Bulwark & Toe Rail

Project Logs

November 22, 2011

I spent the past weekend continuing my work on the toe rail.  I faired the entire toe rail, plus  the bow platform.  Fairing was especially necessary, because when I first laid the fiberglass + filet, I found that the thickened epoxy filet had impressions underneath the thin, 14 oz. cloth.  This resulted in what I can only describe as a “bumpy” toe rail.  Here’s an image to explain what I mean:

If you look down the port toe rail, you can see how the toe rail looks “bumpy” due to the unevenly spread epoxy thickener below


So, to solve this, I sanded the toe rail down as best I could.  In some spots, unfortunately, I had to sand down through a layer of fiberglass.  This isn’t ideal, because sanding through fiberglass layers essentially weakens the bond between the fiberglass, toe rail and deck, however there weren’t too many spots I needed to do this in.  Once sanding was complete, I put on the first coat of fairing.  I’ll definitely be hitting this fairing with some more sanding, plus another round of fairing/sanding or two, but overall I really liked how it turned out.  See the first results of fairing below:

First round of fairing on the port toe rail.


Stern lazarette deck and toe railed after first fair.

 November 10, 2011

Over the past few days I’ve been working on installing the toe rail.  I’ve had my friend Ben Young working with me for the past 3 nights.  Overall, the toe rail took me 4 days to fully install on deck.  I’ve decided to give an overview of what I did each day to paint a picture of the steps required to complete this project:

+  Day 1 – I began by cleaning up the old toe rails.  I removed all the old caulking and sanded the toe rails to make for easier handling.  Once cleaned, I moved the toe rails on deck and aligned the forward toe rails with the bow platform.  I would install one, 1/4″ fastener at a time.  I would drill a hole in the same location as the original fasteners had been starting with the forward most hole.  I slowly worked backwards until the forward toe rails were both on.  Then, using the same “drill a hole, install fasteners forwards to back” technique, I installed the aft toe rails.

+  Day 2 – Ben and I installed 1 toe rail today.  I removed the fasteners I had installed the previous day, then inserted shims between the toe rail and the deck, allowing us to put 5200 caulking below the toe rail.  Once the caulking was in place, I drilled the fasteners through the deck and Ben installed the nuts and washers below deck.  Ben also cut all the glass for the toe rail layup using 2 layers of 7.5 oz cloth.  One layer was 14cm, the second layer was 18 cm.

+  Day 3 – Ben and I installed the second toe rail today using the same 5200 + 1/4″, 3″ fasteners.  We also thickened the bow platform and aft toe rail into place.  I then sanded the toe rails and trimmed any areas that were slightly out of alignment using my oscillating saw.

+  Day 4 – This was a big fiberglass day.  Ben helped me for a few hours and we installed the bow platform glass, plus the port toe rail.  I finished up by glassing in the starboard and aft toe rail.  I also made sure to install a block on the aft toe rail to mount a stern anchor roller.

November 9, 2011

I’ve decided to add toe rails to the boat instead of bulwarks.



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