Above the transom there is a teak cap rail. This teak is split down the middle into two pieces and ours had seen better days. Here are a couple images from 2016 when I first removed the wood:
As you can see, a lot of work was needed to restore this teak so I set it aside for a couple years. Eventually I decided that it just wasn’t worth salvaging with all the holes that had been drilled into it over the years and the corner that had cracked off on the starboard side. I also didn’t like how it was split in half – I would prefer a solid piece of wood from starboard to port.
Going out on a limb, I sent an email with some measurements to Kevin over at Diamond Tropical Hardwoods and asked him to keep an eye out for a solid piece of curved teak that could be cut to the dimensions I needed. Kevin got right back to me and said that he could ship out the required piece of wood no problem. Awesome!
A few weeks later a big heavy package arrived and as I peeled back the layers of tattered cardboard I found an absolutely beautiful piece of teak with the pencil line of the cap rail already drawn out in pencil for me! How cool is that 🙂
As you can see, I would need to steam bend this wood before installation. There is no way to steam bend it in place as there is no spot to clamp it down so I would need to bend it remotely. This requires a mold that the wood can then be bent over. I wanted to make sure my bending mold was accurate so I created a fiberglass mold of the aft section of the boat.
First I laid down some vacuum bagging cloth so the epoxy would not stick to the boat. I then used a large roll of woven fiberglass to cut out an appropriate sized piece of fiberglass cloth.
I wet out the cloth with lots of epoxy and then laid the old wood on top with some weights to press the fiberglass into place while it cured. Once cured I traced the wood into it so I knew exactly where the cut lines of the new wood should be.
I then began building the mold by cutting scrap 2X4’s to the appropriate heights and fastening them to the plywood base. The 2X4 in the center is the height of the outer measurements that I took of the gap out on the boat. In other words, the center 2X4 is the exact height of the gap created by laying the flat board on the back of the boat. This is how much it would ultimately need to be bent for it to lay in sync with the boat. Each 2X4 outwards from the center are smaller and smaller until there is no 2X4 at the edges of the mold, just the plywood base. Each measurement corresponds exactly with the curve of the boat.
At this point I’ve been working on this project for over a month and just wanted to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to. Hopefully some time soon I will have time to build my steam box and get this wood bent! 🙂