate from 1/4 inch plywood or from aluminum, but that would really be ugly I am sure.
I have read about people epoxying oversized pieces of hardwood dowel into the deck where the screw holes should be, then screwing into that. I think that would hold, even in foam, but I don't know about the strength of screwing into the end grain.
I did a forum search and found little on point. Am I over thinking this? How is this usually done?