SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Caprail Repairs - Part 2

This post is a continuation of Caprail Repairs – Part 1

For a few feet on each side the caprail seam was intact.  In these areas I drilled out the existing screw holes to 3/16” in preparation for filling them with epoxy. 

Prior to applying any epoxy to the caprail, Anne used acetone and a chip brush to thoroughly clean the notch.
Anne cleaning the caprail with acetone.
Installing the splines is a two person job.   Anne mixed epoxy thickened with a combination of milled fibers and cabosil.  The milled fibers in the mixture provide additional strength for holding the wood screws used to attach the rub rail. The cabosil acts as a thickening agent.  She scooped the epoxy mixture into syringes then passed them up to me.  I worked the rail. We kept two syringes in circulation during the installation.
Filling the notch in the caprail with thickened epoxy.

Working in sections approximately equal to the length of the spline,  I first filled any void that extended inboard  inside of the notch.  I then made a second pass and filled the notch ½ to ¾ full of epoxy.  Then the spline was pressed into place.  I used a plastic scraper to smooth out and remove the excess epoxy from the rail.
Spline set in epoxy along the port rail.

Most of the splines fit flush to a bit proud of the caprail.  In the areas where the spline was recessed or a void remained on the sides of the spline, I added additional epoxy.
Some areas required additional epoxy to fill the voids.

Due day time work obligations and shorter fall days, we were only able set about three quarters of the splines on our initial attempt.  A couple days later, Anne’s father, Bill, assisted me with the second round of spline installs – Thanks!

Once the epoxy cured the sanding began.  I made the initial pass with 80 grit paper on an orbital sander.  This removed all the epoxy and wood that extended beyond the caprail.  I then switched to 120 grit paper on the orbital sander, and used this to cosmetically fair the repairs to the caprail. 
The rail after sanding with 120 grit paper.

Finally some areas, the radius edges and areas adjacent to hardware, required hand sanding.
Hand sanding with 120 grit at the bow.

We are quite pleased with the outcome.
Completed repairs at port bow
Close up of repair.  Can you spot the butt joint of two spines?

Of course we did discover some areas that the epoxy did not completely fill around the spline, holes we forgot to fill, or cracks we over looked on the first pass. 
Wow - how did we miss that spot?
While sanding I marked these areas with tape.  Once the first round of sanding was completed, I cleaned up the holidays, oversights, and new discoveries with the dremel tool.
Routing out a small crack in a joint at the stern.

Armed with a new patch of epoxy we made quick work of the small repairs.

During our repairs to the vertical face of the caprail we discovered rot along the top face of the rail at the bow.  The fasteners attaching the anchor roller and bow pulpit were allowing water to seep into and under the caprail.
Think we may need some larger splines?

To be continued…

More images and notes are available in our Caprail Repairs Photo Album


  1. Jeff, the topsides look great, like you just painted the hull. What did you paint the topsides with?

    1. Steve, Thanks. Topsides were repainted by previous owners. I'm guessing that they contracted the job to a professional. I do not know how long ago the work was completed.

      I did two rounds of waxing last spring. First round with Collinite 870 cleaner / wax and second round with Collinite 925 wax. Both rounds of waxing were applied by hand and removed via buffer.