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Old 27-09-2020, 21:10   #1
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keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Soooo, pragmatic. That's where we are going here.

I've got healthy toe rail leaks. West sail 42. Standard stuff. The toe rail external sealing (bead of caulk between the rail and the deck) is totally shot. It does not appear that they bedded the teak at all - just relied on the exterior caulk and surface finish to keep water out of the screw holes. Genoa tracks need re-bedding. Cleats need re-bedding. My port side leak is dropping a cup an hour under heavy rain.

Decks need paint. Hull needs paint. Standing rigging is on the list. Next spring is gonna be a blast and very expensive, but its fall and I'm wet. So... short term solutions only.

My current thought - I want to rid myself of toe rail and glass it over next spring. Because the decks need surface prep and the hull as well - I'm thinking, **** it. Silicone the toe rail. Anywhere I have a rail joint, silicone it as well. Next spring, it all gets peeled out anyway and its gotta get sanded down to be done right for deck paint

Anyone got any better ideas? I need bullet proof solutions to reduce the water coming in (short of a homeless encampment styled blue tarp situation). I have 5 days of weather window to work with. 2 days off from work.
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Old 27-09-2020, 21:51   #2
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Anything but silicone. Other caulking products will work and not bring the problem of removing traces of silicone.
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Old 27-09-2020, 22:30   #3
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

If you use Sillycone you'll have to live with the consequences which aren't pleasant.

Use a Polyurethane or Polysulfide caulk. Believe Westsail used Dolphinite to bed the cap rails. Unfortunately that dries out over time and stops sealing. The hull to deck bond was either a polysulfide or polyurethane sealant which works well but unfortunately they pierced the joint with hundreds of sheet metal screws with poor caulking to install the cap rail. Pulling the caprail and rebidding with Butyl paying special attention to the fasteners would probably solve your leaking issues. Problem would be pulling the plugs for the fasteners without making a mess of the wood unless you'd also be replacing the caprail. Think Westsail used glue to set the bungs which makes removal an issue. Might try and pull a few of the plugs to see if you can get them out without damaging the surrounding wood.

Trying to seal the caprail/deck line without pulling the caprail is almost guaranteed to fail in short order. Have tried that out of desperation on several different boats and the caulk seal failed rather quickly probably because of the different expansion characteristics of wood and FRP and the poor adhesion to the wood.

Had a friend who built an early Westsail kit and glassed in the hull to deck joint. It worked great but looked pretty sterile. The teak cap rails that are normal on a Westsail look way better but have to be installed with care to seal the fasteners. On my current boat pulled the caprail and glassed the hull to deck joint. Hired it done which was costly but the results were excellent. Carefully caulked all the bolts reinstalling the cap rail so no leaks from them or anywhere on the caprail anymore.
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Old 28-09-2020, 00:46   #4
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

A friend/marine engineer told me about this stuff. I haven't tried it yet but I'm buying a bottle on my next trip stateside. It's not a permanent fix but it might hold you over till spring.

Captain Tolley - Find and Fix Leaks
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Old 28-09-2020, 08:43   #5
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

FlexSeal (Lowes or HomeDepot as seen on TV) should work fine but I don't know how easily it would sand or scrape off the teak when you want a permanent fix. Maybe try a small section after it's dried and use a heat gun.

3M strip caulk from an auto body supply store would work but may stain the teak. I have used both of these methods successfully as an interim fix on two of my boats. I didn't reuse my teak trim when I did the final fix.
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Old 28-09-2020, 08:53   #6
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
A friend/marine engineer told me about this stuff. I haven't tried it yet but I'm buying a bottle on my next trip stateside. It's not a permanent fix but it might hold you over till spring.

Captain Tolley - Find and Fix Leaks
I had a cabin top leak that I just could not fix. I tried everything including removing the interior covering etc. I tried this stuff just from the outside on everything in the area and the leak stopped! I dont think this is a long term solution, but it did work for what must have been a tiny crevice leak.

OP: I'd be real surprised if Westsail didnt seal that hull deck joint inside. But your plan is good, glass it all.
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Old 28-09-2020, 08:54   #7
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

I used Flex Seal on a toe rail leak last fall - a desperate move, I know, but I live in the PNW also, so you know where I was coming from.

It didn't leak at that location any longer so in that sense it worked. However, the leak moved 6 inches along, so a major fail overall.

We pulled the toe rail and rebedded this year, fingers crossed
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Old 28-09-2020, 09:07   #8
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Captain Tplleys. Great reviews but I found it useless. Made for fiberglass repairs, not wood I believe.

To remove a bung which should not be glued in, drill a small hole (1/16 to 1/8" and run a machine screw (that is larger than the hole you drilled) down it slowly. When it hits the screw below it "should" lift the bung out. Works most of the time.

If the bung is glued in. I have a forstner bit that I knocked to pointy end back on. Minimal pointy end. This takes some getting used to but center it exactly in the middle and drill down until you hit the screw head. The forstner bit will leave clean edges for the next bung. You will probably be using a scratch awl to remove the bits to clear the screw head.
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Old 28-09-2020, 09:28   #9
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theller View Post
...Anyone got any better ideas? I need bullet proof solutions to reduce the water coming in (short of a homeless encampment styled blue tarp situation). I have 5 days of weather window to work with. 2 days off from work.
Not as cheap as a case of goop but a 'more refined' blue tarp solution would be shrink-wrapping the boat (+/- allowable in your marina).

I assume this would be fairly bullet-proof while otherwise not requiring removing a bunch of goop (i.e. extra work, likely tedious, how much is your time worth) when you start doing your major work next year. Otherwise agreed no/never silicone.
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Old 28-09-2020, 12:45   #10
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

Thanks for the great feedback everyone.

Current thoughts.

1. keep smoking the devil's lettuce, but avoid the devil's caulk. no silicone. no high power 3m sealant.
2. Running a bead of urethane down the rail - no expectations that it will hold up under sail, but can stop most of my leak issues and removal will be relatively easy (cures solid) and prep is need for #4 anyway. Its also halfway prepped for it.
3. leak finder for the genoa tracks and other top down toe rail hardware.
4. pray for spring and go hog wild with glassing over the hull/deck joint when the rigging and chain plates are replaced.
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Old 28-09-2020, 13:10   #11
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Re: keep me dry this winter! toe rail pragmatism?

I redid teak toe rails 4-5 years ago with 3-m 4000. I believe it is etherthane. Supposed to be the best stuff to seal. So far so good. Bob
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