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Re: toe rail to deck seal

Category: General/Other
Date: 22 Feb 2004
Time: 08:28:51
Remote Name:
Remote User: jfh


Big job...but one I've also been considering, as Sarah has developed a number of leaks on the stb toerail just ahead of the chainplates, and I'm sick of damp clothes :-(. I've had a piece of toerail off (port quarter, about a 6' section) and the structure is sort of interesting. I'll (shortly) post a diagram of the joint on The brown part is the toerail, seen in cross section. The two yellow parts are fiberglas -- the topsides curving in, and the deck passing off to the right. THe red line is where some sort of caulk seems to have been applied; I can see a bit of it oozing out on the inside at a few places in the forward lockers above the v-berth. And the green? That's some sort of stuff that's been jammed into the space between the rabbet in the toerail and the somewhat ragged edge of the deck. It looks and feels a lot like plasticene; I think it also may be trapped under the outer edge of the toerail (between the toerail and the curve of the topsides), but since mine's about 30 years old, there's nothing left showing there. What I haven't shown are any bolts coming from top to bottom; they go through the toerail, the deck (sometimes rather close to the edge of the deck -- like only 7/8 of the hole goes through "deck", and 1/8 goes through plasticene!), and then the curve of the topsides. My guess, given the shoddy state of some of the bungs above these holes, is that my leaks may actually be *there* rather than in the hull-deck joint. My boatyard owner suggested filling in the hull-deck joint (what's red in the diagram) with a sort of butyl rubber material, held to both sides with a bit of caulk. The butyl rubber apparently remains a little flexible, and it tends to "grip" the shaft of the bolts a bit, provingin just a little extra something when you're trying to keep that water out. Then there's the question of "which caulk?" I won't go with 5200; too damned hard to remove if anything goes wrong. I like 3M101 a good deal (use it for winch bases, and several other spots as well). I might go with that if I do the job. Best of luck, and let us know how it works out... -John

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