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Old 02-01-2015, 11:39   #31
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

I would definitely advise AGAINST either epoxy, varnish or paint. Problem with toe rails is they are easily damaged and once you break the skin water gets under the edge and lifts more. Patching the finish is difficult and time consuming so you can't just touch up during the season. Go for an oil finish and keep a pot with a rag in it handy. Quick rub over with a scouring pad and a wipe with fresh oil and it's back to looking good. Personally I use Sikkens but there are others.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:43   #32
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

Good advice here. My experience was to remove the old varnish with a heat gun, let it gray out. You'll be able to find the remaining little bits of varnish much easier that way and could use some stripper on the few remaining pieces of varnish or use a sander, last.

Good luck.

Over the past 30+ years, I've been through all of the coatings, all of them, and am back to gray (for now!).
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:54   #33
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

I forgot to mention in my previous post...we had our boat in the Philippines for almost 10 years. And in that hot, direct sun the best product we found for protecting the wood was "Deks Ole". Its a softer finish than varnish, but it applied easily, was easy to repair/fix when there was a ding, and stood up (well, reasonably well) to the high sun angle. Its a 2-part process, and we liked it a lot. But ever since we left Asia I have been unable to find it. If you can find it, it may be worth your consideration.
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Old 02-01-2015, 14:50   #34
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

I redid my toerails last year and it was a bunch of work. But I'm pretty happy with it. I scraped the old varnish with a shavehook (Three Blade Shavehook Set - Rockler Woodworking Tools). That's where the real hard work was. Then it was in OK shape so I sanded with 180 (if I recall). And varnished with a very good marine varnish with lots of UV protection. First I gave it two coats of tung oil, then I put on 7 coats of varnish but after 4 I was sailing and I just added the other coats on slack days. A year later it still looked pretty good so I sanded with 220 and added another coat. I know, it's a lot of work but it sure looks nice!!

A couple of suggestions, don't cheap out on the varnish. UV protection is everything. Especially here in the tropics. For the first coat of varnish, thin about 50%, second coat thin about 25% then you can go to "full strength" or maybe 10% thinner at the most. Black stuff is mold. You might want to try to kill the mold with something like hydrogen peroxide before sanding. Oxalic acid works also to get it out but you'll want to be a little cautious.

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Old 02-01-2015, 15:20   #35
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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...I found my toe rail had little or no function and I removed it...
You should remove this post, in case someone thinks it's a good idea. Potentially very dangerous modification which could result in loss of life at sea.
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Old 02-01-2015, 15:41   #36
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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You should remove this post, in case someone thinks it's a good idea. Potentially very dangerous modification which could result in loss of life at sea.
I am always interested in supporting safe practices, so please respond as you would with my practice. As I said in my original post, any passage I make toward the bow in questionable weather or conditions is on the high side, the windward side, where I am not subject to being pressed toward the toe rail. In fact, as I am teathered, I am not able to actually reach the line of my former toe rail's position until I am at the forward few feet where the rail was never present due to the bow pulpit and bow cleats. You may be considering the lack of the toe rail to windward as a risk, however, it has been my experience that any movement to the windward side may be influenced by a bucking or lurching of the vessel, it is not accompanied by my feet sliding uphill to the edge.

The choices for safety are numerous,- more stanchions, lifelines, netting, toe rails, jacklines, teathers, bullwarks,..... I've never seen all these employed. Everyone makes a judgement to manage risk that include and omit some options. The practices that I employ to manage risk does not include toe rails on my boat.

Yes, you are correct to point out the need to practice safety, but not correct to suggest that there is one critical means to manage risk.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:06   #37
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this post but here goes. I live in Florida & have a lot of teak. My buddy's boat also has a lot of teak. We've both tried a lot of different products. When you start out you think the hard part is getting the product on but you will come to realize that the hard part is getting it off. All of the products mentioned look great when first applied (except paint which is a clear indication of someone who's cutting corners maintaining their boat). Some of these products are harder to apply & much harder to get off. Varnish is the hardest to apply & needs a lot of coats to look good & last. Epoxy is a way to build your base without a lot of corners. However, when epoxy goes bad, as all these products do in Florida's sun, epoxy is by far the hardest to get off. Any product that creates a hard coat like varnish, Cetol, Bristol, La Tonkinois etc. (we've tried them all) will eventually have to be removed & that's a lot of work. Oil finishes wear off & do not have to be removed but aren't as pretty as varnish. At this point we have both decided to compromise & are using the "oil based version" Australian Timber Oil in, believe it or not, the Mahogany Flame color. It appears that color has more iron oxide in it & it lasts much longer than the natural or teak colors. The reddish tint mellows out after a couple of months into a rich brown that I can live with. The benefits to this product are 1 coat is all you need & it last for more than a year in Florida's sun, it never peals or cracks so just wipe it off & recoat whenever you feel like it & it helps protect the wood. There's no great answer to this question but this works & it's easy.
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:01   #38
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

I've been very happy with the Semco. No need to remove and just reapply once a season. Did my whole teak cockpit in about an hour or two. Keeps stains out of the teak and its very easy to touch up - just do a quick light sanding and reapply the semco. Maybe 2 minutes of work for a touch up.

Some guys recommend liberally oiling the teak before applying a sealer but semco does not mention that in their instructions.
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Old 03-01-2015, 13:48   #39
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

For those of you who are sick of varnishing toe rails:

We have seen some very good looking ones, sanded, two coats varnish, one coat of paint. The colors of paint have varied, from a teakish colored golden brown, to dove grey, to maroon (!). The thing is, that all these boats looked quite smart.

Ann
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Old 03-01-2015, 14:33   #40
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

As I've already mentioned discarding my toe rails, a practice that some may consider dangerous, let me share another controversial plan, "discard the other exterrior teak too!"




These two photos above show some black Starboard handrails and a pair of rails for the companionway cover that, along with the polycarbonate skylight on the slide, replaced teak about twenty years ago. During these last twenty years I have not done any maintenance on the Starboard and only on occasion spent a minute polishing the polycarbonate. My forward handrails are also zero maintenance Starboard. I like teak on other people's boats, but I refuse to burden myself with materials that require excess labor.

You may notice the lack of a toe rail on this next photo, but I do have a strong taut line strung along the base of the stanchions about 1.5 inches above the deck. ..... or I guess it doesn't show, but it's there.



Work, work, work.... I guess I need to take some more photos!

I would choose the Cate's aluminum rail, but I have not found one that fits the curve at the edge of my deck.
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Old 03-01-2015, 17:55   #41
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
For those of you who are sick of varnishing toe rails:

We have seen some very good looking ones, sanded, two coats varnish, one coat of paint. The colors of paint have varied, from a teakish colored golden brown, to dove grey, to maroon (!). The thing is, that all these boats looked quite smart.

Ann
Yep, I've seen some amazing ones done in dove grey.... looked great.. I guess the paint outlasts varnish immensely....
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Old 03-01-2015, 18:12   #42
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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I am currently overhauling my exterior, and the teak is part of that process. The hatch coamings, handrails and companionway entry webs are all getting a makeover after 35+ years. The coamings are nearly complete. First I sanded them down to bare, clear wood grain (see picture), then chemically bleached with a 1-2 punch of sodium hydroxide solution followed by oxalic acid solution. Then I sanded to 220 grit, then sealed the wood with West System 105 resin and 207 Special Hardener. This was followed up by a couple layers more of epoxy to achieve a super smooth finish. After I complete my nonskid painting of the decks, I will cover the epoxy with 2-3 coats of Sterling Clear LPU to make it look unbearably beautiful. Then, because I hope to go to tropical climes soon, I intend to cover the sanded clear coat with one or two layers of Cloud White LPU to protect the clear finish from UV degradation. The 207 hardener has UV protection, as does the clear LPU, but no one has developed a clear coating that is as durable as an opaque, light reflecting sacrificial cover of LPU. So, should I ever wish to restore the glorious teak trim appearance, I will only need to sand off the topcoat and reseal with a coat or two of clear LPU.



By the way, I have used this combination (without the opaque top coat, of course) on another, non marine (though it was designed by Olin Stephens, standing beside the trunk) project I was involved with.

Hey Roy! Glad to hear you are headed out soon. Get out of that cold SD Winter!!

as I mentioned earlier in this post we did almost exactly what you have done. since cruising full time since 2005 we only repaint toerail and handrails about once every 3 years. Just a quick sand and broom on some more paint. We have chosen to use enamel for ease of application especially overseas. But in either case it has worked out great. When we get back and settled we will strip it off and varnish again.

Leaving the teak bare will in time erode the wood to almost nothing.

Take care my friend and see you out there

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Old 03-01-2015, 20:04   #43
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

Quote:
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...any passage I make toward the bow in questionable weather or conditions is on the high side...
I am teathered...

The choices for safety are numerous...
...as numerous as the ways to make one's boat less safe.

In an effort to reduce maintenance, you have found a work-around which you feel helps mitigate the removal of a safety feature. You may be able to make this work, for you, by restricting your freedom of movement about the deck.

What if there is a serious problem, on the low side, in need of your immediate attention?

No. I think it is bad policy on a cruising boat.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:47   #44
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
...as numerous as the ways to make one's boat less safe.

In an effort to reduce maintenance, you have found a work-around which you feel helps mitigate the removal of a safety feature. You may be able to make this work, for you, by restricting your freedom of movement about the deck.

What if there is a serious problem, on the low side, in need of your immediate attention?

No. I think it is bad policy on a cruising boat.
Sure, you must be right. With unrestricted freedom of movement you could be anywhere and in places where I would not dare to go.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:29   #45
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Re: Teak Toe Rail Advice

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I recognize that smile... It means the hard work is done, the bill is reasonable, and the splash has been scheduled...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
...as numerous as the ways to make one's boat less safe.

In an effort to reduce maintenance, you have found a work-around which you feel helps mitigate the removal of a safety feature. You may be able to make this work, for you, by restricting your freedom of movement about the deck.

What if there is a serious problem, on the low side, in need of your immediate attention?

No. I think it is bad policy on a cruising boat.
I think this has already been addressed.... The issues were mentioned... This is one very experienced cruiser who poses a FWIW option with several responses to maintaining safety on the deck...
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