Caprail Repairs and Caulking

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  • September 26, 2012 7:26 AM
    Message # 1083787
    I'm in the process of sanding, replacing bungs, caulking, and sealing (Cetol) my caprails and rubrails. At this point, I do not have time to remove and re-bed them completely... too many other projects to complete and not enough time.

    After stripping and sanding the caprails, I'm going to remove all the caulking that was previously applied to the caprail/bulwark joint (as best I can, without removing the caprails) and then re-caulk. I want to paint the enclosed section between the rubrail and caprail, so it's imperative that the caulking be paintable (so not silicone). I'm assuming that polysulphide would be the best sealant, but was wondering what others have used successfully, or would recommend.  I do have the reference in Bud's Service Manual, but if anyone's done a writeup on this process, a link would be appreciated.

    Jack Webb
    Last modified: October 31, 2015 7:38 AM | Anonymous member
  • September 26, 2012 9:48 AM
    Reply # 1083909 on 1083787
    Deleted user
    Five years ago Julie dug out all the old caulking she could.  The large gaps were filled with 5200 and then a small bead was coved around the cap rail with 3M 4000 which UV resistant.  I don't remember how long it took, not much more than a couple of days.  I'd rather do this every 5/10 years then remove the cap rails.

  • September 26, 2012 10:18 AM
    Reply # 1083940 on 1083787
    Thanks, Jim.
  • September 26, 2012 12:22 PM
    Reply # 1084016 on 1083787
    Do you remember how many tubes of caulking were used?
  • September 26, 2012 7:44 PM
    Reply # 1084305 on 1083787
    Deleted user
    Julie said she used 1-2 tubes of 5200 for the large gaps and 2-4 tubes of 4000 for the bead around the cap rail.

  • September 27, 2012 11:06 PM
    Reply # 1085295 on 1083787
    On our caprails there is some damage in places where the wooden pieces are joined.  Any suggestions on sealing those areas?  Are you guys just using thin epoxy and then varnishing over the joints? 
  • September 28, 2012 9:50 AM
    Reply # 1085788 on 1083787
    I too have had chips and cracks near the scarf joints and where the chainplates cross. I have filled those with thickened epoxy mixed with teak sawdust, which comes out fairly close to the color of the varnished teak of the caprail. I have some such repairs from two years ago that seem very durable.
  • September 28, 2012 7:27 PM
    Reply # 1086187 on 1083787
    I had some areas on the caprail that were badly damaged. I was going to remove sections and scarf in some teak patches, but just had too many projects to complete and decided to do it later.

    For a patch material, I used West System epoxy with their "405 Filleting Blend" which is a wood-toned filler. I would have used teak sanding dust or sawdust, but past attempts with this has given my a somewhat darker patch. Even using "405 Filleting Blend" by itself turned out to be a bit darker than my teak, so I experimented until I found a blend of "405 Filleting Blend" and "404 High Density Filler" that gave me a patch that matched the teak closely. I ended up with a 50/50 mix of the two, but yours may be different.

    One area near the stern had dry-rot that was quite large... about 2x3 in and all the way through to the hull joint. For this area, I first used Gorilla glue with teak sanding dust, because of it's propensity to expand (saving my epoxy for other projects). After it had expanded well above flush with the top (and while still soft), I forced much of the air out of it and compressed the mixture. After it dried and I sanded it smooth, I went back and used the thickened West System to level and finish the mend. You can see the patch, but for a temporary fix, it came out much better than I anticipated. It will probably be the strongest piece of teak in the whole caprail. It may just become a permanent fix!

    Following are some photos of one of the repairs. This part of the caprail was cracked horizontally about an inch into the edge of the rail. It was barely holding itself in place. The first photo shows a support piece clamped beneath with a piece of plastic to give the patch some structure and to keep it from running down the hull. It's difficult to see just how bad it really was... I should have taken a better "before" photo. The rest of the photos show the repair being done in stages, using West System with 405 (brown) filler. As it turned out, this was a bit too dark. So in secondary builds on the patch, I mixed the 405 filler 50/50 with un-tinted filler. This seemed to be a pretty good match. I might even try something closer to "70% 404" / "30% 405" next time to darken it slightly. (It's difficult to know what's best until the epoxy hardens and you sand and finish the caprail.) In the final photo, you can barely see the patch.


    Last modified: October 31, 2015 7:31 AM | Anonymous member
  • October 31, 2015 7:37 AM
    Reply # 3608917 on 1083787

    I just edited the preceding post to reflect the fact that I ended up using a blend of "50% 404 High Density Filler" and "50% 405 Filleting Blend" to lighten the patch slightly. It's difficult to know what's best until the epoxy hardens and you sand and finish the caprail, and your teak may be different. Experiment!

    Jack Webb

  • November 03, 2015 9:50 AM
    Reply # 3614176 on 1083787

    The cap rails on our WS42, are in need of a good make-over.  While dinged up over the boats almost 40 years of service, they don't need much more than a good refinishing.

    However!  We experience an hugely irritating leak from the cap rail and bulwark area on both sides of the boat.  My first attempt at remedying the problem was to caulk the entire inboard and outboard seam between cap rail and fiberglass bulwark.  That worked for nearly 3 years while we were on the hard restoring the boat.

    Once we launched, the leaks returned.  I do know that the sheet metal screws that attache the teak to the bulwark are an obvious source of the leaks.  However, very few of them leak:  just a couple!!!

    One solution that has been fabulously detail in the forum vis a vis the WS32 is to remove the cap rail, glass over the bulwark joint and then tap machine screws into the fiberglass.  That process essentially seals the bulwark joint.  But what a process!

    Yes, the scarf joints provide a potential source of water flowing under the teak. Additionally, there are some aging crack in the teak.  These can  be repaired with the methods discussed so far.  Moreover, the cutaways for the chainplates offer additional openings, but caulking them completely is challenging.

    Before I commission the drastic repair involved in removing the cap rail, etc, I will attempt another caulking foray.  My first attempt employed System3 epoxy caulk, but I have seen failure in that caulking.  While 5200 is a PITA to work with, it may provide a more permanent filler.  The topping with 4000 UV is a great idea.

    Great thread!

    Doug on WS42 Harmony

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