A blog about SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) boats. Covering the build, sailing the boat and the scamp community that has formed around this little portly boat.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Gunwale protectors

This is a step I had long been putting off. Long ago, I had cut myself 2x 14' 3/8" x 1 1/4" ipe runners from the edges of a 14' long hand rail that I had been saving for awhile.

It was going to be beautiful.

But the ipe cracked & split when I get screw #4 installed. Not surprising given how hard that stuff is. Unfortunately, it was irreparable.

After thinking about it, I decided that composite material like Trex was best for the job.
Home DesperateDepot had an acceptable 16' piece of Trex with grooves in the side.
I ripped 1 1/4" off the edges. Then I turned them 90degrees and ripped them at the groove down to about 3/8" thick. Just the right size.
Down the shear

I did realize that the brown on top of the Trex is not the sold color all the way through. It's black on the inside.
This means that the fore and aft edges show black. This is sacrificial and will probably be replaced in a few years, so I'm not too worried about it.

I ran into a second problem, no one makes 1" or 1 1/4" composite screws. The shortest they make is 1 5/8", and that would have been too long and gone right thought the gunwales. I finally found some trim head star drive coated screws at McLendon's. They aren't stainless,  but they are outdoor rated. They tend to mushroom out the Trex just a bit, but as the Trex swells, it might go away.

Shot of the gunwales

Here you can kind of compare it to the ipe on the cabin sides

A shot of the aft as I was cutting with a fine saw.

I first attached it with some bedding compound I got from West Marine. I didn't like that stuff at at all. Too hard to work and dried too quickly. Fortunately, I had some biscuit colored silicone caulk. I used that for the rest of the job and it matches the top deck color just beautiful.

(Working with Trex is weird. The rip cuts leave lots of little shavings and the dust is crazy fine. Be sure to wear a particulate filter when working it.)

I sure wish I could post some sailing posts. Unfortunately, the days have been 90 degrees with no wind at all. Maybe I'll still make it out soon.

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