Starboard grab rails - SailNet Community

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Old 07-26-2009
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Starboard grab rails

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?
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Old 07-26-2009
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it would not take much to remove and sand the ones you have, the rebed them with butyl tape. if you take them off the boat it wont take much to copy them new wood if you wanted new wood. i would go with stainless over starboard
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Old 07-26-2009
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i agree stainless may be your best bet
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Old 07-26-2009
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Starboard is not a structural material and will break easily when used as a grabrail. Refurbishing and rebedding the teak would solve the leaking. Stainless would be my way to to go for aesthetics and structure.
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Old 07-26-2009
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"Starboard is not a structural material...it will break easily",- I think this depends on how it's used. Certainly it is a structural material. Grab a span of the length you intend to use and attempt to break it. Yes, it is not as resiliant as wood, but it can function well as a grab rail as it has on my vessel for fifteen years. Don't expect to have it function well with delicate or long spans. PatrickRea is right that it "can" break, but not that it "will break",- just be wise with your application. Also, when bedding starboard, don't rely on the seal formed by anything adhering to the starboard. My grab rails and other teak replaced trim are black starboard. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 07-26-2009
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Google Fentress Marine. Thusly:

http://www.fentressmarine.com/images/ibcover.jpg

They may not still exist, tho.

Jamestown Distributors sells poly rails:

White Poly Handrails

(I'm also in the market but may go stainless so we can lash blocks to them in an emergency.)
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Old 07-27-2009
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Never really considered stainless I will have to look into that. Though I was looking at the plastic types because they don't require maintenance beyond cleaning. Steel would be yet another thing to polish. The ones that are on there are in pretty bad shape and if I took them off and sanded them down to the good wood I don't think there would be enough left to clean food out of your teeth. All the exterior wood is pretty weathered. Some of it is in good enough shape that I could sand it down to where its good but I am looking for something that will not require as much upkeep. I can handle polishing a bit more steel but I don't really like the mess that the wood makes.

I was talking with the guy who did my plexi windows and he can use my old parts as a template to make replacements in starboard or some other type of plastic.

I am a bit concerned with how it will look though as if I get it in white the boat will lose some of the lines that give it character. If I get the parts in a brown or tan color it may look kind of cheesy especially up close. So I was kind of hoping someone would have some pictures that had it done.

I googled for the steel rails and they would look pretty sharp. None of the places had any prices though so I am thinking they are pretty spendy items. My current rails are 102" long and have 10 loops. I could cope with 96" as that is the biggest most seem to make before going custom.
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Old 07-27-2009
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I replaced my teak grabrails with "poly's". My boat did lose quite a bit of its aesthetic appeal. The "effect" is enhanced due to the small size of my ~18' sailboat Jay
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Old 07-27-2009
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I made these out of fake decking material a couple of years ago.

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Old 07-27-2009
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Starboard is polyethylene.
1) It will turn yellow in time when exposed to the sun.
and
2)It's slippery which raises the question of grip.

What I do is coat all my bare wood with epoxy to eliminate
moisture swelling, then varnish. That adds years between need
to refinish.

Dick
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