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Old 06-03-2012, 23:40   #1
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Toe Rail and Railing

My question is related to the railing and the toerailing. I've read some of the post on this topic. My current railing is about 3 feet tall and there is no toe rail. I plan to be in the ocean someday so I want a tall railing and a toe railing. I believe the railing can't be quite so tall forward though due to the head sails. I've examined many boats and most sailboats seem to have shorter railings. Are there generally shorter railings in the front? I've seem some designs where it gets shorter forward. Are there any guidelines? I don't want to make any adjustments to the sail plan, like raising it up so the headsails run higher up (raising up the bottom so I can have a high railing), because I suspect that would be bad? Balance? I do see a variety of boom heights/lowest point of main sail depending on pilot house or no.

Can someone suggest how tall the railing should be for the first x feet of the boat or something. This is a steel cutter, a 37' double ender.

On the toerailing, does anyone think welding on a 1/4" by 4" piece of steel as a toerail is a bad idea? I was even considering welding on the railing to the outside of this, giving me a few extra inches to walk around. I'm not worried about collisions (or stuff sticking outside of the boat) because I could fix it, but I am a little consider about lines getting caught on it. I've seen this on a coast guard boat.
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Old 06-03-2012, 23:59   #2
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

Let me also mention that this boat was initially setup for a chinese lug rig so there was no concern about the railing being low I believe.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:54   #3
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

For off shore I'd keep the rail high...Yes you see lots of low ones... that's a commercial and marketing (prettier) desision and not related to off shore safety.
I would not move the stanchions out board to the point that they could be snagged on a piling.
Hard to say what the best way to attach a toe rail is...but consider attaching it to the base of you stanchions if they are well mounted...it does not need to touch the deck...if its up an inch it will help shed green water from the deck. However if you do fix something to the deck, you have the possibility of collecting rain water.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:08   #4
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

If you are talking about welding a 1/4 x 4 flatbar outside the stancions, I see no issue with that (although those stancions look like stainless...?). Another lighter weight way would be to get SS U bolts and bolt teak boards or starboard to the stancions. A good way to deal with the railing forward is to have a headsail on a pendant... so the tack is up near rail height. Also gives better visibility forward than a deck sweeping headsail...
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:39   #5
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

As the boat is steel, I see no reason a properly made toe rail from steel would not be your answer! as to extending it outboard Im really not to sure this would be helpful, being out board of the bottom life line might make for problems for footing ?? seems it would be better for them to be flush as in other sailing vessels. But then its your choice. As far as tall rails, taller the better!! high cut the sails if nessary, but with junk rig theres no problem anyway !! and haveing used a Junk rig for many years on a 42 fter I love em !! just my 2 cents
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:41   #6
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

On my previous steel boat most of the rust problems I had was on the toerail. It gets banged up quite a bit by feet, ropes, dinghy, and what not.
Keep maintenance in mind when you use a steel toerail as you will be constantly catching up to paint chips and bleeding rust.
An alternative is to weld L shaped steel pieces (stainless or mild) to the deck and bolt a 1" X 4 or 5" wood to this, essentially making a bullwark, about one inch off the deck.

Good luck with the project
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:11   #7
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Re: Toe Rail and Railing

Thanks for all of your input! I appreciate it.
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