Hand rails on coach top y/n?

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Jimski, Apr 15, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jimski


    Joined May 20, 2015
    27 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Seabrook
    My boat is a Catalina 30, but my question is more generic. The C-30 has teak hand rails on coach top. Mine are pretty weathered and the port side is held together with epoxy. My crew sometimes complain the rails are not much help and uncomfortable to sit on. Another C-30 on my dock removed the rails and repainted the deck, and installed a small stainless hand hold forward. Looks great.

    Opinions, please. There's lots of things to grab onto besides these teak rails. I am thinking of removing them. But honestly I am nearly always in the cockpit so I don't know. How useful are those rails?

  2. Davidasailor26


    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,733 posts, 446 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    For me as handholds they're useful but not critical. As footholds however I really like having something there. I can't really picture trying to work at the mast or boom on a heeling bouncing deck without having that insurance policy against sliding feet.

    DaveJ likes this.
  3. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,776 posts, 423 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Never found anything more reliable that cabin top hand rails in good working order. "One hand for the ship and one hand for yourself" I guess it depends on the type of sailing but if you are out in deep swells and have to go up front you will wish you had them. Davidasailor26 gives an excellent example, when standing on the cabin top a sailor is above the lifelines. A place to interlock your foot can be most valuable.

    Rich Stidger likes this.
  4. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,912 posts, 328 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    I use my cabin top hand rails all the time in any sea state other than dead calm. I would not remove them. However they are not comfortable for sitting. Put a square boat cushion on top if you want to sit.

    Michael Davis and jon hansen like this.
  5. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,943 posts, 1,489 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    You have the option to replace the wood handrails with stainless steel. CatalinaDirect sells them I believe. Keep your cabin-top handrails.

    Tom J likes this.
  6. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,350 posts, 550 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk II
    US Barnegat, NJ
    My 93 C30 has the stainless hand rails on the cabin top. I believe newer C30s also have them. Should be easy to swap out your teak for SS.
    I agree with the others, I wouldn't remove them unless replacing them.

  7. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,305 posts, 3,314 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    OK, this is in the racing forum. So.

    Why is crew sitting there????? On the cabin top?

    Crew should not sit there. It does no good. Adds zero righting moment. Have them sit on the deck, legs over the side. And put the handrails back on.


    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Ben4195 and jon hansen like this.
  8. Jimski


    Joined May 20, 2015
    27 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Seabrook
    Thank you everybody for you opinions. Your arguments are sound; the rails will stay unless I replace them with stainless.

    For the racer comment, spot on. I move crew around to get the boat heel to be 15-20 degrees. There are times that means putting everybody on the low side, or at at least not on the rail.

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