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34 Handrails

May 6, 2010
462
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
A couple of years ago I replaced our teak cabintop handrails with new ones made from Sapele. I found the mounting arrangement very cumbersome - long thin screws with small washer and nuts securing the inner and outer handrails together with some kind of plastic standoffs inside and outside. Because the screws were so long, it was nearly impossible to seal the bases of the standoffs due to the torque on the handrail - especially on the cabintop. I decided to use a stainless steel handrail on the cabintop, but wrestled with how to mount it since I wanted it mounted independent of the inner handrail. @eherlihy did an outstanding job with his handrails as described here:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/71559-my-boat-screwed.html


I used a little different approach, using stainless tube and mounting hardware found at a local marine supply house. I mounted the inner handrail to a maple 1x, then bolted the exterior handrail through the 1x from above. I still need to fabricate some covers for the nuts for the exterior handrail which you can see in the photo below. Rather than use bungs to cover the fasteners for the interior handrail, I used a maple insert in the teak rail.

OLD HANDRAIL MOUNTING
handrailold.jpg


NEW HANDRAIL MOUNTING
handrail.jpg


NEW STAINLESS HANDRAIL
handrailss.jpg
 
Oct 7, 2008
360
Oday Oday 35 Chesapeake Bay
They both look great. I'm considering this project. Did you screw the outside to the inside board or bolt it? What is the core of the deck in this area? Did it compress when you tightened the rails?
 
May 6, 2010
462
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
They both look great. I'm considering this project. Did you screw the outside to the inside board or bolt it? What is the core of the deck in this area? Did it compress when you tightened the rails?
I bolted the outside handrails to the inside board. There is balsa core in this area, so I drilled a larger hole where the fasteners would go and filled with thickened epoxy, then drilled the actually fastener hole. I did not get any deck compression when installing the fasteners.
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
From my other thread, this is a cross-section of how the OEM handrail mounting system is assembled;

Note that the thickness dimension of the teak hand rails is actually 7/8" NOT 1".

The 1½" deck definitely has balsa core. What I did here was to drill a 5/16" hole through the UPPER skin only and then I routed out the balsa underneath with a Dremel #115 bit (credit to Maine Sail). I then squirted some West System Six-10 epoxy into each hole. Six-10 is awesome because it is thick enough to not ooze through the hole in the lower skin of the deck. Once the epoxy cured, I drilled a new hole and chamfered the edge.

I reassembled the rail, but I used butyl tape to seal AND I added a small nylon washer to the underside of the black O'day spacer. The reason for the nylon washer is that the O'day spacer does not have enough surface area to provide an adequate seal for the butyl.
 
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Likes: GregL564
Oct 7, 2008
360
Oday Oday 35 Chesapeake Bay
Looks like you covered every detail. What do you mean by a "chamfered the edge"?
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
Beveled - do this with a countersink bit. This is done to prevent stress cracks in the gelcoat, and to allow the butyl to be thicker, and in effect to form a gasket around the hole.
 
Last edited:

DYFLWD

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Feb 20, 2016
42
Oday 28 Lake Ray Hubbard
Love the SS tube for handrail but here in Texas I wonder if it would turn into a branding iron?
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
I am currently in Florida. No issues for me in handling my SS hand rails in the heat, if there were, I'd wear sailing gloves
20200603_163538.jpg
. They have been installed for 10 years now with no issues.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,755
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I am currently in Florida. No issues for me in handling my SS hand rails in the heat, if there were, I'd wear sailing glovesView attachment 191255. They have been installed for 10 years now with no issues.
How did you secure these? How are the bolts captured in the tubing? I ripped off my team handrails last year, kept the brown plastic off-sets and used fake deck wood to create the rails.

I really like the square tubing, but how do you mount them?

A screw/ bolt welded to the bottom side would work I guess...but was looking for a way to do it myself ( I cannot weld).

Greg
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
How did you secure these? How are the bolts captured in the tubing? I ripped off my team handrails last year, kept the brown plastic off-sets and used fake deck wood to create the rails.

I really like the square tubing, but how do you mount them?

A screw/ bolt welded to the bottom side would work I guess...but was looking for a way to do it myself ( I cannot weld).

Greg
I drilled and tapped the holes. However, you will have to find some way of either tapering the end of the square tubing (this is what I did, and it involved welding), raising the height of the end mounts (spacer) by 1/8" to accommodate a 1" SQUARE tube, or living with a 1/8" deep gouge at the end of each of your hand rails. You can see the taper in this picture.
DSCF1990.JPG


Here is the cross-section diagram of how the rails were attached by O'day, that was deleted from my (much) older post.
Rail Mount.JPG
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,755
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Thanks @eherlihy,

so to be clear, the bolt goes through the deck from the interior, and threads into tapped holes in the square tubing?

If so, that makes sense. on My O’Day 322, there are no interior hand holds, and the bolts go through the top of the teak handrail, through the deck and secured with a washer and nut on the interior....the hole in the liner is plugged with a plastic plug.

As far as the tapering, yours looks very nice. Could I just cut down the end mount enough so the tube is as high as the tubing (maybe that is what option #2 is on your note).

Yours looks very professional. Nice job.

Mine are not quite as nice, but better than the old teak I think.

IMG_0035.JPG
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
Thanks @eherlihy,

so to be clear, the bolt goes through the deck from the interior, and threads into tapped holes in the square tubing?
Yep!
If so, that makes sense. on My O’Day 322, there are no interior hand holds, and the bolts go through the top of the teak handrail, through the deck and secured with a washer and nut on the interior....the hole in the liner is plugged with a plastic plug.

As far as the tapering, yours looks very nice. Could I just cut down the end mount enough so the tube is as high as the tubing (maybe that is what option #2 is on your note).
You are the master of your vessel, do as you see fit. Cutting the square tubing down, however, would likely not work, as you would be making a hole where you need structure.
Yours looks very professional. Nice job.
- Thanks!
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,755
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I was thinking about this...trimming the black block down a little to accommodate the tubing.

DSCF1990 2.JPG
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,755
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I looked at mine today, and they are not the same....mine are fiberglass molded into the top deck...so, won’t be grinding into those!

Greg