Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Super Sailfish MKII Handrails

We ran across someone looking for a handrail for their Super Sailfish MKII, the fiberglass version of the 13'7" wooden Super Sailfish. The handrails are a pretty important part of this boardboat, as there is not much to hold onto while sailing. Here are the rails on our SS MKII.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Most likely there are not a lot of spare Super Sailfish handrails laying around, so I offered to make a replacement. We measured the rail at 3/4 inches thickness, 41 inches long and 1 5/8 inches tall. Most likely the originals were mahogany, for this project I chose red oak, because that's what Lowes had in stock, ready to buy. I forgot to measure the height before I went to Lowes, so I guessed, as it turns out I can cut 2 rails from this 48 inch section that is "4" inches wide (actually measures 3 1/2"). There are host of other woods that could be used, in the future we might make a few from cypress or ash.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

For this rail I took the oak out to our SS MKII and traced the profile with pencil onto the wood. Then I came inside and checked some basic dimensions with a caliper, like how wide the screw bases were, how high the rail stood and how tall the cutout areas were. The pencil tracing was off a little along the top, so I marked off 1 5/8 inches then redrew a straight line using a straight piece of wood as a guide.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

I cut out the entire piece using a jigsaw. Next time I will use a table saw to cut the straight part of the top edge, that will make a straighter line. Remember your goggles and hearing protection.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Sanded the edges with a rando orbital sander, 120 grit to give them a nice smooth feel. Our edges are not as rounded as the 50 year old original, we left some room for them to age :) While I was sanding I decided to refinish the rails ou our SS MKII, they were pretty crunchy.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

We used our rail as a template on where to drill the holes. When I drilled the holes, I put a scrap piece of oak under the new rail so that the drill bit would not blow out (tear out) the back side of the hole, couldn't show that here because I only had two hands. You can see the crusty patina on Sweetness' old handrail.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The original rails used a #10 bronze screw that was countersunk. I copied that with a 3/8 inch bit for the head of the screw and 5/32 inch bit for the threads. Next time I'll use a drill press, it was hard to control the exact depth I wanted by hand. Or skip the countersink. After holes were drilled we applied a coat of Minwax clear Polycrylic, it will protect the wood and let the grain show through. Polycrylic is water based and very easy to clean up.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The new handrail has shipped, and Sweetness has newly varnished handrails.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

If you'd like to order a new handrail, click on the Paypal Buy Now link below.


Wood Type




Also check out our Small Boat Store:


5 comments:

  1. Question for you:

    Under the rails where they are fastened there should be backing blocks correct? I cut a hole in the center, about 4 inches towards the rear from the dagger (to install inspection port) and I can't access the rails under the boat (due to high density foam supports). I don't have any backing blocks under where my ails were. I just wanted to make sure whether I needed to do some heavier surgery.

    Thanks,

    -Sid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On a fiberglass boat yes. On a wooden boat they screw into the deck and into the side plank.

      Delete
  2. Are your rails still for sail?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great. I will order two rails. What would you suggest for filling in the holes on the deck so the rails can be screwed in securely?

      Delete