Refinishing our toe rail - sealant?

Refinishing our toe rail - sealant?

Joined: January 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm

July 10th, 2007, 5:32 am #1

We have removed the hardware from the toe rail on our '38 in preparation for refinishing/varnishing. As I cleaned up last weekend, I noticed a lot of gunk - perhaps old sealant - washing out from under the toe rail. While I am planning to bed the hardware in sealant on re-installation, I had not thought to prevent water from entering under the toe rail... with sealant, for example.

I haven't found a discussion of this particular issue in the master index teak section or by searching the forum. Is this a problem/concern? I would think so... How is this best addressed (without removing the teak)?

Thanks,
Scott
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Matt ODonnell
Matt ODonnell

July 10th, 2007, 12:21 pm #2

When I refinished my toerails I used Bristol Finish. When I was done applying eight coats I ran a tape line on the boat and the teak. I then caulked with 3m 5200 teak color. Then I smoothed it out with my finger and removed the tape. It was the only way I could think of keeping the water from lifting the varnish on the edges.

Matt ODonnell
Changing Channels




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Paul
Paul

July 10th, 2007, 2:10 pm #3

When I see a job like that, I'm a believer. The proof is in the final work. Nice job!

I think the 5200 could present an issue sometime down the road, regarding any kind of removal or refurbish work, simply becuase it's considered a "permanent" solution. However, looking at the job, it could be a permanent good solution as long at the brightwork is kept in good shape (and I'm talking 10, 20 years here).

Love the photo, by the way!

Paul
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Paul
Paul

July 10th, 2007, 2:22 pm #4

We have removed the hardware from the toe rail on our '38 in preparation for refinishing/varnishing. As I cleaned up last weekend, I noticed a lot of gunk - perhaps old sealant - washing out from under the toe rail. While I am planning to bed the hardware in sealant on re-installation, I had not thought to prevent water from entering under the toe rail... with sealant, for example.

I haven't found a discussion of this particular issue in the master index teak section or by searching the forum. Is this a problem/concern? I would think so... How is this best addressed (without removing the teak)?

Thanks,
Scott
I think Matt's use of the colored sealant is just superb. The tendency would be to use a white "bathtub" caulking here, and the care to color coordinate this is just superb.

I run into the same issues in architecture all the time, where some guy with a caulking gun shows up and thinks it's his calling in life to seal a colored laminate top to the color coordinated wall with a white line of bathtub calulking. I've written specifications for projects that say "there shall be NO white caluking used anywhere on this project without written approval of the Architect" in order to control this. This goes with exterior masonry too, and contractors always like to pick a control joint color out of the box instead of a custom color to really match up nicely. Going with a color coordinated sealant is a nice finishing touch, and it is one step in the direction of award winning work.

There's always the question when putting two materials together that are different colors, do I select a white sealant to go with the "Wimbledon" white hull, or do I try to match the dark wood color. The tendency is to go with the white, and I have seen some very nice looking jobs done this way, neatness sure counts a lot because there is NOTHING worse than a poor caulking job. Off white would look better, no doubt. However, like I said earlier, the proof is in the final installation, and what Matt has done sure looks very very good. I try to learn something every day, and learning tips and tricks like what Matt has done with his boat represent a very high standard, and these need to be passed on for consideration by others. Take another look, not many toe rails look better than this one !

I wish my toe rail looked as good, my problem was the prev owner used some kind of resin mix that was nearly impossible to get off the old wood, and it was pretty heavily beaten up. As a result, my toe rail had to be heavily sanded and repaired, some repaired with epoxy and sawdust mix.

Just a few parting comments

Paul
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 3:42 am

July 10th, 2007, 3:52 pm #5

We have removed the hardware from the toe rail on our '38 in preparation for refinishing/varnishing. As I cleaned up last weekend, I noticed a lot of gunk - perhaps old sealant - washing out from under the toe rail. While I am planning to bed the hardware in sealant on re-installation, I had not thought to prevent water from entering under the toe rail... with sealant, for example.

I haven't found a discussion of this particular issue in the master index teak section or by searching the forum. Is this a problem/concern? I would think so... How is this best addressed (without removing the teak)?

Thanks,
Scott
If you look to photos of my toe rail removal you will notice the dirty dried out bedding compound that is left after all these years. It is mostly powder at this point and not doing its intended job at all! When I install the new toe rails I will use 3M 3200 as it is a great sealant/caulk and easier to remove if necessary. I will back caulk with a teak colored deck seam caulk (there are several good ones on the market) after I varnish ala Matt O.s method. Taping off both surfaces straight and true and removing excess caulk with a finger or tool will leave a beautiful result that looks more like pin stripping than caulking. I like a modified stiff putty knife with an 1/8 of 1/4 inch radius ground on the corners to remove the excess caulk. All this said if you look at how the deck mates to the hull, there is probably not much to worry about (at least structurally) as far as water intrusion in this area.

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Joined: January 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm

July 15th, 2007, 2:23 am #6

When I refinished my toerails I used Bristol Finish. When I was done applying eight coats I ran a tape line on the boat and the teak. I then caulked with 3m 5200 teak color. Then I smoothed it out with my finger and removed the tape. It was the only way I could think of keeping the water from lifting the varnish on the edges.

Matt ODonnell
Changing Channels



The color on the sealant matched really well! Thanks for posting the photo. I'll definitely be shooting for the same result.

Cheers,
Scott
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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

July 15th, 2007, 5:30 pm #7

What was previously acceptable, is no longer good enough. All the photos and tips I have seen here have raised the bar. It has also created some work for me next time I do the varnish, but I am sure it will be well worth it. It doesn't take much more to go first class!

Dave
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popedaddy52
popedaddy52

June 4th, 2010, 12:26 am #8

If you look to photos of my toe rail removal you will notice the dirty dried out bedding compound that is left after all these years. It is mostly powder at this point and not doing its intended job at all! When I install the new toe rails I will use 3M 3200 as it is a great sealant/caulk and easier to remove if necessary. I will back caulk with a teak colored deck seam caulk (there are several good ones on the market) after I varnish ala Matt O.s method. Taping off both surfaces straight and true and removing excess caulk with a finger or tool will leave a beautiful result that looks more like pin stripping than caulking. I like a modified stiff putty knife with an 1/8 of 1/4 inch radius ground on the corners to remove the excess caulk. All this said if you look at how the deck mates to the hull, there is probably not much to worry about (at least structurally) as far as water intrusion in this area.
What kind of wood did you use for your toe rail? Did you go back with teak?
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Paul
Paul

June 4th, 2010, 3:49 pm #9

Speaking for Chris, yes indeed, this project was done in teak and to a very high standard. You may have noticed that CHALLENGER, a beautiful 41' Commander owned by Bill Mulvey on Seneca Lake, was special ordered by the original owner from Chris Craft with mahogany toe rails, so either would work.

Regards,

Paul
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