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TOPIC: Removing the bow rail on a 45xx?

Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 27 Aug 2007 15:18 #1

  • SteveE
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I'm in desperate need of refinishing the teak cap rail on my 45. The teak is weathered and has probably been sanded a few times in its 20 year life which has left the cleats and rail bases sitting on little teak "perches". I'd like to remove all of the railing and other hardware so I can sand the cap rail smooth again, Cetol it, and reinstall the hardware with proper backing plates and sealant.

Has anyone tackled the job of removing the railing? I'm guessing that most of the screws are actually through bolted with nuts on the back side? Correct? If so, it looks like a terrible job to remove the railing.

Any tips, hints, or insight is appreciated!

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SteveE
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1986 4550 "Synergy"
La Conner, WA

Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 27 Aug 2007 22:18 #2

  • Johnny Vintage
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Why don't you just take a mini sander with a zippy disk blade and cut the top of the railing off and get rid of the teak. I could have that railing off in less that half an hour. You would want to cover the fibreglass where you are cutting with a tarp so as not to get hot filings falling on your gel coat. Then buy the S/S fittings for the chopped off uprights and put S/S tube around instead. Sea dog makes all of the fittings required. Any tube bending shop can put the arc in the forward part of the railing for you. Just make a carboard template of the existing radius before you start chopping.

The hand grinders are about $50.00 at Home Depot and you would need about 4 of the 1/16" think cutting discs. Make sure if you go this route to buy Type 316 Stainless Steel tubing. Don't buy it at a marine parts supplier. Go to a Stainless Steel supplier. Call any local food service equipment manufacturer in your area and ask them where they buy their stainless tubing from. You'd be blown away how much cheaper the stainless would be buying it this way. It's not gold...it's just stainless steel!!

I run a custom stainless steel shop and have done this lots of times for people. If you've got the bucks, you can even have a guy come down to the boat with the new light portable tig welders and install a welded and polished top rail. Either way you don't have to take the mounting plates off. You're asking for leaks doing that.

New railing and no more teak to mess with.

Honey...pour me another martini please...I ain't got nothing to do!!

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Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 28 Aug 2007 04:19 #3

  • SteveE
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Johnny,

I think I need to post a picture so it's clear what I'm dealing with here. The teak is not at the top of the railing, it's at the bottom. I already have a stainless top rail. My problem is that the bases of the railings rest on teak, which is on top of the fiberglass.

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I want to remove the railing and the cleats so I can level out the teak again and then have a continuous Cetol finish that won't let water leak in and lift the Cetol in a year. I also want to make sure all the fittings are well bedded to prevent any leaks into the coring.

Here's how much teak has been removed by previous sanding and/or weathering (it's almost 1/8" in some places):

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SteveE
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1986 4550 "Synergy"
La Conner, WA

Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 28 Aug 2007 15:21 #4

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I've gotten into this project now and every single railing base is through bolted. There are a couple that are going to be almost impossible to get to the back sides (the very rear-most railing mounts). I don't think I can physically reach the nuts on the back side.

I know I've seen a couple of 45's out there with the teak removed completely. It looks just like a 47. I counted and there would be about 100 screw holes to fill if I removed the teak altogether. That's a lot of work, but, it's a one-time job to remove the teak and never have to varnish again.

I love the look of teak, but I really would rather be out boating than spending hours every year applying Cetol/varnish/whatever.

Here's a 45 with the teak removed:

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What do you guys think?
- keep the teak and enjoy it's beauty (but spends hours every year working on it)
- remove the teak and enjoy the maintenance-free difference

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SteveE
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1986 4550 "Synergy"
La Conner, WA

Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 28 Aug 2007 15:54 #5

  • steves501s
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Sorry all you teak lovers, I think Steve's picture of the 45 w/o the teak looks great. I also like the look without the teak cockpit rails, like Robert did. With all the other teak on our 45's, lets boat instead of sand! Steve

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Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 28 Aug 2007 16:14 #6

  • SteveE
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Here's one more photo of that 45 with the teak removed:

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SteveE
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1986 4550 "Synergy"
La Conner, WA

Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 28 Aug 2007 16:31 #7

  • rrdarby
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Our boat had the teak removed when we bought it. Would rather boat, eat fresh fish and shrimp (drink a little too). There is enough maintenance work to do without the added task of teak maintenance. Bad enough the anchor pulpit is still wood and needs refinishing each year ot two.

When we bought the boat we also had the teak/padding removed from the cockpit area. Attached is a picture of the result - hope it comes up as I have had a hard time inserting pictures in the past!!!!!


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To each his own, however.

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Removing the bow rail on a 45xx? 29 Aug 2007 06:13 #8

  • SteveE
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Now that I'm deep into this project, I've had to make a decision;
1. leave the teak.
2. scrap the teak

I've decided to stick with the teak. I've got the railing off (what a royal PITA that was, not for the faint of heart). After 8-10 hours of struggling to get the railing off I decided to sand the high spots in the teak that resided under all 4 cleats and all the railing mounts. They sanded off well with a Porter Cable random orbit and 150 grit paper. Now I've got a nice flat surface again that looks like new. I'll sand it to 220 grit and proceed with a Cetol finish.

So, teak it is for me! Don't be surprised if you hear me grumbling about this decision in a year or so when I have to apply a maintenance coat though :hammer

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SteveE
ABYC Certified - Marine Electrical
Dometic SeaLand Certified - VacuFlush & MasterFlush
Skagit Bay Search & Rescue - active member
1986 4550 "Synergy"
La Conner, WA
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