Teak Toerail Split Repair

In the tropics the teak around the cleats on our toerail has split and we posted a note on a Cruiser’s Forum about it. I’m adding this post with further photos for those who have asked about the issue.

Teak Splitting Around The Cleat

The issue was caused by water getting between the teak toerail and aluminium spacers which then corroded and expanded, splitting the wood. We decided to try to repair it ourselves, without having the cost of replacing the teak.

Cleat Removed Showing Spacers On Long Threaded Posts

First we undid the nuts from underneath the cleats. These were under the headlining inside the boat. Then the backing plate was removed. Back on deck we used a lever between the cleat and toerail to force it out of its seat.

New Delrin Spacers Beside The Old Aluminium Corroded Ones

We then cleaned up the teak and old holes, opened the splits slightly and sanded inside. Then cleaned everything with acetone, masked up around the splits in case of resin oozing out and staining everything, before injecting resin into all the splits with a syringe and then clamped it tight with 2 g-clamps.

Splits Filled With Resin

When it was dry we sanded the whole area to remove any excess resin and smooth the teak. Then we used silicon sealer inside the new holes and around the edges and also around the edges of the new spacers, again masking up the cleat and teak around to stop it spreading.

Finished Job

Finally we slotted the new spacers onto the posts and pushed everything back into place, tightening it all up and removed all the excess sealer, making sure that any delrin that was visible was covered in sealer to prevent it being degraded by UV.

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5 Responses to Teak Toerail Split Repair

  1. Donna and David says:

    Nice job. We will have to inspect the cleat installation on MERLIN.

    D & D

  2. Nigel says:

    Hi Rhian

    Nice repair on the toe rail.
    I addressed this problem 3 years ago. Luckily, I was able to make the spacers at work, so no cost there.
    I removed about a 2 foot section of toe rail at each cleat location, and shaped and scarfed in new teak. Teak came from local salvage yard.
    After 3 years the new teak has weathered and looks the same as the original.

    Just had a major refit on my 473, which included coppercoating, and replacing all the valves and through hulls. There were 3 through hulls which had suffered pretty severe dezincification. All the new fittings are in DZR. If you have not done yours, it is well worth looking into.


  3. Brian Ralley says:

    Hi Rhian,

    Could you possibly post a sketch diagram showing how you levered the cleat out of the hole. We are about to try to repair ours.


  4. Rhian says:

    Hi! Rob is on the boat and will send me some info so I can reply properly. Shouldn’t be too long.

  5. Rhian says:

    Hi Again Brian

    Rob hasn’t got a diagram but said to let you know he put a small wooden pole between the cleat and the toe rail and levered up one side then the other. It wasn’t anything more technical. Hope that helps.

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