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Toe Rail

This was a can after starting we wondered what possessed us to tackle this job.  We love wood, but we wanted to cut some hours out of this full time job we call boat ownership.  So we decided to go with extrusion, with the advantages of tie off points no sanding and we think it does look good.  Using an 18v cordless cutoff we soon realized this was going to be a nightmare.  The stanchions are 1″ solid threaded through the hull to deck joint and I’m sure the teak was bedded with commercial military grade crazy glue.  After hours of intense labour we reached the cap.  Then hours of sanding and filling and 4 layers of glass later, it appeared as a leak-proof smooth and white cap-rail.  I didn’t even want to drill new holes in it for the extrusion, seemed contradictive filling dozens of holes then drilling them back in again.  We didn’t realize until we got this far how expensive extrusion is, wow!  Average price was 1000.00 per 20′ section.  Again must be manufactured for use in outer space and gold filled.  Then comes the dry fit, bending the apex to match the curve of the hull.  We had to use the windlass to tie it off and slowly pull it in as we worked our way from the stern to the bow, then clamping as we went.  Try to get clamps to work on a sloped bulwark, so starts another process of making shims to work with those.  Finally after it was clamped in place we marked and drilled pilot holes only to undo all the work of clamping it in place.  There was so much tension at the bow it made us nervous working around it, if it sprang off I’m sure it would launch someone to the next county, or space, after all that’s what this stuff was constructed for….wasn’t it?  Then began the process of using 35,000 tubes of 4200, at least that’s what it seemed like, my hands were cramped for a day or 2 after using so much in the caulking gun.  In-case you’re wondering why I used 4200 , I try to avoid the use of 5200 unless I know for sure alterations to the project won’t be necessary in the future.  4200 is much easier to remove than 5200 down the road but still provides good adhesion and a little more elasticity.  back to clamping and using the windlass again, after a lot of grunting, sweating and cursing it was screwed into place.  This time you had to be more careful not to smear the 4200 bed underneath while placing it.  In the end I think, maybe, ok, ok, yes it was worth it!

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