The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.01.07 - Steaming the Toe Rail

Today's main task was the steaming of the two forward ends of the toe rail and while the steaming was going on to try and get the rest of the toe rail fitted.


The steaming rig set up. I used a square section steel bar hung from the rafters to hold the plastic tube in place with the two toe rail sections held by the tube.


The ends of all the toe rail sections have been chamfered to give a more aesthetic look.


I used 37 cramps in total, it was just as well that I bought another 20 a few months ago. The green string you can see is tied to the cramp matching this one on the other side as both of these one try to fall off outwards.

The chamfered ends have also been rounded off on the pieces not being steamed. I'll do that to the rest once the wood has been bend into place and has cooled down.


The aft section on the port side is back in the house in the warm to hasten the setting of the glue and this meant that I had enough cramps to do the job. Had that section also been glued in place I would have been running short of cramps. The smaller one I have do not open wide enough for this job.


The centre sections of the toe rails were braced against the cabin sides or cockpit coaming and two pieces of wood clamped to the rubbing strake at each end of the timber. An epoxy bead was run along the deck then the toe rail section bent between the three pieces of wood but not touching the epoxy and moved forward or back to be in the correct place. The the timber was pushed down onto the epoxy and clamped, the excess epoxy that squeezed out being scraped off after all the cramps were sufficiently tightened.


Back to the steaming. The wood had to be supported as the team was just passing over the top and not heating the wood well enough.



The toe rails in place against the rubbing strake and still steaming. Once the wood has cooled and dried it will be epoxied on the deck but the rubbing strake is more or less the same curvature as the required toe rail and this is a very easy way to shape the wood.