R 22

Rhodes 22


Stern Rails

Try this for "fun": take off your stern rail!

I just did this yesterday as part of the rehab work on my '81 Rhodes 22. The stern rail on this boat is aluminum, nearly all the rivets holding the rail tubes to the sockets were loose, and there were only nuts (no washers!) holding the socket machine screws to the plywood backing boards.

I had to crawl under the cockpit seats on my back to get to the nuts on the gunwale sockets. That wasn't too bad, but still not pleasant. I took the opportunity to knock off all the wasp nests built under there!

Getting out the screws for the transom mounted sockets was another story. I had to crawl INTO THE LAZARETTE and stick my arms up into the cavity between the transom and the rear cockpit bulkhead to get to the nuts. I am 5' 11", so it was a bit of a squeeze. It's a good idea to wear long gloves, because of the exposed fiberglass fibers. I didn't, and the skin on my forearms irritated me for hours after.

For some reason, the nuts on the starboard side socket were not stainless steel, and were so corroded that I could not get a socket wrench on them. I finally managed to shove a ViseGrip plier up and lock it on to the stub of a nut that was there. I don't have an impact so I rigged a flat-bladed screw driver bit into a 1/4" inch socket, and put the socket on a 1/4" socket wrench. That gave me enough leverage to turn the machine screw.

I am either going to replace the old rail rivets with new ones or bolts and cap nuts.

Jacob Pinsky
S/V Julia
10 May 2001

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