Replacing the toe rail on a Cape Dory Typhoon 1: molded-in deck scuppers

The old teak toe rail on Cantaora had been sanded down and was far too worn out to be salvageable and had to be replaced, along with the teak taffrail. 


I used long strips of PVC exterior window trim obtained from my local hardware store to build up the toe rail. PVC takes to being fiberglassed quite well, as long as you prepare the surface with rough sanding followed by an acetone wipe-down. The trim pieces come in 7 foot long sections and a variety of profiles; I used the ones with a rectangular profile of 3/4" wide and 1/4" thick. Stacking two over each other and epoxying them around the deck sides would add 1/2" of height to around the decktop. (I could have just continued building up the toe rail this way and given-up on a wooden toe rail in favor of a completely molded-in one, but decided the wood look was too classic to give up.) 

The PVC strips had the added benefit of being very flexible and easily bendable, so they could be bowed to take the curved shape of the sheerline easily. I simply had to put a few weights over the PVC strips until the epoxy cured, and they were glued along the sides of the boat.



As I was in the middle of sanding the entire deck in preparation for painting, now was the time to start on the toe rail replacement and improvement project I had planned: adding deck scuppers for deck drainage.

I noticed the inadequate deck and cockpit drainage when I first saw Cantaora. There was no where for rain water (or a splashing wave) to easily drain off the deck so the water sat there in puddles and eventually seeped into the core as well as leaving dirt marks on the deck. Sitting on a static trailer made it worse. Adding a new 1.5" wooden toe rail without addressing the drainage issue would only make the puddles bigger. 

I considered various potential solutions to the deck drainage problem. The previous owners of my boat had resorted to drilling holes through the toe rail to promote drainage. This was the most obvious solution, but of  course it should be done nicer and more cleanly than what the previous owners had done. 

However, my idea was to build this 1/2" molded-in toe rail, on top of which the wooden toe rail would be installed. Think of it as a very short gunwales. Then, slots cut across this molded-in portion of the toe rail, would form slits under the wooden toe rail to serve as scuppers, allowing water to drain off the deck from under the wooden toe rail. (I ultimately decided on placing three slots on each side, more mid-ships than evenly placed as I had noticed that was where the sitting rain water puddles were located.)

The toe rail and teak taffrail had already been removed, the area under them sanded clean, and all the leftover screw holes were first drilled out into a v-shape with a shoulder cutter bit on my hand drill, then filled in with epoxy filler. The was no wooden core to be concerned with along the deck edges; it was all solid fiberglass.) Once cured, the whole hull to deck joint area and sheerline, where the toe rail had been, was sanded flat & even before I stuck on the long PVC strips using epoxy and adhesive filler. After that it was simply a matter of cleaning up any epoxy that had squeezed out from under the PVC strips.  


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