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Old 08-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #1
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Stainless handrail repair

Greetings fellow problem solvers. I found, upon return from extended vacation, someone had apparently pulled themselves up on our boat by pulling on the handrail to hoist themselves up. Bad idea as it relates to me as I now have to repair the handrail. The obvious seems to remove it take to a good weld shop have it TIG welded back to gather re-install with bedding compound. Go back to being very busy doing nothing. Probably the best option but what say all to alternate methods. i.e. is there some sort of drive-it-in from the bottom peg with base already attached? Slip over the outside of the tube bolt to the deck as I have seen on short tubes that support a wooden top rail. My concern with alternates would be would it be as strong as the original. Better in some way. All input welcomed. and Thanks.
One thing I did not capture in the pic is the rail is very tall from this point up onto the rear deck 4 maybe 5 feet above. This tie down point is very leveraged from the excess length to the upper deck. This is the point of my concern. What have others done to repair or IMPROVE the rail fix point. Is this point called the stanchion?
Attempting to attach photos.
Thanks, Dave.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:15 PM   #2
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I had a heavy guest slip and fall from his own boat to between our boats. On the way down he fell against my rail and did similar damage to the stanchion at the gate. The weld at the bottom of the SS tubing, attaching it to the mounting plate broke. I took it to a welding shop and had it repaired. You can't tell it was ever damaged and it can take more abuse than what broke it.
Follow your first inclination and you will get a quality repair.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
I had a heavy guest slip and fall from his own boat to between our boats. On the way down he fell against my rail and did similar damage to the stanchion at the gate. The weld at the bottom of the SS tubing, attaching it to the mounting plate broke. I took it to a welding shop and had it repaired. You can't tell it was ever damaged and it can take more abuse than what broke it.
Follow your first inclination and you will get a quality repair.
Similar experience here with a good welding and fabrication shop.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:14 PM   #4
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Welds are often stronger than the base metal.

I would be a little concerned that it failed in this manner. The photo is not clear, but I don't see much weld there. Obviously, you wouldn't want another failure like this potentially tossing someone into the drink, or onto a pier.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:27 PM   #5
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Cottontop, agreed. It appeared to have been welded from the bottom could not discern a complete weld all the way around. I think I will have all of the bases re-welded for good measure while it is off. Probably take the other side off too and do that while the boat is out of service. SOOOO the bedding compound appears to have been white when installed and is still somewhat pliable. Would this likely be the famous 4200 or similar? I see where there are preferences with Butyal tape and other products. I think i want the compound to squeeze down through the fastener holes to seal it all back up. Could not see any evidence below decks where it has allowed any water through. Seems prudent to use product similar to what is there now. Thoughts?
Seems like consensus is to weld it back. Thanks for that.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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Contact your fabricator first and show them the pics if he's local. He may come to you as my new TIG machine is the size of my lunchbox. Some of these rails can be quite awkward to transport.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/rebedding_hardware
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:47 PM   #7
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I would go with butyl tape if it was me.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:03 PM   #8
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Yes CP he is local old schoolmate in construct and fab business. Last time I was there he used big industrial machine. 2 miles from marina. But good suggestion. I will drop by before I load it all up. Yes it is unwieldy to transport..
Dhays you were who I was thinking of in the first post. So tell me more about how to use butyl tape correctly and does it come in white-ish color?
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:01 PM   #9
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Yes CP he is local old schoolmate in construct and fab business. Last time I was there he used big industrial machine. 2 miles from marina. But good suggestion. I will drop by before I load it all up. Yes it is unwieldy to transport..
Dhays you were who I was thinking of in the first post. So tell me more about how to use butyl tape correctly and does it come in white-ish color?

Let me refer you to the source that I have used. It surprised me to learn that the sailor whom I knew as "Maine Sail" on sailing forums also at times posts here under another name. Here is his webpage where he describes how to use butyl tape.
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/r...ardware&page=1

The color of the tape is kind a light gray color, but the color is irrelevant since it isn't real seen.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:41 PM   #10
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That's a common fail point, for whatever reason. I have a broken one now on the flybridge that I need to take the rail section too a shop for repair.

Be sure you take it to a shop who has experience welding thin stainless tubing and will use a TIG welder. It pays to ask, as I had one really messed up by a weld shop who used stick rod to repair it. Nasty!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:48 PM   #11
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OK Dhays, good job. I am an opinionated self confident self proclaimed know it all. This case you have given enlightenment. I admit butyal "tape" sounded a lot like two sided tape. Hobby style stuff. Not so I now see. That looks like the right way.
This forum is blessed with knowledgeable generous men and women who freely share ideas to make our hobby rewarding and enriched. I am pleased to be allowed to participate. Will update later as I effect repairs. Thanks to all!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:54 PM   #12
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Edelweiss, agreed thin stainless requires proper skill and materials. My local shop is owned by longtime pal with very good skill and knowledge proper tools. Welding is a science truly and not understood by many in the industry. Thanks for your input. Much appreciated. Happy sails, or trails.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Toolbuddie View Post
OK Dhays, good job. I am an opinionated self confident self proclaimed know it all. This case you have given enlightenment. I admit butyal "tape" sounded a lot like two sided tape. Hobby style stuff. Not so I now see. That looks like the right way.

This forum is blessed with knowledgeable generous men and women who freely share ideas to make our hobby rewarding and enriched. I am pleased to be allowed to participate. Will update later as I effect repairs. Thanks to all!

Dave.

The credit goes to Rod Collins or "Maine Sail". If you decide to use the butyl tape, order it from Rod. It is good stuff and it helps support him being able to provide the web information that he does. A couple of rolls will likely last you a lifetime.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:10 PM   #14
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Dhays, yes I plan to use this product and order from him. Pay to play is my kind of set up. Thanks for sharing . I am excited to have first rate info to operate with.
Dave.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:44 PM   #15
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Depending on how far the stanchions are placed apart in that rail section, That can be welded in place. The process involves removing the broken base plate and slightly jacking the rail, Placing a copper or aluminum heat sink under the plate and a thin ceramic plate under the heat sink. This would require jacking the rail maybe 1/2-5/8" a competent welder can weld this in place using (believe it or not) a cardboard box to prevent shield gas from being blown away. Stainless Steel tubing requires minimal heat. You will be looking at more cost to weld in the field than in a shop. I guess you have to weigh the cost of repair to the cost to remove the entire rail. Your post did not indicate how many bases are attached to the entire rail.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:45 PM   #16
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What dhays said. Rebedded half a dozen stanchions with it in last 6 months. Good stuff. Zero prior experience here. Just follow the directions.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:09 PM   #17
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Here is a fix that doesn't involve welding.
Round Rail Base - 90 Degree | Suncor Stainless
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:08 AM   #18
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HOPCAR Yes thanks. That 316 stainless has my interest. Looks beefy at the deck level where all the stress is placed. Had not seen that quality before, have only seen the cast pot metal and plastic stuff. Those cheap made products were steering me towards welding it back. I think I like these better. For what looks like a way to spread the stress loads a bit. I will be taking measurements to confirm this will fit. Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:16 AM   #19
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I can't tell the diameter of your tube but those fittings are available for 1" or 7/8" OD tubing.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:01 PM   #20
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Looks like a great suggestion by Hopcar.
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