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Old 29-11-2016, 10:40   #1
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34 ft Aloha Grab Rails

I just purchased a 77 34 ft Aloha and the previous owner neglected the boat. He removed the grab rails and initially cover the holes but they fell off and I am concerned about moisture in there. What my best solution(step by step) to do before I reattach the grab rails?

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Old 29-11-2016, 12:27   #2
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Re: 34 ft Aloha Grab Rails

As you say, you may have some water intrusion into the deck’s core. How much can to some degree be determined by sounding (tapping the deck with a mallet, or the butt of a screwdriver). And more intrusively, by drilling some test holes. Plus of course via moisture meters, & thermal imaging.

Assuming that things are just damp in the neighborhood of the old holes. Then when you go to mount the handrails, drill out these holes for the fasteners a bit oversized, & create an epoxy annulus around the new ones when you insert them. See Hardware Bonding in the WEST System guides, & The Gougeon Brothers On Boat Construction. Which are available for free download at Epoxy by the Leading Epoxy Manufacturer | WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

When you drill the holes, you may want to remove more core than is encompassed by the diameter of the drill bit. If so, try putting an allen wrench into the drill’s chuck, & inserting it into the hole with the drill held vertically, so that the wrench’s end is in between the deck’s 2 skins. That way as it spins, it will remove a good bit more core without any damage to or removal of the skins. But you’ll have a much bigger area of rot proof deck, once this section gets filled with epoxy, prior to installing your fasteners.
Other improvised core removal “drill bits” include such things as pieces of rigging wire with their end splayed out a bit. Since it’s both flexible, cheap, & easy to source.
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Old 29-11-2016, 16:16   #3
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Re: 34 ft Aloha Grab Rails

Thank you.
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