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Removing handrails on H-31

Discussion in 'Mid-Size Boats' started by Reg M, Jul 11, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    I started stripping and sanding the deck handrails and the eyebrows along the coachroof of our 1984 H-31 and realized very quickly that since they haven't been done for a few years and need a real good sanding they need to be removed to my workshop for a proper job. I have done this on previous boats but would welcome input from anyone who has done the rails specifically on a H-31. The deck handrails are bolted through the deck and into the matching main salon handrails. A close look revealed that the teak plugs in the screw holes of the deck rails are bigger than the plugs in the main salon rails. I have run into this on other boats where long bolts go through one rail into the other and secured with nuts in the other rail. I am thinking the nuts on the H-31 are in the deck rail due to the bigger plug but would welcome any first hand knowledge before I start ripping and tearing. Tks. Reg
     


  2. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,370 posts, 186 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    Let me know how this goes, and what you find out. (pictures please) The admiral is pushing me to refinish our teak rails, as the outside ones are very gray and weather worn. I also need to do the teak steps outside the companionway and in the cockpit.

    Our teak eyebrows were removed at some point before we got her.
     


  3. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Pateco, No problem, I will provide pics as the project proceeds. I was considering removing the eyebrows permanently but that leaves the problem of how to deal with the holes left from the screws. How was this solved on your boat? One option would be to fill the holes then paint on a stripe to cover where they were but that would be costly to have someone do the paint. Likewise it would be expensive to just paint the coachroof white. There's not even a faint hope of matching the gelcoat to cover the holes. Can you provide a photo of yours? (you show me yours and I'll show you mine, haha).
     


  4. HMT2

    HMT2

    Joined Mar 20, 2014
    456 posts, 57 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Houston, Texas Shoreacres, TX
    Reg,

    I have an '83 H31. I have not removed my handrails but have looked at it. So far I have just refinished them in place. I have lost a few caps on my deck rail and there are screw heads there. I for years thought like you that it was one bolt holding the two rails in place but I don't think they line up quite right to do that. However, as I said earlier I have never taken them off so I would be most interested in what you discover. Good luck!
     


  5. SFS

    SFS

    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    1,112 posts, 214 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    @Reg M - I seem to remember a thread where someone discussed removing the boat's eyebrow teak and replacing it with a painted stripe in a color similar to varnished teak. If this would work, so might a vinyl stripe in the appropriate color, which wouldn't be very expensive. The SBO store sells vinyl striping in various colors. If they don't have the color you want, maybe an auto body shop could recommend a source.
     


  6. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,370 posts, 186 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    This is what the holes looked like when we got her. PO had just filled them with silicone sealant. (looked like crap)
    2015-06-21 14.21.51.jpg
    I removed all of the silicone, and filled the holes with white Marinetex. Then wet sanded, buffed, and polished to blend them in. The Marinetex is not a perfect color match, but damn close. Below is a picture after buffing. You can see the slight color difference.
    2015-11-27 15.25.03.jpg

    But from a distance , the end result was quite good.
    2015-11-27 15.27.55.jpg
    I may go back over it with a Vinyl stripe at some point but will probably wait until I redo the vinyl boot stripe to match it.
     


  7. jmce1587

    jmce1587

    Joined Mar 20, 2011
    190 posts, 10 likes
    Hunter 31_83-87
    US Kemah
    Mike (HMT2) is correct in that these are long SS wood screws holding them in place. they are not bolted thru or tied into the handrails in the cabin or at least mine weren't when I removed them.
     


  8. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Bingo!!! This is the info I was looking for - from someone who has actually removed them. Without this info I would have removed the plugs on the main salon rails and unscrewed them assuming they were screwed into nuts on the deck rails. Now I know all I have to do is remove the plugs from the deck rails and then unscrew them. Many thanks.
     


  9. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Pateco - the pin stripe idea is an excellent one, not sure my thinking would have progressed that far. I am also planning to remove the shear stripe. I think a teak colored stripe would look cheap so I would be inclined to go with a matching blue stripe for the eyebrows and shear stripe. Thanks for the pics, I'll post mine as I go. Regards
    Reg
     


  10. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,370 posts, 186 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    I think I will match the hull stripe blue, for the cabin stripe, but I am thinking of just going with a single white stripe against the blue gel coat on the hull with the Hunter logo near where the primary winches mount . Something like this
    hunter 31 logo stripe2.jpg
     


    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  11. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    I removed the plugs in the deck rails and unscrewed the screws (Phillips heads). They came out very easily and they are not screwed into the main salon hand rails. I decided the eyebrows also needed to come off to be sanded as they were so thin it would take forever to do them in place. It only took about 1.5 hours to remove the handrails and eyebrows. I took the whole works home to my shop where I sanded down the handrails. I then started to do the eyebrows and one fell off the bench and broke (this was a good thing). Now I am waiting for my upcoming camping trip to the Halifax area where I plan to buy a piece of 12 foot teak and I will make a new set of eyebrows. It comes in very handy to have your own woodworking shop! Here are a few pics of the project so far. I have put the handrails back on and have 3 coats of Cetol Marine on them. Next they will get 3 coats of Cetol Marine Gloss. I filled the screw holes for the eyebrows with 4200 but I will remove that and fill them with epoxy and microballoons before putting the new eyebrows on and drilling new holes. It would be virtually impossible to drill the new eyebrows in exactly the same places as the original screws. I will post more pics as the project continues. The first 2 pics show the deck and coachroof sides after removing the rails and eyebrows. You can see how the oils from the teak eyebrows discolored the gelcoat over the years but that will be hidden by the new eyebrows. I used 3M spray adhesive to rem.ove all the bedding compound IMG_0131.JPG IMG_0132.JPG
     


    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  12. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Here are the rails and eyebrows in my shop where I used stripper first then sanded the rails.I used a spur wood bit(about half the size of the teak plugs) with electric drill to first drill through the teak plugs then I used a very small screwdriver and a hammer to gently remove the rest of each plug. The result of this process is not one damaged hole. In the following pics you can see the rails during the stripping process and the teak plugs removed. You can also get an idea of how thin my eyebrows (actually my boats eyebrows!!) were. I wasn't the slightest bit sad that one broke because now I have no choice but to replace them with something and I chose the route of new teak ones. IMG_0128.JPG IMG_0129.JPG IMG_0127.JPG IMG_0130.JPG
     


  13. HMT2

    HMT2

    Joined Mar 20, 2014
    456 posts, 57 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Houston, Texas Shoreacres, TX
    Reg,
    Thanks for the info on the handrails that is good to know. I have redone my deck handrails twice but in place. I just want to share something I learned the hard way. The first time I did the handrails I did Cetol Natural Teak. The second time I did three coats of the natural teak and then two coats of the Cetol Gloss. Let me just say that the Gloss is much slicker when wet with the Natural Teak. A few months after having redone the handrails with the gloss we were in an offshore race in some pretty good swells that were getting the deck very wet, I went forward for some reason and reached out to grab the "glossy" handrail and it slipped right through my hand and I did a face plant into the coach roof. Nothing injured but my pride, but my crew had a good laugh. The gloss is super slick when wet!
     


  14. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    ahh yes - but it looks so much nicer!
     


  15. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Update. I was lucky enough to find two pieces of 1" by 1" by 12 feet teak at a lumber vendor, saved me buying a larger piece at double or triple the cost. I got them for $91. I determined from the old eyebrows that the new ones needed to be 3/4" wide by 1/2" thick so I milled the two pieces to 3/4" wide but only milled the thickness to 7/8" to make it easier to handle when pushing it through the router. Here are pics of the two pieces. It is important to get teak with no knots.
    View attachment 140353 IMG_0172.JPG
     

    Attached Files:



  16. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    By matching up various size roundover bits I determined that 1/2 inch was the size as can be seen by this pic. It is important to know it is necessary to lay the piece on its side to rout it because this gives the right shape.
    IMG_0175.JPG
     


  17. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    I used a piece of scrap 3/4 inch wood to make sure the bit gave the right results. After routing the piece of scrap I cut a piece off one of the old eyebrows, making a 90 degree cut then butted that up against the end of the scrap piece I routed to make sure I had the right shape. IMG_0174.JPG
     


  18. Reg M

    Reg M

    Joined May 21, 2016
    118 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 31
    Ca Montague, Prince Edward Island Montague
    Here are the new eyebrows complete with holes drilled with a 3/8 inch forstner bit. Although I filled the old holes in the boat with epoxy and microballoons I did not want to drill into them so I moved the new holes over a half inch on the eyebrows. Here are pics of the new eyebrows as well as the forstner bit and the tapered plug cutter I used to make my plugs. It is best to use a tapered plug cutter rather than a straight one, they go in better. I plan to use Cetol Marine (same stuff I used on the handrails) to glue the plugs rather than glue or epoxy. One of the pics shows the ends of one of the new eyebrows and one of the old eyebrows, I suspect that when new the old ones were the same as my new ones. IMG_0180.JPG IMG_0179.JPG IMG_0177.JPG

    I used a coping saw to cut the angle at the ends then hand sanded each piece to 220 grit. Its best to use a drill press if you have one for the holes as you will be sure to get perfectly verticle holes with uniform depth. I will post final pics once everything is installed.
     


    pateco likes this.
  19. IH82BL8

    IH82BL8

    Joined Feb 6, 2013
    404 posts, 14 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Deale, MD
    I don't know how far you want to go with the handrails, but when I did mine I discovered that the rails are not one-piece. The feet are separate pieces and re screwed into the rail through the bottom.

    I dissembled mine, sanded all surfaced clean and then epoxied and screwed the feet back on. It's a good idea to keep track of which feet go where because the hole locations vary.

    I dry-mounted the feet, masked the joint, slit the tape with a razor blade, then dissembled again and re-assembled with the screws and epoxy. I wiped of the excess epoxy and peeled the tape.
     

    Attached Files:




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