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Old 10-07-2015, 10:03   #1
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Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

All -

Updating some old handrails on the topside of our Beneteau Oceanis 351. Old ones had taken their beating.

Got the new rails and am getting ready to tackle this process but as this is my first time replacing any wood topside I had a couple questions to make sure I cover my bases.

- After removing a small portion of the old rails (2) that are about 6 feet long it appears that the holes that the previous screws went into on the deck are in decent shape. Is it ok to reuse these holes but perhaps fill with a sealant (4000?) and then screw back into them or should I put 5200 in and let them cure then re-drill new holes?

- As far as the wood goes - I am going to use a chad bit to drill the new holes for the screws then use a cap/plug to cover - should i just use a standard wood glue on this?

Thats all! Simple questions but want to make sure I dont screw this up.

Thanks for your help!

J.R.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:07   #2
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Hi J.R. And welcome.

Since I am a charter member of the measure three times cut once club, your questions are quite sensible.

If the holes are in good shape, I see no reason not to reuse them. You can bed the rails in poly sulfide such as 4200. For the screws, I personally would put a small amount of butyl nitrate tape ( the stuff from a RV shop is cheaper and not as messy as the stuff used for car windshields). For aesthetics the top part of the screw hole is larger to accept a standard size wooden plug. Commonly referred to as a bung. You can buy them ready made or buy the tool to make your own. Although some people seat them with wood glue, I prefer the method where you dip the end in a little varnish then gently tap them into place. Part will still be sticking out, which is normal. When dry use a very, very sharp chisel to shave off the excess, sand smooth and apply the finish of your choice.

It's really not difficult and takes longer to explain than do. Oh, the reason for using varnish instead of wood glue is that the little bungs are easier to remove at a later date if desired.

Have fun, it's truly an easy fix.

Rich


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Old 10-07-2015, 11:12   #3
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

HI J.R.

My opinion and recommendations


Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeac2 View Post
- After removing a small portion of the old rails (2) that are about 6 feet long it appears that the holes that the previous screws went into on the deck are in decent shape. Is it ok to reuse these holes

Yes, of course assuming they line up with the new hand rails.

but perhaps fill with a sealant

Depends. Is the deck wood or balsa core around the holes? Has it leaked or is the core wet? If yes, then you MUST:
1. route out all the wet or rotted core
2. allow to dry thoroughly
3. make the holes larger (from top or bottom depending access, coverage, etc.
4. Fill with thickened epoxy
5. Redrill the holes to fit the new fasteners.


(4000?) and then screw back into them or should I put 5200

NO! Almost no places on a boat would I ever use 5200.

in and let them cure then re-drill new holes?

- As far as the wood goes - I am going to use a chad bit to drill the new holes for the screws then use a cap/plug to cover - should i just use a standard wood glue on this?

Sorry don't know what a chad bit is. Cap/plug to cover what? Wood glue where, to hold the plugs in the holes in the new wood hand rail?


Thats all! Simple questions but want to make sure I dont screw this up.

Thanks for your help!

J.R.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:27   #4
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Skipmac ,

I missed that about 5200. I agree, 5200 and silicone don't belong on any boat that I work on. If I need 5200, then I need to rebuild/redesign the parts to be stronger on their own.

I too have never heard of a chad bit. Perhaps they are only used in U.S. for
Elections LOL.

Otherwise I think our posts pretty much agree. The differences seem to be in the details only.

Regards,
Rich


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Old 10-07-2015, 11:39   #5
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Skipmac ,

I missed that about 5200. I agree, 5200 and silicone don't belong on any boat that I work on. If I need 5200, then I need to rebuild/redesign the parts to be stronger on their own.

I too have never heard of a chad bit. Perhaps they are only used in U.S. for
Elections LOL.

Otherwise I think our posts pretty much agree. The differences seem to be in the details only.

Regards,
Rich
Hi Rich,

I did some google research and found that chad bits are used exclusively by Florida voter sto punch holes in ballots.

I was assuming that the OP was referring to bungs but wanted to confirm since I get in trouble too often when I make assumptions.

Just replaced the teak hand rails on my boat and used butyl tape to bed them. So far, perfect. If you buy butyl from an RV shop only get the gray stuff and even then I'm not sure it's all the same. I tried rolls of white, gray and black thinking the white and black would be less conspicuous under white and black deck fittings. Both colors dried out and failed in a year or less. The gray is perfect. If you really want to be sure buy from Maine Sail aka Compass Marine in Maine.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:46   #6
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Great responses!

Thanks for the replies everyone.

1. Chad bit was what the co-owner is calling the bit but it is really called a forstner bit.

2. The holes appear to be in good shape and so far have no signs of cracking or moisture. This could change as I get further along but for now it seems like using the tape / 4000 are the best option.

3. The rails do not have any pre-drilled holes so I will use the forstner bit to drill a hole that also puts out a pilot to a smaller hole I will then pre-drill for the screw. The plugs will go in the hole once the screw has been put in place to make it flush with the rest of the rail - make sense?
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:55   #7
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

I would not glue the bungs.. just going to make any removal risk pulling a chink out of the rail.
Personally I would not use butyl in that application, it may work find but I would want something that oozes into every gap readily, and that I could coat the bolt with also.
4200 is Polysulphide? I thought that wasn't sold any more?
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:55   #8
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeac2 View Post
1. Chad bit was what the co-owner is calling the bit but it is really called a forstner bit.

I think Chad was Mr Forstner's first name. Your co-owner must have been close personal friends with Chad.

2. The holes appear to be in good shape and so far have no signs of cracking or moisture. This could change as I get further along but for now it seems like using the tape / 4000 are the best option.

Dig around in the hole with something and try to pull out a little of the core to look at.

3. The rails do not have any pre-drilled holes so I will use the forstner bit to drill a hole that also puts out a pilot to a smaller hole I will then pre-drill for the screw. The plugs will go in the hole once the screw has been put in place to make it flush with the rest of the rail - make sense?
When I did my rails I had a friend hold the rails in place and marked the holes on on end of the rail from the underside, that is from inside the boat pushing up. Then finished the first hole the rail on the work bench where I could see the rail and make sure the hole came out in the correct place on top but again starting from the bottom to make sure they lined up with the hole on the deck.

Then because the rails followed a curve around the cabin top I temporarily bolted on the end, had my friend hold the rail on the deck as close as possible to the curve and then marked the hole on the other end. Bolted that end, then again held the rail to the curve, market and drilled the middle holes.

That way they all lined up perfectly.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:20   #9
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I would not glue the bungs.. just going to make any removal risk pulling a chink out of the rail.
Personally I would not use butyl in that application, it may work find but I would want something that oozes into every gap readily, and that I could coat the bolt with also.
4200 is Polysulphide? I thought that wasn't sold any more?

Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought 4200 was polysulfide. I'll have to look it up. The butyl tape I got from an RV store. It's roughly 1 in wide and 1/8 thick and gray. It's been a while but I think it was about $6 for a 30 ft roll.

For bedding the handhold I would try the butyl tape but it may be too thick. If so, I would go with caulk but still put a bit of tape in with the screw.

We seem to agree on the basics so the OP won't be getting into too much trouble. He can follow one set of advice mix and match and still have a nice job. At the risk of not being PC, there is more than one way to skin a cat. ( I wonder where that expression came from?)

Rich


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Old 10-07-2015, 12:48   #10
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Right on! Yeah 4200 is quick drying Polyureathane. 3m 101 Polysulphide was great stuff for some things, not sure why they quit making it, maybe a health or ecological reason....
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:17   #11
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Not to be too picky.....topsides refers to the sides of the hull. Such as: the sloop had bright topsides (varnished hull). I think the term that describes this is "above deck". OK So I'm too picky.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:41   #12
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I would not glue the bungs.. just going to make any removal risk pulling a chink out of the rail.
Personally I would not use butyl in that application, it may work find but I would want something that oozes into every gap readily, and that I could coat the bolt with also.
4200 is Polysulphide? I thought that wasn't sold any more?
Excellent advice, Cheech!
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:29   #13
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Re: Replacing Topside Handrails - process?

Chad bit is like a Forstner bit. It makes a clean, well controlled flat-bottom hole without side chips.


We have been replacing our teak topside rails with Jarrah & Ipe. These are much harder and require less maintenance than teak. You cannot bend these - cut to net shape.
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