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Old 09-01-2016, 07:57   #1
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PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

In my head this seems to work but I'd love to get a few smarter people thinking about my situation. Your wisdom is appreciated.

My toe rail on my project boat has mostly rotted away. I'd like to glass in the seam of the boat because I've heard it's a source of leaking on other boats. I also don't want wood on my boat.

I thought about glassing in the seam and a toe rail. Here's my thought, attached are graphics to help show what I'm thinking. The "pink" shows the epoxy filled in.

Use plastic fence rail from lowes at the toe rail shape and use the west system epoxy + 404 filler and glass/cap the seam bolts plus previous toe rail holes. I could even use very pvc small quarter round on the sides.

I could use stainless screws and screw the fence rail down. Is this a "good" idea or the makings of the dumbest thing you've ever seen?
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:25   #2
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Ummmmmm.....No.
PVC and epoxy don't "play" well together.Won't bond . If you find the right size PVC extrusion, you could flip it over and use it for a mold to produce a (nearly) finished rail ' then glass it to the deck joint; tabbed and filetted in place' faired and painted.

I used shaped (undersized) EPS foam to laminate ribs under the foredeck.Four+ layers of 1708 and stiff enuf. If they needed to be pretty' a bit of fill and fair would do it I plan a similar toe rail for the cabintop.

HTH,
Paul
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:29   #3
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

i love the internet and how helpful it can be. Thanks so much, I've received similar feedback on facebook. I don't know everything, but I certainly know how to ask questions and listen. Thanks again for your advice/time/wisdom.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:47   #4
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

There are fiberglass composite structural shapes, maybe one of those would work. Using all that epoxy filler, would be a nightmare to sand and smooth. another thought might be using UHMW or other type of plastic in lieu of what normal wood would be there.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:37   #5
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Both do not like direct sunlight. You would have to paint the entire mess with some kind of barrier coating like poly urethane. Since this is a diy project why not get an aluminum rail and embed it with sealant/glue and also pop rivets? Otherwise skip the toe rail and just attach 4" wide flexible vinyl gutters to the lifelines?
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:51   #6
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

You could use Starboard
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:03   #7
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

thinking out loud.... but wood's probably the cheapest....
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:06   #8
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

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Originally Posted by KadeyKrogen38 View Post
You could use Starboard
Makes the most sense. He could even carve it to perfectly fit the joint.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:21   #9
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Consider that the joint will try to flex. If you glass over, you will need to make the joint structural or your added material will likely just crack. Have you considered adding an extruded aluminum rail with convenient holes for mounting shackles, etc.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:21   #10
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

While starboard is a bit tougher the box store VPS (?) boards, I believe it might still be too soft to use on this application.
Boarding areas, anchor/rode/chain and other boat hardware will take it's toll. AZEK decking available in woodvrans as well as pastels. Not impervious to dings, I believe it to be a reasonable alternative.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:43   #11
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Nicholson has it right.

I had a similar situation. My solution was labor extensive and not even cheap, but to me, worth every penny.

I pulled everything off, took out all the old hardware that connected the hull/deck joint. Pried up the deck a little at a time, ground out the joint for good adhesion and glued it back together with West Systems.Deck was cored with balsa so carved out some balsa back about 6 inches and filled with chop and epoxy, bonding this into the top of the deck under the old miter.Built the old corner miter up with glass cloth, chop and West Systems, faring over the deck/hull joint.

Covered with an aluminum toe rail that would allow the through bolts to get into not just the hull and buildup but through the original deck as well. Each toe rail has about inch every four inches from stem to stern.Mounted bolts with fender washers and SAE washers on the inside. Bedded toe rail with 3M 101 (obsolete now) each bolt was individually bedded with the same stuff.

Had to remove lots of hardware and interior to get to the bottom side of the joint. Some boats this may be near impossible
.
This made a stiff boat even stiffer. Been pounded in heavy seas enough to tell that it is not going to fail or leak.After ten years no sign of any stress cracks anywhere.Having the heavy toe rail is like having a cleat anywhere along the beam, you can tow, be towed, hang the anchor, probably lift the boat out of the water with a four point attachment to the toe rail. I have a sheet block track inboard of the toe rail but use the toe rail for lead blocks much of the time and especially in storm conditions.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. If you feel the boat is worth it, do it right, do it once and go do something else for the rest of your sailing adventure.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:45   #12
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Typo, sorry. Toe rail has 1/4 bolts every four inches from stem to stern.
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Old 11-01-2016, 00:27   #13
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

T'he nicest that I've seen, a Pearson 424, with a highly polished SS toe-rail. Also saw a Cape George 36 with a home-made, one piece, fiberglass, (with the cross-section of a wood one), toe rail. The owner lowered it over his boat at one time, in one piece. He is very thorough, (anal), but it is flawless.
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Old 11-01-2016, 01:21   #14
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Excellent idea I reckon, I did this on a 24 foot yacht. I used a pvc box section heavily glassed to the deck and a 100mm down the top sides and then on the inside I also glassed the deck hull join. Never had a leak again. Main reason I did this was an unsightly corroded alloy toe rail and a number of leaking bolts. Who cares about PVC pipe breaking down under sunlight, it is so buried in paint and epoxy it will never break down anyway.
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Old 11-01-2016, 01:40   #15
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Re: PVC/Glass toe rail? Dumb idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allanbranch View Post
...or the makings of the dumbest thing you've ever seen?
Or first runner up.

The more you depart from traditional, proven methods, the less acceptable will be your results.
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