In response to reader requests, the following
is a description of my efforts to identify the toe rail as the source of
leaks in my C-26, and efforts taken to repair the leaks. While this
description is geared to a C-26, it is also applicable to C-20 & C-22 classes
as well, because the hull/deck composition appears to be very similar.
Unfortunately, this repair job was done about a year ago, and I had not
envisioned writing a "how to" tutorial on the job. Consequently, no photos
are provided in this tutorial.
Ron & Sue Hatton provided me with a great deal of information and moral
support in identifying and repairing the leak.
Unfortunately, this repair job was done about a year ago, and I had not envisioned writing a "how to" tutorial on the job. Consequently, no photos are provided in this tutorial.
Ron & Sue Hatton provided me with a great deal of information and moral support in identifying and repairing the leak.
I was getting water in the boat, but couldn't figure out how it was coming in. I checked all my thru-deck fittings, windows, etc., but couldn't find any leaks that would account for the amount of water in the boat. I pulled the boat out of the water and checked the thru-hull fittings, but found no places where the water could be coming in.
Finally, after examining all possible alternatives, I took a look at the toe rail, which was slightly bent from a previous accident which I had deemed not to be too serious.
The accident which caused the leak was one of my own doing. It occured after I had tied off my boat in the slip after a day of sailing. I was in a hurry and did not leave enough slack in the lines. We had a strong storm surge in the marina due to heavy rains. Inevitably, the boat had to rise with the storm surge, and my port side toe rail was caught underneath the dock. The force of the rising water forced the toe rail to bend outwards, and to partially pull out the screws holding the toe rail to the deck.
As a result of this problem, I had water coming in through the screw holes in the deck. Water was gathering on the deck and coming in through the holes left by the toe rail screws.
One thing I want to stress here; this is a two-person job, as the toe rail is stainless steel or aluminum, and fairly heavy as well as unwieldy. You don't want the toe rail to get bent any further, or to mar your gelcoat if it gets dropped.
NOTE: A discussion of adhesive & adhesive removal materials is provided at the bottom of this tutorial.
For me, the whole process of repairing the toe rail was done in about four hours, and was much easier than I thought it would be.
I was fortunate that I had someone to help me, as it would have been impossible to accomplish by myself.
Take the time to thoroughly remove all old adhesive.
The rubber strip was very hard to reinstall; you will need to do some serious pulling here, but it will fit!
In case you're wondering which adhesive to use, I used 3M 5200 Polyurethane Adhesive/Sealant in a caulkgun. Here is 3M's description of this product:
"Famous because it provides incredible adhesion, yet stays flexible after it cures. Ideal for underwater thru-hull fittings, hull-to-deck joints, portholes, and bonding wood to fiberglass. Goes on smoothly, won't sag, and remains workable up to 4 hours. Retains strength above and below the waterline. Becomes tack-free in 48 hours, and cures completely in 5-7 days with no shrinking. Cleans up with kerosene or mineral spirits."
Regarding adhesive removal, I looked in the West Marine catalog under paint/adhesive strippers -- here's what they carry (these descriptions, except where noted, were copied directly from their catalog):
My recommendation though, is for you to either contact your local marine supply store or one of the big marine supply stores like West Marine. Explain what you're trying to do and they'll provide you with solid advice. West Marine's phone number is 1-800-BOATING (262-8464).
If you have any questions about any of the information in this tutorial,
send me an e-mail at email@example.com
or click on the e-mail button in the left frame.