Port Coach House Roof Grab Rail replacement

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11 years 4 months ago #1391 by David Groves
Hi All,
Happy New Year to all, and safe sailing for 2013.

This fall I rubbed a dock with one of my port fenders in a breeze, the fender was tied to the port coachhouse external grab rail, the fender jammed, and the rail was broken. I think I can source a replacement locally, but am looking for advice on how to replace it. over the winter.
It looks like it is through bolted to the internal cabin grab rail. I am planning on removing the external plugs, trying to remove the nuts holding it down, and remove it without disturbing the internal grab rail too much. Is this doable?

Regards

David Groves, W42#321 "Shamal"

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11 years 4 months ago #1392 by Rick Middleton
I removed our grab rails a few years ago in order to seal them better. The rails are thru bolted, so you will have to remove the plugs from both the inside and outside. I purchased a 3/8 inch deep socket, then ground the wall down to a very thin thickness in order to get the socket down to the nut. I had no luck finding one made thin enough. After removing the rails I ground out the coring in the deck and filled the void with epoxy. The trick is re-drilling the holes in order to get the bolts lined up thru both rails. With a new rail, you will probably be drilling a new hole from below using the lower rail as a guide. After you go thru the process for the damaged rail, you could keep going and remove them all in order to protect the coring with the epoxy. The rails without a matching inside rail are pretty simple. Good winter project.

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11 years 4 months ago - 11 years 4 months ago #1393 by Gerry O'Donoghue
I like creola1982 ideas, especially the one about grinding down the 3/8 socket.

I would (will) remove the lower rails completely and use them as a template to make the new top rails. Clamp them together off the boat and drill the new rail using the lower rails as a guide. Make sure all the decks holes have been sealed properly and rebed the new rails with sikaflex or your goop of choice.






Regards

Gerry
Last edit: 11 years 4 months ago by Gerry O'Donoghue.

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11 years 4 months ago #1394 by David Groves
Thanks for the responses and the photos. I have been looking at plug removal on the web, and plan on using a drywall screw to remove the plugs, possibly with a block to prevent splitting of the rail material. I am assuming that the plugs were originally put in with varnish, or some other light glue, not epoxy?

Thanks also for the pictures. Interesting, I have been reading the discussion groups by email, and didn't realize we could submit photos with them!

David Groves
W42#321

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11 years 4 months ago #1395 by George Chamberlain
I removed and rebedded mine this past year, all 4 sets of rails. I took the bungs out the way you are suggesting (and what I have seen recommended before) by driving in a screw a short ways, then pull the bung out. Unfortunately I found that my bungs had been set in with epoxy, so several of the holes got messed up taking the bungs out. I fixed as best I could by rebuilding the holes with epoxy and teak sawdust (saved from the sanding).
Something to watch for - keep track of which nut/bolt pairs come from which holes. The ones on the ends will be slightly shorter, as the rail is tapered at the end. If you put a longer bolt in the end of the rail, the bung will not seat in the hole - the bolt will be in the way.
Another gotcha - my rails were longer, center-to-center, than what I could easily find online. If I recall correctly, they were 12 inch centers, whereas what is commonly available is 10-inch centers. If I had it to do over again, and was doing it over the winter, I would have replaced with stainless, at least the outside rails. I will probably do that next winter.

GAC

He who will not risk cannot win.

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11 years 4 months ago #1396 by David Groves
Hi,
Any sources for matching stainless steel units?
David

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