Track Removal and Cap Rail Repair/Replacement

Discussion in 'Main Morgan 38 Sailboat Forum' started by NorthChannel, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    I started a bottom job in May and between work commitments and the horrible weather we have had here in the Upper Great Lakes, I doubt I will be able to launch before mid-July (we normally haul out here in mid-September). As a result I am not going to put the boat in the water this year. I plan to devote the time I would be sailing to a couple of major projects. One is finishing the bottom job I have started (see attached photos) and the other is working on my cap rail. If anyone has removed the tracks, would you mind informing me how difficult it is to gain access?
     

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  2. scupper

    scupper Vern Gliot

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    Ahh yes, cap rail. The cap rail itself is fastened with screws covered with bungs so no real problem. The tracks however are another story. The screws have nuts on them. That said, the overheads need to come down for access. That's the easy part. The STB side has good access with exception of the area around the main electric panel and cabinet forward of the nav table. The port side is tougher. The galley cabinet must be removed. Held in by screws fwd and aft. Some of the trim in the galley area must also be removed for clearance so it can be slid out. The saloon cabinet is also in the way. It can be removed, but is heavy and tough to move. Also attached with screws for and aft. You can leave it in place and cut an access hole at the outboard side of the aft most locker as the track only goes that far forward. Only the top shelf area needs to be opened up. Leave some material around the edges to fasten a cover on it. It's not easy get in there to get a socket on the nuts but can be done. You will probably need a couple sockets, both short and deep as well as a couple different length extensions. Very doable. I really don't want to do it again though. If your cap rails are in decent shape, I would recommend just refinishing around the tracks. If there are leaks (as I had) and the cap rail must be removed, be sure to check the hull to deck joint while you are there. Also project creep being what it is, you might as well re-bed the life line base's too.
     
  3. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Vern,

    I would love to just refinish the teak. I have two major problems and some other minor ones. On the port side there is damage to the cap where the forward sling is placed. It was a problem when I bought the boat and the aft piece of this problem area is at least 10 inches under the track. Most of the other "rot" is the 1" x 1" piece along the hull. I have not ruled out repairing the teak, but am thinking of going the Plasteak route on the cap rail. Thanks for the information about removing the rail. The other day I think I counted close to 40 bolts per side.
     
  4. stnick

    stnick lee nicholas

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    A couple of Years back I tackled the 1x1 under the cap rail due to rot of teak. many will say teak cant rot, and they would be wrong , mine did. The boat went into the yard i employed the local boat write to do the job and i worked side by side with him. We removed the SS strake all the way around . We removed the 1x1 rot 100 percent.
    I found there was no bedding of the 1x1 just screws every 18 inches or so. All the screws came out the holes were epoxied shut. The cap rail was allowed to dry from underneath.
    A 1x1 was fashioned of IPE wood . half the price of teak looks the same is hard does not float , does not ROT ! We screwed this to the hull in 12 ft lengths .Pre drilled new holes new screws epoxy injected into the new holes and than a screw. West System Epoxy top edge under the cap rail and to the hull. 2 sides. ! All new screw holes were 6-10 inches from the old ones. We did that in maybe 4 days work. Than I shined up the SS rail strake epoxied all those old holes ( injected epoxy) again. New holes 6 in from the old ones re drill inject epoxy And before i put back the concave SS strake I back buttered it with 5200 . It looks beautiful and it was done right .
    Now my rail is so strong If I come into the slip on a very windy day and I bump a piling The piling gives way ! She's solid as Sears used to be !! Bingo !

    Vern , Check out IPE WOOD for your rail instead of teak . Its very hard stuff but will weather better than plastic. From 3 feet will look like teak
    Is it cheeper than Plastic no ! Is all the labor the same YES ! will both look the same NO !
    I buy a 1x6x12 ft IPE about 50 dollars. Half the price of teak
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  5. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Lee,

    I am aware of your redo. I have the cap broken where the fore port sling is placed. Was broken when I bought the bought. I agree, teak can rot. I too have a piece of the 1 x 1 in my garage. I really would like to talk to whoever owns this boat. I have asked Plasteak if they could put me in touch with the owner of this Morgan which they feature on their Website. They tell me they do not know who the owner is? Has anyone seen this boat?
     

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  6. john Gonzalez

    john Gonzalez Member

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    I replaced the cap rail because of rot and damage and replaced with new wood, not IPE, can't remember the species of wood, but I would say that is the hardest project I have undertaken in my refit. You need to be have a good template to drill the holes correctly otherwise, there will be a lot of waste in your work. You also need long arms to get to the underside of the Starboard track bolts within the small cabinet and electrical panel area and the patience of Job. I didn't have that and used cuss words that I did not know I had in me. I had to go to confession for all my swearing it got so bad. You will need to remove galley and salon cabinets too. I would avoid if you can. Potential for leaks too.
     
  7. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Well, was at the yard today. The yard owner who also comes from a boat building family (Vinette Trawlers) thought that the problem with the cap rail was that the fasteners were fastened into a rotten substance. Wrong, the teak was rotten. Regardless of whether I go the Plasteak or real teak replacement route, it needs to be replaced. Lee, teak does rot - see attached photo.
     

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  8. dave_a

    dave_a Dave Ahlers

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    The problem as I see it (on my boat at least) was Morgan's installation process. Morgan laid a sheet of caulking on the bottom of the cap rail. It was sandwiched between sheets of plastic. I suspect the top sheet was removed so it would stick to the "down side" of the cap rail. They never peeled the bottom layer off. Once the cap was secured, they butted the rub rail under the cap, but left the plastic of the bottom of caulking on. The rub rail was installed with end grain up. The caulk had a lifespan of 15-20 yrs+/-. The seam was nicely hidden under the metal rub rail which retained water after the putty broke down with time. My 2cents is that if you have no rot there yet, pull the rub rail, scrape out the dead caulk, and seal the 1/8-1/4" gap to prevent moisture intrusion. Its NOT too big project if you catch it early....ie. before rot.
     
  9. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Dave, to add insult to injury, Someone put a small bead of silicon caulk along the bottom of the rub rail! Not only did water get in under the metal rub rail, it got trapped by the silicon seal. So far I have the rub rail off on the starboard side and it is all in very rough shape and not reusable except as a template. I only have one piece of cap rail off, but looking at the cap from the bottom after the rub rail has been removed, I am beginning to think that the entire cap and rail will need to be replaced.
     
  10. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Removal of cap and rub is going o.k. Every piece so far has major rot. Wish I could find a decent Frearson bit. Anyway, have most of the rub rail removed and about 3/4 of the cap. Not looking forward to the track removal.
     

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  11. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    have you considered removing the teak without trying to remove the track. I would guess that the solid teak under then track is not rotten. teak typically doesn't rot. If that teak is still solid, you might be able, with a well controlled saw, to cut the teak on either side of the track and then replace it by gluing it down with epoxy, rather than screwing it down. Just a thought. You can get to the track nutsm under the rail, but it will be hard.
     
  12. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Terry, I was at the yard yesterday and continued the removal. I know I will have to at least remove the forward two or three bolts on the track to remove the cap forward of the track. So far, every piece I have removed has rot. I'm thinking whoever ran a bead of silicon under the rub rail trapped the water in and caused the rot. I also found several attempts to remove rot and fill with a wood filler/bondo-like material.
     
  13. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    Removed the starboard track today. Was not as bad as I thought it would be. Thanks to John Gonzales for the tips. Trying to get the port side done later this week.
     
  14. john Gonzalez

    john Gonzalez Member

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    Congratulations! You have the worst part done. Port has good access. Make sure to seal well all fasteners while screwing into the boat top side for the cap rail. Of course your genny track as well. When complete, it will make your boat look new again!
     
  15. NorthChannel

    NorthChannel Member

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    John and others. Still have 17 bolts to remove from the port side. Need some help on removing the cabinet above the stove/oven. Have the four screws removed and the headliner. Am able to move the cabinet forward until I run into the fiddles on each side of the stove/oven and the cap over the semi bulkhead in front of the galley sink. Do I have to remove just the fiddles on each side of the stove/oven or do I have to remove the cap on the top of the semi bulkhead in front of the galley sink, or both. Any wisdom advice on this would be appreciated. Galley Cabinet 1.JPG Galley Cabinet 2.JPG Galley Cabinet 2.JPG
     

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