Toe Rail..What's the Purpose...? - SailNet Community

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Old 01-14-2012
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Toe Rail..What's the Purpose...?

OK so it catchs your foot and keeps you from slipping out from under the life line/safety lines...

But I was looking at mine.. substantial aluminum extrusion "thru bolted" every 6" the legnth of the boat...overkill for a "toe catcher"

Gotta be some structural purpose beside hanging dock bumpers...?
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Old 01-14-2012
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interesting,why do you ask?
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Old 01-14-2012
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Prevents drink from sliding off boat...
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Old 01-14-2012
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Connects the deck to the hull on some boats, protects the joint betweeen the hull and deck on most boats. Sometimes you can mount blocks there for some applications
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Old 01-14-2012
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My toe rail was not on my hull-deck joint and, as a long piece of teak, was more of a brightwork chore than a functional structure. I removed it about ten years ago and epoxy filled the fastener holes. If I'm taking a trip to the bow with any significant heel, I'm walking on the high side (windward) anyway and not relying on the toe rail. I do keep a taught small dacron line strung along my stanchion bases to catch any rare loose deck item. I did keep a section that supports my genoa track, but none of the rest. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-14-2012
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You can mount a twigger block on toe rail for trimming spinnaker or genny. For mounting preventer gears. Securing net to prevent kids and spin/sail from falling over board. Wish I have toe rail on my boat.
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Old 01-14-2012
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Seeing as it is a straight extrusion that both curves and twists to follow the sheer, bolts every 6" are necessary to keep it from springing off the deck. Most formed wooden toerails don't have as many fasteners.
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Old 01-14-2012
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I think it can also been seen as the vestigial form of the original bulwarks of earlier ships. Bulwarks allowed for safe working on the deck.
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Old 01-14-2012
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An aluminum toerail's prime purpose is to stain your hull in the rainy season so that you don't ignore the poor old girl and actually have to wash her now and then.


Seriously, we've had both, and none, on the various boats we've owed over the years. A wood one is beautiful accent until it isn't... perforated aluminum is very convenient for clipping halyards and blocks to, tying fenders (as mentioned), having none forces you to be vigilant outside the cockpit, esp if there are no lifelines either. I occasionally walk forward up the lee side deck (for example to adjust a leech line on the jib) and do rely on the toerail then.

OTOH in the event of a deck-edge-damaging collision (say a port/starboard incident racing) that mangled toe rail is probably the toughest thing to straighten out...
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Old 01-14-2012
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And of course on boats that don't have a track for the jib, you can use the toerail as the fore/aft adjustment of your jib sheet positions.
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