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2savage

Replacing a piece of toe rail

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C&C 34+  I need to install a new piece of toe rail to fix some damage.  From the stern fitting used for a dock line to about ten feet forwards.  What would the process be?  What issues making the bend?  What about bedding compound?

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Is it the same OEM rail ?...otherwise the hole pattern might not match. In either case I'd fill the old holes with epoxy and start over, measure the length of the old section in millimeters for cutting the new one. Start fitting from the forward end as that joint will be the more visual fit as opposed to the stern fitting. Making the bend should not be a problem as you go hole my hole, might need a little help at the end with a lever or small block and tackle...5200 for bedding hopefully you will never have to take it off again 

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Personally I would start in the middle of the replacemt section and work your way forward and aft from there, two forward, then two aft, then two more aft forward, then repeat. Make damn sure you have the right number of holes going forward and aft at the get go. I would also just make the hand tight until all the fastners are in place before torqueing them down. When you do that part, I would skip every other one and make them but not fully torqued, then go back down and bring up the others, then final torque. And I would use a torque wrench and not guess they are all "about the same".

I do not know about the 34+ specifically, but C&C used gray butyl to caulk their toe rail and when the lads spun off Express Yachting (Ball, Goman and Jones), they continued that tradition. So I have a strong suspicion that is what you shall find you have.

One other note, and this is going back a bit prior to your boat/design. The C&C 35 (Redwing 35) that pretty much put C&C on the map, the cadence of the holes in the toerails changed depending on which yard built the boat. Belvidere had like 3" centers and Hinterholer like 3 1/2" centers from what I recall. Now I should imagine when they started building in  RI and streamlined, that the centers became standardized. That said, you might want to check on that and get that right. Filling and drilling would be a nightmare best avoided.

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Personally I would start in the middle of the replacemt section and work your way forward and aft from there, two forward, then two aft, then two more aft forward, then repeat. Make damn sure you have the right number of holes going forward and aft at the get go. I would also just make the hand tight until all the fastners are in place before torqueing them down. When you do that part, I would skip every other one and make them but not fully torqued, then go back down and bring up the others, then final torque. And I would use a torque wrench and not guess they are all "about the same".

I do not know about the 34+ specifically, but C&C used gray butyl to caulk their toe rail and when the lads spun off Express Yachting (Ball, Goman and Jones), they continued that tradition. So I have a strong suspicion that is what you shall find you have.

One other note, and this is going back a bit prior to your boat/design. The C&C 35 (Redwing 35) that pretty much put C&C on the map, the cadence of the holes in the toerails changed depending on which yard built the boat. Belvidere had like 3" centers and Hinterholer like 3 1/2" centers from what I recall. Now I should imagine when they started building in  RI and streamlined, that the centers became standardized. That said, you might want to check on that and get that right. Filling and drilling would be a nightmare best avoided.

%99 guaranteed for a total fuck up.....

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If you say so.

Problem with starting at one end and working to the other is you risk buckling the damn thing by trying to bend it around all at once.

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If you say so.

Problem with starting at one end and working to the other is you risk buckling the damn thing by trying to bend it around all at once.

I think H2O the builder of many custom race boats might know what he's talking about but just my opinion...

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The guy next to me changed his Ranger 29 from wooden trim to perforated toerail, did it like H2O suggested and had no buckling issues whatsoever.

I know there are folks on the C&C listserv that have done that very thing, the OP may want to pose the question there.

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I think I might try to pre-bend it to the approximate curvature off the boat: even if it's not exact any little bit of approximate curvature will probably help

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I think I might try to pre-bend it to the approximate curvature off the boat: even if it's not exact any little bit of approximate curvature will probably help

I wouldn't. Really hard to control twist, and I'd worry about kinking it. Mounting it to the boat as H2O suggested isn't that difficult, from my experience watching it happen.

I agree with the idea of remounting it using butyl, but only if you get it from Maine Sail.

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I put holy rail on my first Quarter Pounder. That shit is STIFF - I had to use a Spanish windlass to bend it and it was scary the amount of tension it required. I can't imagine anyone being able to buckle it.

It's also a very hard alloy - it was more like cutting steel than alloy.

I believe that C&C used it to bolt the hull & deck together so I'd want the exact same extrusion and I'd want to cut it to exactly match the existing holes.

There is miles of it available in boat scrapyards so you should be able to get an exact match.

Does anyone still make that stuff?

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I put holy rail on my first Quarter Pounder. That shit is STIFF - I had to use a Spanish windlass to bend it and it was scary the amount of tension it required. I can't imagine anyone being able to buckle it.

It's also a very hard alloy - it was more like cutting steel than alloy.

I believe that C&C used it to bolt the hull & deck together so I'd want the exact same extrusion and I'd want to cut it to exactly match the existing holes.

There is miles of it available in boat scrapyards so you should be able to get an exact match.

Does anyone still make that stuff?

try south shore yachts, or i know of a 43 where the owner would never miss the bit.....

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I put holy rail on my first Quarter Pounder. That shit is STIFF - I had to use a Spanish windlass to bend it and it was scary the amount of tension it required. I can't imagine anyone being able to buckle it.

It's also a very hard alloy - it was more like cutting steel than alloy.

I believe that C&C used it to bolt the hull & deck together so I'd want the exact same extrusion and I'd want to cut it to exactly match the existing holes.

There is miles of it available in boat scrapyards so you should be able to get an exact match.

Does anyone still make that stuff?

We used toe rail from a Canadian company Atkins & Hoyle....the toe rail had a lip that covered the hull deck joint...Merrimam made a toe rail too but sat flush on the deck....Atkins & Hoyle also made nice aluminium hatches too...before Lewmar jumped the market

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I put holy rail on my first Quarter Pounder. That shit is STIFF - I had to use a Spanish windlass to bend it and it was scary the amount of tension it required. I can't imagine anyone being able to buckle it.

It's also a very hard alloy - it was more like cutting steel than alloy.

I believe that C&C used it to bolt the hull & deck together so I'd want the exact same extrusion and I'd want to cut it to exactly match the existing holes.

There is miles of it available in boat scrapyards so you should be able to get an exact match.

Does anyone still make that stuff?

The hull-deck joint is held in place by separate machine screws going through the two surfaces every six inches (I think), and that joint is filled with butyl. The toe rail adds another set of screws to the assembly. South Shore Yachts sells new matching extrusions, but I'm sure there must be a lot of used stock available after the hurricanes. http://southshoreyachts.com/product-category/cc-parts/toe-rails/

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The  machine screw were only to hold the two pieces together during installation of the toerail, they don't heve any real strength in that joint.

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The  machine screw were only to hold the two pieces together during installation of the toerail, they don't heve any real strength in that joint.

My understanding also. Assembly screws.

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All good advice.  The rebuilding of this section of the boat means there are no existing holes.  All is new glass.  I was thinking drill two new holes to secure the rail at the rear then bending it in to the curve of the boat and drilling new holes as needed.  Finally, cut the rail to length (I bought an extra foot to be sure) then refit with bedding compound.

 

I bought the OEM rail from South Shore Yachts, along with a bunch of other things I needed.    

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Once you get your section of rail, I'd lay it against the hull aft, and then from the forward end and see which end has more bend.  My guess is the forward end does.  If that's the case, then you might consider starting at the forward end, vice near the stern, as the long length of rail sticking out should act like a nice lever arm, and help make the bending easier.  That way when you get to the straighter section at the stern, its not as much of an effort to try to bend.  But I'd run this "theoretical I was an engineering student once in a galaxy far, far away" approach past H2O who actually knows what the hell he's talking about...

I'm also with him on using 5200...its one thing to have to trim some butyl off from around a portlight.  Its an entirely different thing to have to trim it off 10 plus feet of toerail as it slowly continues to ooze out...

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Check with Crest Aluminum for the 34+ extrusion, They're one step up the chain from South Shore yachts (who in recent years have been difficult to work with in my experience....but I've never dealt with Crest)

 

 

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Once you get your section of rail, I'd lay it against the hull aft, and then from the forward end and see which end has more bend.  My guess is the forward end does.  If that's the case, then you might consider starting at the forward end, vice near the stern, as the long length of rail sticking out should act like a nice lever arm, and help make the bending easier.  That way when you get to the straighter section at the stern, its not as much of an effort to try to bend.

Exactly right - that stuff is so stiff that if the butt is in an area with any curve then you'll get a bit of a kink at the join - it's impossible to get it to meet up exactly fair.

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%99 guaranteed for a total fuck up.....

+1

I've done toerails, both on new builds and as an "upgrade".  It's a hate-mission no matter what, but... the ONLY way to get the joins right is to start at the place where it joins.

You can fudge the ends a bit (end caps, whatever).  But a mis-aligned join in the middle of the rail will bug you every time you see it.

 

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I bought an extra foot of rail planning to bend it up to the join, marking where to cut then making that cut.  Also, I have new stanchion mounts one of which I plan to mount right over the join.

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I bought an extra foot of rail planning to bend it up to the join, marking where to cut then making that cut.  Also, I have new stanchion mounts one of which I plan to mount right over the join.

as I said...I would carefully measure in metric the old rail cut to that length....factory cut end of new rail at the joint...your cut at the stern fitting...thinking you are going to bend in place and scribe is a whole lot of extra hassle with less accuracy than measuring properly and install....no need to dry fit....start at the joint and go for it....be sure to get the first 3' bolted and tightened with nuts...a couple of clamps and a 4' 2"x"2  HomeDepot porch slat clamped on to the last 18" of the new rail as leverage pulling in the last bit of new rail in place....or some other similar option...not seeing the lay out is difficult to recommend....it is really not that hard if you plan it out

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as I said...I would carefully measure in metric the old rail cut to that length....factory cut end of new rail at the joint...your cut at the stern fitting...thinking you are going to bend in place and scribe is a whole lot of extra hassle with less accuracy than measuring properly and install....no need to dry fit....start at the joint and go for it....be sure to get the first 3' bolted and tightened with nuts...a couple of clamps and a 4' 2"x"2  HomeDepot porch slat clamped on to the last 18" of the new rail as leverage pulling in the last bit of new rail in place....or some other similar option...not seeing the lay out is difficult to recommend....it is really not that hard if you plan it out

imagehelper.asp?file_id=6677

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I bought an extra foot of rail planning to bend it up to the join, marking where to cut then making that cut.  Also, I have new stanchion mounts one of which I plan to mount right over the join.

You will never - repeat never get it to bend in to meet in a fair curve at a butt joint unless it is in a dead straight section of deck joint - and where do you ever see that?

Make the joint the starting point and bend it away from there.

Maybe if you did it in a hydraulic press before you started but that's it - no way will you do it with clamps or a windlass. If you doubt me, just try to bend a short section of it before you start mounting it - just try.

Go on - I dare you.

Seriously, if you try to mount it from stern to bow you are guaranteed to have a kink at the joint.

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Progress to date is a trial fit.  I now totally agree with SloopJonB that starting at the butt join is the ONLY way to do it right.  So, using some old jib track I have bolted the new stuff to the old rail through the holes to make them joined then tried bending the track in towards the transom using the curve of the boat to control the bend.  This seems to work but there is still a perceivable kink at the join so I'm going to make up some steel plates which will not allow any kink. 

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1 hour ago, 2savage said:

Progress to date is a trial fit.  I now totally agree with SloopJonB that starting at the butt join is the ONLY way to do it right.  So, using some old jib track I have bolted the new stuff to the old rail through the holes to make them joined then tried bending the track in towards the transom using the curve of the boat to control the bend.  This seems to work but there is still a perceivable kink at the join so I'm going to make up some steel plates which will not allow any kink. 

No kink? That's not much fun.

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It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world

 

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I have done pulled and replaced the toerails on both of my C&C 35s. Plus helped another guy with his. Easy peezy with 4 people to do the whole boat in a weekend. Highly do not recommend 4200/5200 or other wet caulk. Just gets smeared when bending the rail. I highly recommend butyl tape.

 

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Yes, great tip. Butyl tape.   Since I see moving the rail about as I drill and bolt, a wet sealer would be VERY messy.

I'm building up to the attempt to bed this, but man power seems to be a critical factor.  One guy at the business end to drill and coordinate, one person maneuvering the other end of the rail to suit,  and someone down below with a wrench/socket set to get each bolt secured.  And who when all this mayhem is happening is passing out the beers?

 

It may take a village!

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Update, the job went well and the rail is bolted and bedded.  The butyl tape was perfect and starting at the join was without doubt the way to go.  Here's how it went;

First we used some old jib track to bolt the new toe rail to the existing track on the boat.  Then we used some woodworking clamps to pull the track into position using deck fittings like genoa track to use as bracing.  Once we had the toe rail bolting process started we used winches and lines from the rear of the toe rail to bend the new rail to the boat.  Accessing some of the bolt ends from inside was sometimes a job for a contortionist but we persevered and now the rail is bedded.    We just need to cut off the excess and re-bed the end cap (dock line lead).  The process took about five hours for two people.  Now the rest of the process (stanchion bases, stern rail etc.) can be completed.  Thanks to all who contributed advice to ensure this was a successful installation.  

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Savage toe rail.jpg

 

Picture also shows fiber glass work, need for gel coat, missing winch, other missing fittings etc.

 

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9 hours ago, 2savage said:

The process took about five hours for two people. 

With only two of you, who was in charge of handing out the beers?

Nice job done.

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Geez Alan, I don't know who's deck looks worse right now, yours or mine.

Glad to see you are making progress though.

--Matt

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