What a pain in the arse. I would never have imagined it taking the greater part of a day to install ONE jib track on our Westsail 32, SV Rad Mode. Even worse, it’s not completely finished. I should have known…everything seems to take 3 times longer on a sailboat.
We got started by scuffing the Honey Teak on the cap rail with a red scuff pad to make sure the polysulfide would adhere better to the wood. We then cleaned all surfaces to be polysilfided with denatured alcohol and began wrapping the top of the bolts with butyl rubber to keep water from penetrating through the top of the bolts.
We applied polysulfide to the bottom of the jib track, making sure to do complete 360 circles around all of the bolt holes through the jib track. We like Teak Decking System’s SIS 440. I can’t really speak from experience that there is a better or worse product out there because we haven’t used anything else but this product is easy to use, very affordable (we buy it from Bud at westsailparts.com), and works great.
My wife got down underneath the gunwhale inside of the boat and, like the champion she is, did the first half of the dirty work while I sunbathed up top and occasionally held a flathead to keep the bolts from spinning the butyl rubber off of them while she tightened them from below.
In the end, we had all of the bolts tightened down with the exception of 5 that went through thick teak backing plates inside of the gunwhale. That meant 5 more 3 1/2″ bolts would be needed PER SIDE and it seems like only Westmarine stocks the lengths that we typically use and they’ll probably be $5000 a piece.
Overall, it was time consuming but largely successful with some more bolts that will need to be tackled later. We got through the day largely uninjured with only Kristina needing to have one eye washed out after having gunk fall in it as she looked into the gunwhale.
I have to mention the tool of the day. This ugly ratchet set-up made tightening the bolts inside of the gunwhale much more easy.
At some point in the near future, I’ll be finishing the 3rd installment of my Westsail 32 Bowsprit Installation post. It’s now hanging off the front of SV Rad Mode. I just need to get the photos uploaded and the post completed.