hand rail/grab rail

gareth harris

Sustaining Member
My starboard external hand rail has just separated from the deck at the last three screws.
From looking at the manual this is my thinking:
1. Cut a long hole in the headliner
2. Cut out the bolts in the deck
3. Install a teak backing, either a long strip or an interior hand rail.
4. through bolt the lot.
Is that viable? Any better suggestions?
Freyja E35 1972

Phil MacFarlane

Member III
hand rail

On my 71 35 I had the same problem. It appeared that the nuts in the deck were just stuck in wet resin and after this many years they break loose. I assume you have a fiberglass head liner as I do. From above drill a small hole down through the head liner at each location you need a fastener. Then from below drill up through these same holes but with a 3/4 hole saw. Only drilling through the head liner not the deck. Now you have enough room to get out the old nuts our you can just drill out the threads. Insert screws from above and put on flat washers and nuts from below. To finnish it off you can insert 3/4 KO seals as used in electrical construction. When I did this on my boat I switched over to stainless rails and filled in the old holes with epoxy. It turned out great and is safer and doesn't require maintanance.


Junior Member
Phil's hand rail

Phil, did you make or buy the metal rails? When you installed did they bend around by hand or did you use a conduit bender? What did you do on the inside, did you match up the wood hand rail to the metal or did you put metal on the inside as well? Are the 3/4" KO available in plastic? Lastly, (sorry for all the questions) any way to get some pics?


Phil MacFarlane

Member III
Hi Clay, hey do you know that I am Phil of Sail a Vie that raced with you in the 2000 SSS Trans Pac ?
Long time no see. Any way I got the parts for the hand rail at West Marine Taco is the brand name. I used a conduit bender to put the sweep in the rails. The stainless doesn't fit into a 3/4 bender and is a little to small for a 1" so I used a 1" with some thick leather around the rail. I did what is called segment bending in the trade. To do this you mark the tubing every few inches and bend only a few degrees at every mark. I did not put a rail on the inside but you could but you would have to fill in the space between the deck and the head liner. I dont think KO seals are made in plastic. I didn't put anything in my holes. Another thing I did do was fill the space between the deck and liner with expanding foam out of a can. This made the hole thing seem a lot stiffer and quieter. If you send me your address I would be happy to mail you some pictures. I am new to computers and haven't figured out how to send pictures yet. phil_macfarlane@msn.com
Dont worry about questions I enjoy this.


Junior Member
Hi Phil,
Yes, I did know you were the famous singlehanded sailor of the now legendary 2000 SSS TransPac. Thanks for the info and I will email you directly for the photo's. I just got Bettina home last Sunday (see photo). We were not using her so when I found this trailer I brought her up and will do a little work to my prop shaft and, now, maybe the hand rails. Since the race I have gotten a new job, same plant, but as an apprentice millwright. Thus mucho access to the tig welder and tools.
I'll email you directly,