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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012
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Grab rails and handholds

Hi all,
I just bought this blank slate of a hull and rigging for basically nothing (600 bucks) and its going to be my project for the next few years. It has no handholds inside the cabin or on top of the deck (which surprises me as this particular boat was sailed from Baltimore to San Francisco through the canal and shows no signs of ever having these things installed).
I have searched the internet for "grab rails" "hand holds" and similar terminology and have found nothing that resembles the typical teak or steel rails with support attachments to the surface every foot or so.
I need to buy some grab rails to install and simply cannot find a source that has what I need, something that resembles a normal rail found on a sailboat. I don't want something crazy looking because I plan on selling this boat in a few years.
I can day sail it and weekend on it now, just fixing it up to make it nicer and for resale value. But this is my thing...I buy structurally good but cosmetically beat up boats, make them look nice while i sail them and sell them. I lose money but it makes me happy. Fun hobby.
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: Grab rails and handholds

here's a selection here: Search: handrails
West Marine, Defender, or any other good marine outlet should have them.

And here are 2 pics of handrails on a Cirrus.
Attached Thumbnails
Grab rails and handholds-1.jpg   Grab rails and handholds-2.jpg  
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Old 03-22-2012
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Grab rails and handholds

Thanks man. Handrails is something I never tried. Im doing my long term project plan and materials sourcing right now.
You have a cirrus too? That's actually what I'm working on right now. Mine has been a livaboard for awhile.
After new paint, my next thing is sealing up the lazarrette covers. Yours look nice and I was thinking of going along the same lines... Wood sealed well. Any suggestions as to how to seal and secure them?
My following projects are a new galley and a new elec system. Putting in a holding tank for the illegal head is the last one but I can't find a good spot for a tank unless I replace the fresh water tank which I don't use anyway.
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Re: Grab rails and handholds

The Cirrus isn't mine - I stole the pic from the Westerly Yahoo group. Lots of good ideas there and worth joining - its free. Westerly-Owners : Westerly Owners Group

I am a member out of nostalgia i guess - I owned a Westerly 25 in 1971.

As far as making wood hatches, epoxy is your friend - both for building the hatch and sealing it before paint or varnish.

Holding tank - I don't know if you have room but I am installing a small holding tank behind the head up under the deck on my boat (CS27) and it will be gravity draining with a deck pumpout option. You can read about it here: EDITORIAL
It is the simplest system you could have. All waste goes into the tank. If offshore leave the seacock open. If not close it. Easy to rinse as the deck pumpout is directly above the seacock. And no Y valves to complicate things. Based of the pic below you might have the space for a narrow tank up behind the head. It is not a great pic - its from the original Cirrus brochure on the Westerly group.
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Grab rails and handholds-3.jpg  
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: Grab rails and handholds

A few years ago I made grab rails for my C&C corvette out of cherry wood very durable and cheaper than teak, a jig saw and a routter is all it takes and a little bit of thought. Make two matching rails and lag them from the inner grab through the cabin top and sealed up properly, holds good and looks good. Have fun
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: Grab rails and handholds

Making handrails is described in one of Don Casey's books. But, it seems pretty simple. Stack two 1"X3" boards and cut the pattern of the grabrails through both. Use a router to take the edges off. May not be needed on smaller boats, but you could also make matching grabrails for inside the cabin while you are at it. Good luck with your project. Sounds like fun.
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