Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teak Toe Rails

While I was in Florida working with David, I had two opportunities to go sailing on his Tiki 30, Abaco. The boat sailed great and many of the extra additions he made from the basic design worked out really well. One small detail that is missing from the Tiki 26 and 30 designs are simple toe rails on the decks that make going forward (and aft on the stern decks) much safer. This is a detail I had planned to add anyway, and after experiencing firsthand how useful they are on the Tiki 30 when going forward to handle the spinnaker, anchors, etc.; I would not be without them.

The plans do show rails on the inboard sides for the trampoline lashings. I used the same dimensions given for these to make toe rails for both the inboard and outboard sides of the foredecks, forward and aft of the front beam, and for the inboard and outboard sides of the stern decks. The inboard rails will be drilled for lashings later, when it is time to fit trampolines.

I used teak to make the toerails for two reasons: one, I spent an excessive amount of time chiseling away and replacing rotten Doug fir trampoline rails when refitting my Tiki 21, Element, and two, I have plenty of it on hand, also given to me by David as bonuses for various jobs I've helped him on. The teak will be there from now on, and drilling through it for trampoline lashings will present no problems. It will also be epoxy coated and painted, even though this is not necessary, simply because I don't plan to spend any time maintaining exterior varnish or keeping raw teak sanded.

Below are the sawn rails, cut to 3/4" by 1" just as the plans show for trampoline rails.

After cutting to length, the rails were radiused on the tops with a router and drilled for screws with 1/2" countersunk bung holes.

Here is a shot of the foredeck rails on the port hull, dry-fitted with screws before removal for final installation with epoxy.

Here, all the foredeck rails have been installed with screws and epoxy; the holes plugged with 1/2" teak bungs.

After the plugs were cut and sanded flush, the rails got their first coat of sealing epoxy. Although they are only 1-inch high, these toerails afford a great degree of safety as you can brace a foot against them when the boat is pitching, making it much harder to slip overboard. There will, of course, be non-skid paint on the walking areas of the decks as well when the paint work is finished.

A closer view of the rails showing the clearance opening for the front beam. There is a good two inches on either side of the beam location to allow for quick drainage of any seas that come on board. Before painting, the inboard sides of the rails will get a nice transitional fillet to the decks so that no water can collect in the corners.

The rails for the stern are also ready for installation, but first I had to finish the fiberglass sheathing over the edges of the decks to the sheer stringers. This is now done and the rails will go on during the next work session.


tsunamichaser said...

Hey Scott,

Good to see you are back at work on your Tiki. I've spent the last couple of days going over Tsunamichaser looking for problems which I'm glad to say I didn't find any! I have some regular maintenance to do, some paint to touch up once it gets warmer but generally all is good. I'm building a few new elements to make things easier such as a new mount for the autopilot and rails in front of the hatches to deflect any green water that climbs aboard.
I hope you are able to pour some hours into you build. It would be great to see you launch this summer.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned this. I was thinking of doing the same to my T30. Those cambered decks do look like they could get slippery in a hurry.