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  #21  
Old 09-21-2010
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Starboard isn't intended for structural uses, and I'd consider handrails structural in that they may be subjected to relatively high loads.

Stainless steel is good, but can be a slippery. I've seen some really nice ones that were patterned to be less slippery.

Wood is good, if well maintained. I'd second epoxy coating the wood and then varnishing it. However, care needs to be taken so that the varnish doesn't end up being a slippery surface if it is to be a handhold.
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  #22  
Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Starboard isn't intended for structural uses, and I'd consider handrails structural in that they may be subjected to relatively high loads.
It isn't structural, in the sense that you shouldn't make an entire boat out of the stuff. But the manufacturer itself expressly states that it is very good for making grab rails - as long as it is supported about every 16". So you wouldn't want to use it for long, skinny rails that are connected only on the ends.

There also are several varieties of StarBoard - the original "marine building sheet" is denser, solid stuff and is stronger and more rigid than the lighter-weight "XL" stuff.

I've been researching using it for grab rails for a while now and have found many examples of it being used in exactly that way. But yes, I think you do have to be careful in how you make them and make sure they are sufficiently thick and well-supported.

Example (not my boat; pic is pulled from the web):

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  #23  
Old 08-25-2012
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Re: Starboard grab rails

Time bandit, did you use Trex and put a finish on it?
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  #24  
Old 08-26-2012
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Re: Starboard grab rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by huguley3 View Post
I am considering replacing the badly weathered teak grab rails on my deck with starboard ones. The current ones are leaking(I swear every time I turn around something else is leaking). I am wondering if anyone has any pictures of 30ish foot boats with non-wood rails so I can see how they look? Also is there a good place to get them prefabbed cheaper than having the plastic guy make me some?
My boat came with Home Depot stainless steel bathroom grab rails. Ingenious and economical I thought! They work great, and are indeed designed for the purpose they are being used. They are likely 304 stainless and not 316 stainless so in the tropics they may discolor. In the 6+ years they've been on my boat they haven't rusted/discolored.

Price $15-25 each:
Stainless Steel Grab Bars - 1-1/2" Straight Grab Bar




Edit: I just saw that this thread is 2 years old. Well, if anyone likes the idea it's a "low buck project!"


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  #25  
Old 08-27-2012
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Re: Starboard grab rails

Piling on to this two year old thread:

During a recent maintenance period I removed my handrails to fix minor leaks and refinish them. Most of the fasteners were wasted where the leaks were and the bronze fasteners were weak and brittle and broke VERY easily when I was removing them. Surprised and concerned that handrail fasteners couldn't be easily inspected and would fail when used I decided to replace them with something stronger and more serviceable that could be inspected easily.

I decided to use five-eighths double braid spliced to three-eighths inch galvanized eyebolts throughbolted through teak and Brazilian cherry "platforms" to raise the line off the cabin roof. The platforms are throughbolted through the cabin roof using the existed holes and two quarter twenty SS machine bolts backed with large SS fender washers (the cabin roof is sandwiched ply with heavy glass on both sides and Alaskan cedar ceiling strips).

The installation is a great deal stronger than the handrails and I don't think I lose too much aesthetically with the installation.

Starboard grab rails-handlines.jpg
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  #26  
Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Starboard grab rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
Piling on to this two year old thread:

During a recent maintenance period I removed my handrails to fix minor leaks and refinish them. Most of the fasteners were wasted where the leaks were and the bronze fasteners were weak and brittle and broke VERY easily when I was removing them. Surprised and concerned that handrail fasteners couldn't be easily inspected and would fail when used I decided to replace them with something stronger and more serviceable that could be inspected easily.

I decided to use five-eighths double braid spliced to three-eighths inch galvanized eyebolts throughbolted through teak and Brazilian cherry "platforms" to raise the line off the cabin roof. The platforms are throughbolted through the cabin roof using the existed holes and two quarter twenty SS machine bolts backed with large SS fender washers (the cabin roof is sandwiched ply with heavy glass on both sides and Alaskan cedar ceiling strips).

The installation is a great deal stronger than the handrails and I don't think I lose too much aesthetically with the installation.


My God man you've run aground!

Nice rails. Great idea. A good candidate for the "low buck projects" thread to be sure!

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  #27  
Old 08-31-2012
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Re: Starboard grab rails

Back to the question "How did you bed your Starboard rails?",- I secured the deck area for acceptance of stainless steel fasteners that pass through the Starboard and sealed these fasteners. I made NO expectation of having any material adhere to the Starboard!
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