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Thread: Toe Rail..What's the Purpose...? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-14-2012 11:49 PM
Originally Posted by Squidd View Post
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...?
The aluminium rail - holey rail etc. is used as a component of the hull - deck joint in most cases. A giant "backing plate" if you will. The toe rail and snatch block attaching aspects are bonuses.
01-14-2012 11:58 AM
SlowButSteady It's there to catch the toe of novice crew as they jump for the dock, thus simultaneously initiating a test of the crew's auto-inflating PFD and starting a MOB drill (usually involving every half-drunk old duffer in the marina trying to offer "assistance", or a drink, or something).
01-14-2012 11:50 AM
PaulinVictoria 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.
01-14-2012 10:25 AM
Faster 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...
01-14-2012 09:39 AM
SkywalkerII 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.
01-14-2012 07:40 AM
bljones 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.
01-14-2012 07:27 AM
trantor12020 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.
01-14-2012 07:23 AM
CaptainForce 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
01-14-2012 06:58 AM
garyguss 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
01-14-2012 06:54 AM
jameswilson29 Prevents drink from sliding off boat...
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