Cap Rail Bedding Project
This project was actually done in the summer of 2004, but I am just getting it on the WEB page in the fall of 2005. Hopefully, better late than never applies. I will go into some background on why this project was done. As most of you know we left Houston in June of 2004 to compete in the bi-annual Regatta de Amigos race to Vera Cruz, Mexico. The original plan was to go to Vera Cruz, then sail to Tampa, Florida, and spend time with family in the area. The weather for the race was awful, and we ended up dropping out of the race and heading into Port Isabel, Texas. The boat was basically OK, but it was a soggy mess because of leaks that I did not know I had.
During our month stay in Port Isabel, we decided that we would continue the trip to Tampa, via the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). We would stop in Houston at our old marina for two months, I would remove and rebed the cap rail and also remove the eyebrow and seal those holes. Near the end of August we would continue to Tampa in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. I still had my truck in Houston, and I had use of a shop in Houston, so it seemed like the way to go. The added benefit was that we would get to see our daughter and I could get some other things done on the boat that were not completed before we left on the race.
We decided to go back to Watergate Yachting Center, but not back to our original slip in DREAM AWAY Park. The reasoning for this was that I needed a floating dock to make the removal and installation of the cap rail easier than working from a float that would be necessary from a fixed dock. this was a good decision. The bad news was that I was working outside in the sun in the two hottest months of a Texas summer. It was fun. Sometimes when I would be working on the dock, my deck shoes would fill up with sweat. I could sit down, take off my shoe and pour out the sweat. Of course I was drinking huge amounts of water during all of this.
Now on to the real work. I had removed the genoa track from the cap rail several years ago and moved the track inboard where it could be through bolted instead of screwed down. I thought that I had plugged the holes very well in the cap rail, and it turns out that I did. Also when I did the chain plate project, I went to a lot of effort to fill and seal the holes left in the hull and the cap rail. The future would reveal that was not the case.
I had wonderful help on this long project from my good friend Al Shattuck. Please understand that the cap rail was a cosmetic piece that covered the hull-to-deck joint. The cap rail was actually in three pieces. I decided to do one piece at a time, with some overlapping, but I did not want to get a head of myself. The first piece started where the deck drops down from the aft deck to the fore deck, this is about 15 feet from the stern. The first piece on the starboard was damaged when we docked in Galveston before the race, so I decided to start there, because I knew that would be the piece that would consume the most time. All of the pictures are of the port side, I did not take any when I was doing the starboard side.
I cleverly thought that it would be a very hard job getting the cap rail off, but as you will see from the pictures, once the screws were removed, the sealant was non-existent and the cap rail just came off. You can see where the sealant was put on the cap rail in nice rows, but when the caprail was screwed down the sealant did not spread. As it turned out I did not do a great job filling the holes in the cap rail when I removed the genoa track. Also the holes left by the chain plates in the fiberglass were not sealed very well. One other discovery was that there was another genoa track on the caprail before the one that I moved and there was very little effort to seal the left over holes. Lots of holes in the hull to deck joint that needed to be filled before the cap rail could be put back on.
Because I was hoping to get this project finished by the end of August, I did not just glass over the hull to deck joint and be done with it. I decided to put the cap rail back on. First all of the holes had to be filled with a polyester putty. I had decided to put the cap rail back on with 3M 5200 and did not need the screws back in the cap rail, so all of the holes in the cap rail had to be filled. When all of this was done, Before the 5200 was applied, a complete dry fit was done to insure a proper fit. I then masked off the area on the hull and the cap rail. I then put 5200 on the cap rail, a very generous amount, put the cap rail back in place and then put on all of the required hardware back on the cap rail. This hardware and the 3M 5200 insured that the cap rail would stay in place! The following pictures show the process taking place.