Over the last three weeks we’ve been working our little tails off (between rain storms and Dena beginning and completing the first draft of her third novel) repairing our port-side toe rail where the genoa track (plum) tore its fasteners right out of that teak.
At first we entertained (maybe the wrong choice of words there) the thought of cutting out the bad section completely and replacing it with a scarfed in section of some Ash-wood that we’ve had lying around for quite some time. We’ve both always heard that, because of the different expansion and contraction rates of different woods, it’s never a good idea to do any kind of scarfing with anything but the original kind of wood… That has always made sense to us.
Well, we didn’t have a piece of teak big enough to do the scarf and we didn’t want to just fuck-in a bunch of epoxy so we opted for the next best thing… Fiberglass to the rescue!
First we had to deconstruct a big enough section of the toe-rail to make a fiberglass repair worth the time so we went over to Northeast Harbor, ME. Got a slip for a day and a night and…
…Broke out the heat gun, the scraper box, and the power-sander and melted our (practically) newly painted toe-rail right down to the bare wood.
It was awesome! We were on the Hinkley sales dock right next to a million dollar plastic destroyer and we kept getting the shitty eyeball from the salesman that was hanging out in the air conditioned pilothouse of a boat that was definitely not his. Look over Dena’s left shoulder in the shot above… That over priced Clorox-bottle was baby-shit green, ugh!
The next day we moved the boat back up Somes Fjord to our snug little anchorage and prepped the rail for the next step: penetrating epoxy.
We saturated the repair site with penetrating epoxy and clamped it down nice and tight then let it dry overnight.
After removing the clamps we filled the voids with West Systems 610, a thickened epoxy, and let it set up for another night.
We then sanded it fair, added more 610, and laid on a 8 foot X 6 inch strip of fiberglass.
It wasn’t as fair as we’d have liked it to be so we sanded it down again, put some more 610 on it and put a second layer of fiberglass over that. That did the trick so the next thing was to start piling paint on it.
Two coats of beige with our signature green stripe over top and she was ready to put the genoa track back on.
We didn’t have time to do all the deck sanding that we wanted to do but over all the project went really well.
Dena steady-handed the caulking inboard and outboard while we were waiting for the fastener bedding to harden up.
And here it is, our newly refurbished and reconstructed toe rail and genoa track!
Today we took her out for a test sail but didn’t get to put her through her paces, that’s for sure. The wind was only puffing at best and we never got above 1.6 knots.
Oh well, I get the feeling we’ll get to test our handiwork soon enough. Until then we’ll take what weather we can get.
Time to get underway!