Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks! - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-09-2015 Thread Starter
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Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks!

I have "gotten to the bottom" of a problem that has plagued our Islander 28 from its very beginning. We were aware of it from the start of our ownership. The time came to remove the aging headliner. Broken zippers and rusted staples, and leaks.

I discovered "layers" of attempts to fix a nightmare of leaks from the machine screws holding the 8' handrails on the cabin top. There were patches of a rubber like goop applied to the inside ceiling, over each nut! The four most forward nuts had been completely glassed over with 10 oz cloth! When I began to remove bungs I discovered they had been bedded in some rubber caulk material. The 3/8" machine screws carried whatever it is / was down the hole in the teak.

I got them off! I cut three above the nut with a Dremel tool. The rest scummed with the application of various levels of force unscrewing them. I removed them from the teak handrail and cleaned them off with a wire wheel, expecting to use them again.

I discovered the original installation did not cut the ends of the machine screws below the nuts. THEY SNAPPED THEM OFF! Every one of the 22 cleaned machine screws are perceptibly bent at the end. The ends of the screws are "torn" and they are all different lengths. They applied such a powerful force when they broke the bolts off it damaged the holes and created a potential for leaks for the life of the boat! What a stupid short cut! What a shame! Some PO had an attempted repair / patch done and then had a professional upholstery job done. Must have been a healthy "Yard Bill"! Didn't fix the leaks.

The same treatment to the 3/8" machine screws that secure the fair lead track to the solid deck (using much larger washers!) resulted in NO LEAKS! It was the teak fixture with inappropriate force and inadequate backing plates when the boat was built that "built in" this nightmare for all of its owners.

I will use 1/2" machine screws and butyl caulk , a-la Maine Sail, with large washers. I will re surface the contact points of the handrails and re cut the bung holes to clean them and create a new "bottom". Tighten them carefully, sequentially? and cut any machine screw ends that need to be trimmed.



Now to try and do it correctly! Butyl caulk

Islander-28, Marshall Sandpiper

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post #2 of 5 Old 10-09-2015
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Re: Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks!

OK that doesn't really sound like something the builder would do sounds more like some home repair by some pervious owner or unscrupulous repairman. Is there a specific item that leads you to believe it was a manufacturer deficiency?

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Re: Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks!

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OK that doesn't really sound like something the builder would do sounds more like some home repair by some pervious owner or unscrupulous repairman. Is there a specific item that leads you to believe it was a manufacturer deficiency?
All of the above. The fact that the same 3/8" machine screws, fastening the deck track, were snapped off tells me that that was the solution for those fasteners. The leakage problem goes way, way back. Layers back. I think it was the Q&D solution used on at least this boat.

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Re: Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks!

OK just seems weird I have not noticed that issue on any of the islanders I have owned or worked on however I have not worked on any 28's will have to look closer. Thanks for the heads up

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Re: Islander 28 handrail fastener leaks!

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OK just seems weird I have not noticed that issue on any of the islanders I have owned or worked on however I have not worked on any 28's will have to look closer. Thanks for the heads up
It is a well built boat. I do not know its history. Its original name was "Hurah". It sailed out of Boston. It was raced and spent several years on the hard, prior to our acquiring it. It was donated to a charitable organization.

The leaks didn't make sense to me either. I tried my own "fix" the first year we owned it. I cut perimeter saw kerfs into the teak handrail base contact points and sealed them with 5200. That 5200 "gasket" is still intact. The leaks persisted. When I removed the bungs there was another rubbery sealant in the holes, on top of the machine screw heads. I needed an ice pick to clean out the screw slots so the screwdriver's blade would fit. Another attempt to stop the leaks? Bungs do not get bedded in sealant!

I can imagine a yard deciding to break off all 3/8 machine screw ends. It worked where a steel / fg / steel sandwich was present. One of the photos shows the fasteners holding the deck track on. Large washers. Snapped off 3/8" machine screws no leaks. The size of the handrail washers is wrong. The force required to snap off 3/8" ss machine screws, against those small washers, will "crush" something along the way! The holes in the deck are distorted. Some of the handrail bases have splits at their contact surface that extend from the screw hole to the edge of the rail base. NOT GOOD! This problem has been around for a long time. I will bet no one suspected the problem they were creating at the time. They may have just run out of the large washers that day or the idiot who was tasked with the job didn't have a clue or didn't give a dam.

It will be interesting to hear from other I-28 owners with a hull of similar vintage. Somewhere I think I have identified the builder. I will look for that record.

Here are some photos of the installation as I removed it.

TD Handrail Leaks by George Fatula | Photobucket

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Islander-28, Marshall Sandpiper

Last edited by downeast450; 10-10-2015 at 08:43 AM.
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