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Author Topic:   Montauk Bow Rail - achilles heel
Salmon Tub posted 03-21-2002 10:57 AM ET (US)   Profile for Salmon Tub   Send Email to Salmon Tub  
Of all the old and new montauks I have seen over the years, it seems to me that the bow rails are (though beautifully designed) lacking in fstener strength. I was reading the comment made by Wreckdiver in the 13 Dauntless topic regarding his rails, and also experienced this. In observation of many other hulls, I have seen evidence of this problem as well. My rails came unbuttoned, litterally, last summer. Unfortunately the fasteners used to secure the rails are a bit light. I had 3 of the existing six screws break at the heads. It was a pain in the neck to drill out the remaining screw, but I reccomend (shouting)


It seems that the anchor points for these screws are strong enough, but the screws used by Whaler can't hand the sheer force, and break at the head. I went to size 12 if I recall correctly, and used 5200 as a sealant. Again,


Observation dictates, that most boats I have seen have had this problem.

seasicknes posted 03-21-2002 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for seasicknes    
Your right on the bow rail issue regarding the screws.

I had to replace all the bow rail screws with a bit larger ones.
But, even then. I had one striped. I had to fill the hole with epoxy and then redrill.


triblet posted 03-21-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I haven't had the problem, never will. Took the
bow rail off and left it at the dealer. ;-)


Bigshot posted 03-21-2002 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have ALWAYS had the opposite problem being I can't keep the blokes tight. I wish they were all that tight.
JBCornwell posted 03-21-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Been there, ST. Thereare permanent fixes.

On older Montauks where the screws are anchored in the plywood backing but always loosening and letting rot in, drill out the holes to 1/2". Make 1/2" plugs of 1/2" Whaleboard ( ) and epoxy them in the holes about 1/8" below the gelcoat. Then seal with gelcoat patch.

Drill and tap for #12 or even 1/4"x20 SS machine screws. a dab of 5200 and screw them down, never to be a problem again.

On later models that already have Whaleboard backing, just drill the holes out and tap for the machine screws. Etc.

The Whaler dealer did it (at my suggestion) on my son's 2000 Montauk, and I did it myself on my '80.

No problem on either boat since.

The big difference is that Whaleboard will hold a machine screw well, too well for wood/self tapping screws which promptly snap off.

Good luck.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

whalerron posted 03-21-2002 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Is whalerboard like Starboard? I ask because I have never seen anything that would stick to Starboard and I was wondering how well epoxy sticks to the whalerboard.
TightPenny posted 03-21-2002 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
This was a warranty repair on my 2000 Montauk, twice. The first time was to replace the screws in kind. The second was to replace all of the light screws with 1/4" machine screws tapped into the backing. This was Whaler's fix to the problem.

The folk who do not run rough waters don't experience the problem caused by bay chop and ocean waves.

It was the side shots that caused the rail to flex side to side and break the #10 screws. The proper fix held up all last year. Now if the same were true of the GPS mount, I would be happy as a clam.

JBCornwell posted 03-21-2002 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     

Whaleboard and Whalelite are composite laminates that might remind you of several compressed fiber/resin materials, but machine like wood and hold and resist the elements like noble metals.

Starboard is nice stuff for what it is good for, but that does not include glueing or holding machine screws.

BTW, Whaleboard costs like Starboard.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Bigshot posted 03-22-2002 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
When did they go to Whalerboard?
Wreckdiver posted 03-22-2002 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
Did you enlarge the countersink on the rail brackets for the 1/4 20 machine screws, or go to a pan head.
I broke the rail loose twice during one summer of Great Lakes diving.
Eric posted 03-23-2002 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
OK, so if whaleboard is different than starboard, where do you get it?
Please don't tell me I've got to buy it from Boston Whaler.
vdbgroup posted 03-25-2002 02:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     
Fix it right.

These fastener problems on the Montauk rails is this boats biggest design flaw.

Re-drilling and using larger screw with 5200 is a temporary fix.

I had mahogany blocks about 1" x 3" put in hull and epoxied and regelcoated. $50.00/fix. I did the two problem rails on the casting deck, second from bow. Result is better than new. Rail is solid and tight.

compromise posted 03-25-2002 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for compromise  Send Email to compromise     
I have a 1997 Montauk. I use my boat for strictly offshore fishing in Miami. My rail kept vibrating loose, and screw heads breaking off. I finally got serious and took the boat to a stainless steel welder person. I had him cut the rail lower (aprox 8 inches) so that it is the same height as the side rails, and add another tab for another screw to the port and starboard middle uprights. I filled the original screw holes with marine tex, drilled them out, and used self taping screws and 5200 to bed it in. I have had the boat out probably 15 times since the modification, all offshore, with probably most of the trips exceeding 65 miles round trip, and they are still solid as a rock.

This is a bad design, I had it back to the dealer 4 times when new, I saw that they couldnt fix it so I did it my way,


Bigshot posted 03-26-2002 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
ballpark...what did it cost to have it chopped?
sklein posted 03-26-2002 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for sklein  Send Email to sklein     

Do you have any pictures of your boat with the lowered bow rail? I am going to install rails this spring and was considering cutting them lower for the same reasons this thread is about. I would appreciate seeing how it looks before doing it.


Steve -

SCChrisB posted 08-28-2002 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for SCChrisB  Send Email to SCChrisB     
It's nice to hear that I'm not alone in this. I have a 66 16' hull and pop screws left and right. I'm thinking of replacing the existing rails with newer slightly beefier rails. The existing railings are very vertical and a new design could give me 6" of clearance moving to the front. I'll need to use a bigger SS mounting plate, 4 to 6 screws horizontal and 4 or so vertical. At the same time I'd like to setup a anchor roller and troll motor mount. $$$$


When you have the time you don't have the money, when you have the money you don't have the time!

flyguy posted 08-28-2002 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for flyguy  Send Email to flyguy     
does anyone have a bow rail for a 16' for sale?
jimh posted 08-28-2002 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't know for sure, but I imagine Whaler Board is a trade name for something like Melamine, or a similar phenolic laminate. The have high strength, can be tapped for screws, and are water resistant.


Dick posted 08-28-2002 09:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

I have an old style Montauk bow rail for sale in excellent condition.

Problem is I'm in Seattle, Washington and shipping would cost a fortune.

PSW posted 09-01-2002 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for PSW  Send Email to PSW     
I had the same problem and went through upsizing of screws process, which is a short term fix I learned. What I did to solve the problem was at the rail to fitting intersection I used a 3/16 stainless steel poprivet, a pneumatic riveter works best. Once that was done the base screws were teak dowled in place and 5200, the #12 screws also helped the cause. That was the last time I even thought about the rail coming loose.


dgp posted 09-01-2002 07:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
BW changed to Whaleboard in production boats starting June 1996. It's maunfactured by Richlite
simonmeridew posted 09-01-2002 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Do you use the pneum. riveter because the poprivets are hard to squeeze or because of uniformity in pressure?
PSW posted 09-02-2002 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for PSW  Send Email to PSW     
Because of squeeze pressure. Actually sold the boat today and took deposit. Will be picked up and paid in full on Tuesday. One of the first things they noticed was how stiff the bow rail was. Now it's Outrage shopping time.


Tsuriki BW posted 09-02-2002 01:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
My Dauntless 14 came without a bow rail, and I'm glad. Pain in the butt ,IMO, for fishing, especially bass fishing.

I did put on railing about 30" long and about 4" high in front of the CC as grab rails, especially for someone riding in the bow. (Bought them from Dick and what I paid for them had to pay his salary for 2 weeks!!!!) but I love them. They are BW parts, they look good and and are very functional.

I would say, do you really need/want a bow rail If not, and it is loose, take it off, fill the holes and don't worry any more.



Dick posted 09-02-2002 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

I had forgotten that you were the one who bought those rails. They were spendy but genuine Whaler. Who would have thought that we would end up fishing together when your boat was being outfitted.

I don't find that the bow rail on my Montauk is in the way for bass fishing, don't think I would feel safe fishing from the bow without it. Need something to grab onto when some idiot throws a wake at me.

Lets chase some bass next weekend.


Wreckdiver posted 09-02-2002 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
I modified the 2000 Montauk with 1/4-20 machine screws, following JBs recommendation, this past spring. So far the rail has stayed put this summer.
Tsuriki BW posted 09-02-2002 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

It has been a long time....

I love the rails, they were perfect for what I wanted.

Fishing next weekend sounds great. I'll take the stern again (without a rail...LOL).


TightPenny posted 09-03-2002 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
Just an update on my bow rail saga.

I just found a broken 1/4"x20 screw on my bow rail. Fortunately, the heavier warranty replacement screw broke off with enough sticking out that the vice grips could grab the stub.

The Whaleboard didn't strip out, but I will still need to replace the broken screw before she goes back out the inlet.

At least the official BW fix seems to be able to be fixed when it breaks.

Perkunas posted 09-08-2002 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perkunas  Send Email to Perkunas     
Just took the bow rail off my 1969 Sakonnet (just got it, my first boat, and I'm loving it! Can you believe I started by shopping for a canoe, but saw this boat and HAD to have it!)

Anyhow, the screws holding the bow rail were so old, they seemed to be simply disintigrating, and the rail was starting to bounce all over the place, so I thought it was best to remove the whole thing until I can fix it properly. My question is, seeing as the boat will be in the water until the first or second week of October, what should I do to the holes to protect them in the meantime? Also, what is 5200?

Whalerdan posted 09-10-2002 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
duct tape, or clear kevlar tape over them. Use to do this to surf boards all the time. don't use sealant it will be a pain to dig out when you get ready to expoxy.
PSW posted 09-11-2002 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for PSW  Send Email to PSW     
Perkunas dont use 3M 5200 before epoxy becuase epoxy does not stick to 5200 very well. Even if you dig it out it won't be as clean.
newt posted 09-24-2002 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Has anyone ever tried drilling and tapping directly into epoxy, as apposed to drilling and tapping into a whaleboard plug (as JB did)?

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