Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seal Harbor, Maine
Thanked 21 Times in 20 Posts
Rep Power: 9
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
Last edited by downeast450; 10-10-2015 at 08:51 AM.