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FAQ: Handrail Removal for Refinishing


Should I  Remove Handrail for Refinishing?


Thanks T.R. Hernack for the Handrail Removal for Refinishing FAQ !

Original Message:
Handrail Removal for Refinishing
Has anyone removed the handrails on a 34' for refinishing? Is it worth the effort?
David, C34, #247, DAucella@aol.com

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
Ron Hill recommends NOT to remove them. He suggests that you raise them up only just enough to rebed the caulk underneath. I forget whether this was in
Mainsheet or on the List. I have a leak at the through bolt at the aft end of my starboard handrail right over the galley and will be doing the "just raise it a little bit, but don't take it all off" method soon.
Stu, Dosgoats@aol.com

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
I just went through the whole process and I was aware that it was not recommended. I really wanted to clean up all of the old finish sprayed around the base of the handrails, so I took them off and finished them at home.
They actually came off fairly easy and I was able to get them off without any help. Getting them back on was another issue due to the fact that the wood still wanted to fight the curve and I had bedding compound spread all around. Still, my wife and I were able to get them back on without too much hassle.
Looking back on all of the work involved, I would seriously consider trying to refinish the handrails without taking them off. Yes it is easier to sand and finish at home, but then you have to deal with rebedding everything and you still have the 1/2" teak bungs to install and finish.
Now that I have everything clean, I do not anticipate taking the handrails off again.
Scott McPeek, Bitter End, C34, #969, scott_mcpeek@ameritech.net

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
<< but then you have to deal with rebedding everything and you still have the 1/2" teak bungs to install and finish. >>
Scott, unless I'm mistaken, I have no bungs. I have easy access to the screws below. Am I missing something?
David, C34, #247

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
Could be on your boat, on mine I only had screws on every other handrail base, with bolts at both ends. I am sure that things change on C34 hulls and we have more than 700 sailboats between us.
Scott McPeek, Bitter End, C34 #969

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
Yes, yes, yes. Definitely worth it and an opportunity to re-seat them. Take the time to do multiple coats and it will last for years.
Gary Wiseman, Up Spirits, #894, gwiseman@ftn.net

RE: Handrail Removal for Refinishing
When I had an earlier C34 with the teak handrails, I took them off once to refinish. The things unbolted and unscrewed from the inside. The bolt remained with the handrail and the nut came off, so the bungs did not have to be removed. In my case, the bolt did not turn with the nut, so it wasn't a problem getting the handrail off. I also had no problem putting it back on although I inserted the bolts into the holes before putting the bedding compound on -- sort of like Ron's raise it just a little.
At the time, the teak was varnished, so working on the handrails at home was a real plus.
Phil Davies #1360, PhilDavies1@compuserve.com

Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or the desirability of suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any significant modifications to your vessel.   



Last modified by Phil Imhof, Wednesday, August 11, 2004 . Copyright 2001 by Catalina 34 International Association.  All rights reserved.