Hand Rails


On most of the boats, the deck was fully assembled prior to mating it to the hull. The backing plates the screws fasten to are typically not permanently fastened to the deck. As a result, if you are successful removing the screws the backing plate drops to the bottom of the boat.

If you have not yet removed the fasteners, we recommend:

  • Drill a small hole under the hand rail spacers and through the backing plate
  • Screw a properly sized sheet metal screw into the hole and into the backing plate. This will hold the backing plate in place while you service/replace the hand rails.
  • Carefully remove the fasteners holding the hand rails in place.
  • Perform restoration/replacement service on your handrails and re-install them.
  • Remove the temporary sheet metal screw you just installed that was holding the backing plates in place.
  • Use a little caulk, hot glue, or sealant to cover the tiny holes.

If you have removed the fasteners and the backing plate has fallen, we recommend:
  • Purchase an inspection port for each side of the cockpit (Northern Lake Sailboats now supplies these)
  • Use a core drill appropriately sized for the inspection port and cut the hole centered horizontally between the fasteners and vertically between the hand rail and bottom of the cockpit.
  • Install the hand rails and finish the inspection port installation.

Some people have used drywall anchors to hold the hand rails in place. For structural reasons we do not recommend this method, but if that has been done to your boat or you decide this is the method you prefer, consider installing the drywall fasteners with the spring backing positioned in the vertical position to offer the most strength.

Stacks Image 222

Time to go sailing!