Trim Removal and Rehabilitation – Starboard Side

In the past I’ve stated that I’m okay with less-than-perfect brightwork, and I’m standing by that story. Yes, I really mean that. . . But my trim is getting worse and worse. The eyebrows are missing half of their bungs, and a closer examination of the pieces disclose a sad state of affairs.

The long horizontal piece is missing more than half the bungs.

The long horizontal piece is missing half the bungs.

Prior to bung removal and unseating from caulked location.

Bungs removed, waiting to be unseated from its caulked location.

It’s time to rebed all the deck hardware and trim anyway. May as well remove it and refinish it off the boat. That will also let me thoroughly clean the place where it was bedded, replace the fasteners that are bent or wrong sized (?! – why are there different sized screws in the same piece?) and rebed it with less aggressive caulk.

Although not impossible, removal was more difficult that it should have been. These little trim pieces shouldn’t be bedded with really aggressive adhesive. I’ll use Boatlife when reinstalling. I encountered only one section on the longer piece that threatened to split off in two pieces as I worked it off of the coach roof with a putty knife and mallet. Fairly easy to repair, I’ll also need to examine the fastener holes – seemed like many of them were never deep enough. Of course I have no idea regarding the original dimension of the eyebrow stock – it is likely that much material has been sanded away – but for some of these missing bung holes, the screw heads were just under the surface of the material, and there was a lot of room remaining to set the fastener deeper into the stock. That will take some careful deepening of the holes. I’m thankful once again that I have a drill press.

Eyebrows removed, and no tweezers were involved!

Eyebrows removed, and no tweezers were involved!

Lots of surface cleaning ahead of me where the eyebrows were bedded. I’ll refinish them with 3-4 applications of Cetol, then reattach and bung the all holes properly.  Piece by piece, I’ll gradually get it all done before haul-out time. Varnish? Nah. Not here. These little pieces are too fussy to maintain a varnish finish. One imperfection in the application and water would start lifting the finish, then I would have to spend lots of time on my hands and knees repairing it, or renewing the whole piece. Cetol is much easier to maintain and repair, and doesn’t look too bad to my eyes.

Although not pictured here, I’ve covered the fastener holes with little bits of duct tape to seal against rain.

  1. Good luck Rick, I am planning on doing the same this year. I’m having the mast lifted and inspected and using the opportunity to re-bed everything and paint the decks. Good Times….

    • Painting the deck and rebedding everything is such a big job. Good luck to you also. I’ll eagerly follow your progress.

      • I won’t pull her til after thanksgiving. Rockfish season comes first👍

      • Yep. Sailing speeds are just about perfect trolling speed. I haul 1st week of December.

  2. Good Job! I did this with ALL of the brightwork on my Catalina 30. I used Cetol as well. 2 coats of Natural Teak, and 4 coats of clear Gloss. If you can reapply within 24 hours, there is no need to sand between coats. It all turned out GREAT! I would HIGHLY suggest that you bed the brightwork using Butyl Tape rather than a liquid type caulk. It never hardens, is easy to work with, and there is no taping or clean up! You can get some at . If you want to see how my brightwork has held up after 2 years (it still looks GREAT) you can go to my Blog at . can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

    • John, your teak looks really nice. How long ago did you apply that finish? Looks like it’s holding up well.

      I need to do more research about bedding woodwork. I have switched to butyl tape for hardware on deck, but I’m still not sure about rebedding the teak with it. I’m also a reader of Mainsail’s website. He has posted a lot of helpful information that I’ve used.

      I’m not a big fan of doing a project the scope of rebedding all the teak all in one big push. I prefer to do it over the course of a number of days, refinishing one or two pieces at a time. That way, it doesn’t take over my life for weeks at a time, and I can still use the boat while the project is in progress.

    • Duh. . . you said two years. Obviates the question I asked.

  3. I’ve found Loctite PL S40 (Home Depot $5.85/12oz tube) to be a great replacement for 3M 4200. It is a very similar polyurethane with a long curing time, better elongation, and it is available in black too (better for boot and gasket repair). I’ve been using it for 10 years.

    I’ve used butyl for many things too.Love it for hatches and winches, though I’ve always used S40 for wood trim.

    • Awesome. Thanks Drew. That’s just the sort of thing I was looking for. Boatlife works well, but I’ll take a look at the Loctite product. I like the price too.

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