View RSS Feed

SeaDart

"Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)

Rate this Entry
Aside from needing to replace most things still original, when I took possession of Tween'r the first thing identified as needing attention were the leaky handrails on the dog house. While inspecting the project, I was a bit surprised to learn the rails were not through bolted with access from below. I didn't notice this when I was inspecting the boat for purchase, even though it wouldn't have made any difference. After researching the excellent forums here at EricsonYachts.org, I learned that most of the attachments were secured via barrel nuts glassed into the deck (the end bolts are through bolted with accessed provided via the metal covers in the liner.) I immediately realized, this wasn't going to be a standard handrail removal, refinish, and rebed project. I was right.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20180331_105421.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	68.3 KB 
ID:	25672

I started removing (digging) out the 40-year-old bungs to find those lovely slot-headed bolts (I hate those damn things). To make matters worse, the tops of them were covered in the epoxy used to secure the bungs. So, there would be no getting a grip on those slot-heads to back out anything. Removal, Refinish, and Rebed became Demolition, Replace New, and Instal. Break out the sawzall and wiz wheel.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20180401_125645.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	99.9 KB 
ID:	25673

Once the pieces were cut into manageable pieces, all it took was a little pressure and those glassed in barrel nuts popped right out. The ones that were leaking were not attached at all, so they make one hell of a hole. No wonder they leaked like a firehose. Long story short, they weren't long for this world anyway, so replacing them ended up being the proper thing to do anyway. Now they can be done in a proper fashion.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20180401_125536.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	64.4 KB 
ID:	25674

The next question was: What to replace them with? One thing was sure, there would be no buying production rails off the self. The standard foot print of today isn't anything close to what they were 40 years ago. They would have to be custom made. And there are some great posts on this site where folks have done just that. I am not that handy. I thought about stainless, but they were cost prohibitive. I thought about commissioning the job out to have some more teak rails fabricated, but decided against it. I wanted something that looked good but required less maintenance (don't we all). I decided on PlasTeak. https://www.plasteak.com/. The cost of production for 7/8" rails was $1.00 an inch. I did the math and realized it wasn't too bad ($96.00 for each side). BUT ... due to the length of each side, shipping was going to be $138.00. OUCH!

So, I decided to break them up into two sections per side. A three looper and a two looper. That brought the cost of the rails down to $83.00 per side and the shipping to $33.00. PERFECT! Ship them! When they arrived, I couldn't have been more pleased.

The only thing left to do was to drill out the existing holes to a half inch, remove the rotten core, refill with thicken epoxy, re-drill the new holes through the overhead, rebed them with butyl rubber, and bolt them in. I must say that breaking them up into two sections looks better (to me anyway) than one continuous rail. It gives the dog house a bit more definition. And above everything else, I love the look and everybody on the dock seems to agree. I couldn't be happier.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20180924_160725.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	63.3 KB 
ID:	25675

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20181117_145218.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	73.0 KB 
ID:	25676

Submit ""Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)" to Digg Submit ""Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)" to del.icio.us Submit ""Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)" to StumbleUpon Submit ""Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)" to Google Submit ""Tween'r" Handrail Project (Ericson 27)" to Face Book

Comments

  1. Kenneth K's Avatar
    Hey, that looks really nice. Interesting that the 2+3 loops look better than the original long rail.

    Only problem I see with the PlasTeak is that your gonna mis the annual tape/scrape/varnish routine you would have had with wood.
  2. SeaDart's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth K
    Hey, that looks really nice. Interesting that the 2+3 loops look better than the original long rail.

    Only problem I see with the PlasTeak is that your gonna mis the annual tape/scrape/varnish routine you would have had with wood.

    I know. The lack of maintenance is something I'll have to struggle with. But I think I'll be okay. Thanks!
  3. kapnkd's Avatar
    Very nice job and the split design does look really good! We too went with the PlasTeak rails on our ‘32 but were close enough to the factory to pick them up and save on the shipping. We even got a tour! Impressive operation and they have lots of other great products too! (Used their interior Teak & Holly for our cabin sole.)

    3 seasons now, they still look like new and haven’t needed any maintenance. We oversized the holes then filled them solid with resin and redrilled the holes so if they ever leak it will no longer leach into the balsa coring. We bedded the rails with white butyl tape (purchased at an RV place) The butyl never dries so remains flexible and was much easier to clean up plus was a consistent thickness when bedding the rails.

    Also, we drilled completely through the inside cabin top liner and pulled the hand rails down with inside trim nuts to compress the rails more tightly to the cabin top. So far - no leaks, no drips, no errors!
    Updated 12-15-2018 at 12:30 PM by kapnkd
  4. SeaDart's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kapnkd
    Very nice job and the split design does look really good! We too went with the PlasTeak rails on our Ď32 but were close enough to the factory to pick them up and save on the shipping. We even got a tour! Impressive operation and they have lots of other great products too! (Used their interior Teak & Holly for our cabin sole.)

    3 seasons now, they still look like new and havenít needed any maintenance. We oversized the holes then filled them solid with resin and redrilled the holes so if they ever leak it will no longer leach into the balsa coring. We bedded the rails with white butyl tape (purchased at an RV place) The butyl never dries so remains flexible and was much easier to clean up plus was a consistent thickness when bedding the rails.

    Also, we drilled completely through the inside cabin top liner and pulled the hand rails down with inside trim nuts to compress the rails more tightly to the cabin top. So far - no leaks, no drips, no errors!
    THANKS!!! I've been looking at their teak and holly for the cabin sole too. What about the install? Any difficulties?
  5. kapnkd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SeaDart
    THANKS!!! I've been looking at their teak and holly for the cabin sole too. What about the install? Any difficulties?
    Merry Christmas Sea Dart!

    Not really, biggest thing is patience in planning your cuts, using a long straight edge and good sharp blade for precise cuts.

    I bought a roll of carpet floor paper 24" wide at Lowe's and made patterns for each area. I then copied the patterns to the bottom to keep the pencil lines off the teak and holly side. The paper was also a help in keeping the holly lines matched up from section to section for a consistent and aesthetic look.

    They have two types of adhesives for depending on what type of sole you have. Their reps are very knowledgeable and helpful. Also, check out their website and YouTube for independent how to videos.

    I've got photos that were posted in the past or can send you if you reply to my email at kkdiehl0427@sbcglobal.net (can't post them here).

    Like the handrails, the PlasTeak holds up well, cleans easily and takes a beating well.

    Fair Winds!
    -kerry
  6. sgwright67's Avatar
    Thanks for posting! Although we haven't yet purchased the boat, it's likely this will be one of the jobs I will need to do. The new rails look great.