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Old 04-19-2015, 07:58 AM   #1
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blistering Cap rail joints

Any tricks for keeping water out of on cap rail scarf joints? There doesn't seem to be any movement of the joints or cracking on the varnish surface.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:47 AM   #2
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After owning 2 Grand Banks over an 18 year span, I have not found any trick to prevent moisture getting into the joints. What I did discover is that the process of covering every piece of beautiful bright work with canvas does nothing to prolong the life of the finish. I have found that leaving it uncovered allows moisture to evaporate quickly and the finish, FWIW, lasts longer for me. The day I threw all those yards of canvas into th dumpster and relieved myself of that arduous task was a happy boating day. In case you are wondering, we are full time cruisers and our bright work is exposed to sun year round.

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Old 04-19-2015, 10:15 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. d. I think enlarging the joint and filling with caulk may help.



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Old 04-19-2015, 10:28 AM   #4
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I suspect the best approach is to provide the joints w a very flexable coating and to make the joint wide enough to flex gracefully w/o breaking the adhesion of the caulking in the seam or the coating over it.

What I do to accomplish the above is to varnish our cap rail w a high oil more flexable varnish that will resist strongly the tendency to crack or break and allow water to reach the wood, cause swelling, mildew and eventially rot. And of course the water promotes the breakdown of the adhesion of the caulk to the faces of the joint and then the water goes deep into the joint. Not good.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:36 AM   #5
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The most successful joints I have seen are those that are zig zagged, tightly caulked and about 1/4 minimum wide. Like most DeFevers. This allows normal minor heat/cold flexing without leaking. Some very high end vessels do straight joints with poor expected results. Also, the cap rail needs a tight bead of caulk underneath on both sides or moisture will wick up. Don't forget to rebed any screws that go into the cap rail, they leak over time too.

On some vessels nothing works well to keep varnish looking good as the hull underneath or cap rail/hull joining technique is too flimsy and is working all the time against the cap rail and loosening up varnish. In this case natural and lightly oiled teak may be the best approach.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #6
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My caprail joints are curved at the ends. I wonder how they cut then so they fit? And I wonder if the curve is a benefit to the seam re flexing and working? Or if it just looks better to some.

The cockpit mess? Working on that today .. painting even.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:52 PM   #7
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Unlike Hmason, we have found that covers on external teak extend the life of a bright finish by a factor of years. Many years. Also, we bailed on varnish as an exterior bright finish some 15 years ago and switched to Bristol which in this climate outlasts varnish by a good five or six years assuming the finish is applied properly in the first place.

The key to keeping finish from lifting is proper bedding of the teak, be it against a surface or in a joint.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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As an FYI, we use AwlBrite.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:05 PM   #9
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BoatLife caulk works very well on my caprail joints.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:39 PM   #10
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RC I think that Boatlife is formulated for teak.
Hard to get anything to stick to something oily.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:05 PM   #11
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For recaulking cap rail or hand rail joints, I would be inclined to use TDS deck seam sealant. It has become the standard for making the seams between teak deck planks. I would think it would be equally effective used in rail joints.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:31 PM   #12
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The only problem with using the TDS caulk is I don't believe it comes in small squeeze tubes.

As noted Lifecaulk or 5200 works just fine.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
The only problem with using the TDS caulk is I don't believe it comes in small squeeze tubes.
You're correct, I don't believe it does. However we've been taught a technique that keeps TDS "good" in the tube for a long time after it's been opened and used in a caulking gun. And since we have a 42 year old teak deck we tend to have TDS on the boat a fair amount of the time.

But you're right, it would not be worth buying a tube of TDS just to caulk a few rail joints. It ain't cheap stuff......
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:41 PM   #14
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You might have to blow pic up to see joint but when we replaced or cap rails with new teak we used TDS on joints . We held the joint apart at least 1/8" or better .
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:17 PM   #15
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blistering Cap rail joints

I'm going through this now. I refinished my caprail last spring and the finish has failed at the joints. S-3 Maritime does the commissioning for the new build kadey Krogens and they now caulk all the joints on the caprail. I have an email in to them but I want to report my recent failure. Yesterday, after considerable perpetration, I filled the joints with Sikaflex 291 and was very pleased with the way it looked...until 3 hours after it cured and I has Sikaflex soufflé! The Sikaflex had raised up considerably above the joint. I pulled the material out of one joint and it looks like closed cell neoprene. This looks to me like the product gases on curing.
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I'm now looking into TDS Teak Deck Caulking but am unsure if I can source this product up here. BTW, as Sunchaser mentions, my joints are zigzagged.


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Old 05-22-2015, 02:36 PM   #16
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Try Fisheries Supply in Seattle for the TDS. They ship all over the world.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:29 PM   #17
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TDS is the best deck seam sealant on the planet. I would think it would be ideal for cap and handrail joint seams, too. When we have time to redo all the rails properly on our PNW boat we'll widen the existing joint gaps and use TDS to fill them.

I did this a number of years ago to the handrail gate on our stern rail. I refinished the teak gate and then sealed the joints at the bronze hardware that goes on at each end of the gate. It's been years since I did this and there has been no finish (Bristol) lifting at the joints as there has been on the other gates.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:09 PM   #18
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blistering Cap rail joints

Western Marine carries it. Going to get it now. I got the Boatlife product at the local store but based on what others have said, I will get the TDS product instead. Thanks guys!


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Old 05-22-2015, 04:23 PM   #19
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Note that TDS is not inexpensive and an unopened tube has a one-year shelf life. I have had good luck after using part of a tube to cut the finger off a thin nylon (surgeon's) glove, put it over the nozzle with a little slack at the top, tape it tightly around the nozzle with electrical tape, and then use the gun to fill the top of the finger. This keeps air out of the tube pretty effectively. When I want to use the tube again I remove the glove and the glob of sealant in the finger and the rest of the material is good to go.

The life of the material in the tube is still shortened but I've had a tube be good to use even after two or three months stored like this.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:57 PM   #20
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Note that TDS is not inexpensive...
$20 Cdn.

Quite frankly, I would have rather paid $100 and used it in the first place rather than go through the process of having to clean the Sikaflex out of the joints and recaulk!


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