Toe rail / Genoa Track Repair


alanwood123@...
 

Hi all..


The family and I (3 kids) are now six months into owning and living aboard our 1997 SM#189 in Lefkas, Greece and getting our teeth into lots of maintenance! First of all I'd like to thank all those who have contributed to the forums both here and on Facebook.. it's been very informative and immeasurably helpful and I fully intend to contribute my own insights/photos/videos.. when I get a moment!


So first off.. after copious amounts of rain over the last few months I noticed this swelling and cracking of the gelcoat and what looks like rust marks on the toe rail under the genoa track. The underside of this is at the back of the galley cupboard (left of the microwave).  


A couple of opinions/insights please, before I go at it like a bull in a china shop:

  • What's the best way to remove the lining from the back of the cupboard to inspect the underside of the toe rail - just peel it all out or cut the area I need to inspect ..?
  • What is the best way to remove the nylon screws from the track without stripping them - tried screwdriver and they're stuck fast ..?

Thanks in advance..


Woody

https://www.youtube.com/c/mothershipadrift

 


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Woody,

The swelling and cracking in your picture sure looks like a classic case moisture having gotten to the steel backing into which the bolts are fastened. The backing, which Amel buried in the fiberglass layup during construction, then rusts and when it gets really bad the rusting metal starts to expand and bursts the fiberglass structure, along with the gelcoat. 

 

No amount of cosmetic repair will fix this - one needs to cut the fiberglass open, remove and replace the steel and reconstruct the toe rail. You will develop excellent fiberglassing skills by the time you are done and drilling out the nylon screws will be a minor step. 

 

I would recommend not embedding the new backing in the rebuilt fiberglass, but putting it on the underside, exposed to air, and using stainless steel (lest you have a repeat performance at some future date).  

 

This is a common problem that has been discussed often on this forum, with trouble areas being the engine room and other hatch cover supports and hinges, stanchion bases and so on.

 

Optionally, just live with it for a few seasons. It will slowly get worse but won't present a structural problem nor make the eventual repair work much more difficult. Use some hydrochloric acid to wipe off the rust stains now and then, put in some cosmetic fill that will last a while and when the toe rail actually cracks open, you can tackle the repair. 

 

Cheers,

Craig Briggs, SN(G&T) 68, Sangaris



---In amelyachtowners@..., <alanwood123@...> wrote :

Hi all..


The family and I (3 kids) are now six months into owning and living aboard our 1997 SM#189 in Lefkas, Greece and getting our teeth into lots of maintenance! First of all I'd like to thank all those who have contributed to the forums both here and on Facebook.. it's been very informative and immeasurably helpful and I fully intend to contribute my own insights/photos/videos.. when I get a moment!


So first off.. after copious amounts of rain over the last few months I noticed this swelling and cracking of the gelcoat and what looks like rust marks on the toe rail under the genoa track. The underside of this is at the back of the galley cupboard (left of the microwave).  


A couple of opinions/insights please, before I go at it like a bull in a china shop:

  • What's the best way to remove the lining from the back of the cupboard to inspect the underside of the toe rail - just peel it all out or cut the area I need to inspect ..?
  • What is the best way to remove the nylon screws from the track without stripping them - tried screwdriver and they're stuck fast ..?

Thanks in advance..


Woody

https://www.youtube.com/c/mothershipadrift

 


amelliahona <no_reply@...>
 

Hi Woody:  Sorry to see this sort of damage.  I concur with the other post as to the failure mode and repair.  I am not sure what “nylon” screws you are referring to.  The screws that attach the rail to the backing plates are stainless steel (in your case slot head screws, on my SN 335 boat they are SS hex head screws).  I note the missing plastic plugs that help keep water out of these recesses. I find this on many Amel’s that I see.  With them missing seawater pools in those recesses and can lead to the damage you are seeing.    The plugs are available from Amel for cheap, $US  0.20 each.  I order 100 at a time as they fail regularly.  Each recess is a different depth and so the plug needs to be cut with a knife to that precise depth.  Clean each recess with brush & water, use a pick to remove old plastic remnants & collars, Dry everything up, treat with corrosion X or better yet Boeshield (it leaves a waxy residue to help seal).  Use the probe end of a caliper to measure the depth of the recess, lock the caliper & use the sharp point of the caliper to scribe a line in the plastic collar at that exact depth.  Carefully cut off the excess collar.  Insert the plug, press into place.  Avoid hammering into place as that only stress cracks the plastic and leads to premature failure.  A small bit of  Boeshield around the edges will seal it.  With any luck they will last about 5 years in the Caribbean sun.  On an additional note I treat every screw head on both travelers and the main & mizzen outhaul tracks with corrosion X every 3 months or so.  The SS screws against aluminum rails are a set up for dissimilar metal corrosion. 

Gary Silver, original and continuous owner of s/v Liahona, purchased July 1 2001
Amel SM 2000 Hull # 335
PS just did 6 plugs yesterday while hauled out for hurricane repairs here in Fajardo PR