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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Caprail Repairs - Part 3

This post is a continuation of our caprail repairs here are links to…

In terms of size we definitely save the largest caprail repairs for last.
With the bow pulpit and anchor roller removed, I begin probing the extent of the damage along the top face of the caprail.

The repair process was similar to the sides of the caprail… remove the rotten / damaged wood, cut a spline to fit the void, epoxy spline in place, then sand.  The difference on the top face of the caprail was twofold….

 First these repairs will very visible.  The repairs to the seam on the sides will be hidden by the rub rail.

Secondly, the damaged areas on the top face of the rail were much larger.  The largest damaged area was starboard, forward.  The ½’ bolts for the anchor roller were very poorly bedded.  Removing the rot in this area required excavating the full 1-1/8” thickness of the rail for a length of 23” and a width of over 1”.
Excavating rotten wood along both sides of the bow.
I completed repairs on the forward two sites and then moved aft to the aft  two.

Four areas on the top face of the caprail at the bow suffered from rot due to water intrusion.  In each area screws and thru-bolts associated with hardware mounted on the rail were the source of the leak.  The culprits included bolts for the anchor roller, screws on all four of the bow pulpit feet, and both forward cleats.
Port aft repair - water intruded along the cleat thru-bolts (right) and bow pulpit base (left) 

I would begin by using a drill, a chisel, and pick to identify the extent of the damage.
Searching for the extent of the damage and removing screws from port, aft repair.

Once I had a good idea of scope of the rot, I removed all the screws from the damaged wood.  This was followed up with multiple passes from a circular saw to remove the majority of the damage.
The port, aft repair after using a circular saw to remove damaged wood.
Using a hammer and chisel, I cleaned out and squared up the void.  After inspecting hole to ensure all the rot was removed, I took measurements and fabricated a piece of teak to fit the hole.
Port, aft repairs with spline ready for final fitting.
For the two largest voids matching the size of  spline to the hole required laminating multiple pieces of teak together.  Once I had a spline slightly over-sized for the void, I employed 80 grit sandpaper and some additional work with the chisel to attain a snug fit..
Starboard, aft spline set in thickened epoxy.
The splines were then set in place with epoxy thickened with West 407 Filler and Cabosil.  I used the 407 since it sands easily and it’s brown color will better blend with the wood.
Port, aft spline after sanding it down flush with surrounding caprail.
I shaped the splines to stand at least 1/8” proud of the caprail when installed.  Once the epoxy cured I used a grinder with a 40 grit disc, followed by an orbital sander with 80 grit paper, and finally an orbital sander with 120 grit paper to fair the spline in with the original caprail
All four of the damaged areas at the bow are now filled with new teak.
Rather than spent time and money to coat the caprails, we plan to allow the teak to weather to a natural grey.  My hope is the repairs at the bow will better blend in as the wood weathers.

For additional images and notes on this project check out the Caprail Repairs Photo Album

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