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Author Topic:   CMI Bow Rail Report-Hey Larry Goltz!!!
whalernut posted 05-02-2002 08:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for whalernut   Send Email to whalernut  
O.k. I called CMI Marine for a Bow Rail for my 73` `16 Currituck and they said they have 1 in stock. So I preceded to talk about price and shipping and then I posed the question will it fit my Pre-Smirk Hull Interior and is it the same Bow Rail that was used on the Smirk Hulls?? The man said they supplied the same design to boston Whaler from the first `16 Hull to the Late Eighties and it was the same for both Hull designs and was never changed!!! This is where Larry Goltz comes in. Larry, you had mentioned to me that the rails were different in the Pre-Smirk and the Smirk Hulls??? Should I tell them them(CMI) they are wrong and question them on this delema, or take their word as religion?? With S/H/I It will be over $700 for the complete kit, I don`t want to have to send it back and all of the headaches that go along with it. Can anyone help me with this delema??? Thanks-Jack.
dscew posted 05-02-2002 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew    
Jack, my 99 Standard had a bow rail (welded) and my 74 Katama has a bow rail (stanchions and tees). When I looked at them both, it looked like the mounts were in different places along the sides of the boat. The rails have a foot on each upright, which mount to the step on each side of the boat. They also have a tee a few inches up the upright, which is mounted to the side of the boat. If the hull interior dimensions and steps didn't change, then I would think the rails would mount anywhere along the steps; the only potential problem would be in the bow, where the critical points would be the slope of the bow toward the floor, where the front uprights have to meet the hull, and also where the front post mounts as well. If CMI says that these things didn't change, then I would think you'd be OK, but when I had my two boats side by side, the rails looked different. It could have been an optical delusion though. I had the occasion to talk to Fred at CMI once, and he seemed very knowledgable. Be sure you get your info directly from him. Hey, good luck dude...
lhg posted 05-03-2002 12:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jack and others - what I remember is that the side stantions were different. On the original designs, I remember this as being straight. On the the new models, I remember the leg having a bend at the bottom.

Surely, there enough people here with both models that this can be resolved. What about pictures in reference or Cetacea?

PMUCCIOLO posted 05-03-2002 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
Whalernut or lhg,

I apologize for the digression, but, what's CMI's number (or website). If you think: "He's too lazy to look it up on an earlier thread!" You're right!


lhg posted 05-03-2002 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Cetacea page 53 (what a beautiful boat!) clearly shows us what a 16' bow rail looks like, showing the straight legged side stantions. I have a catalog picture that shows a Montauk with a jog in this stantion, but could not find a Montauk CMI bow rail close-up on this site.

Can someone with a Montauk confirm this? If so, believe it or not, the CMI folks are wrong!

whalernut posted 05-03-2002 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks everybody!! I will definately wait until I get the right answer to order the right rail. CMI`s # is 1-781-740-1260. It is hard to believe CMI is wrong, but hey they very well could be. Can someone help with this, maybee Clark Roberts?? Thanks-Jack.
whalernut posted 05-03-2002 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I just looked on page 53 of then Cetecea and I almost passed out!!! Somehow I missed that page totally and damn is that boat awsome!!! Congratulations on a fabulous restoration. anyway I did notice the straight legs on the original Bow Rails, anybody with a good picture of the 77` -late eighties Bow Rail, before the welded version??? Thanks-Jack.
andygere posted 05-03-2002 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Jack, here's a shot of my '79. . I've got a ton of pics, but they are all on my computer at work. I'll get some more up as soon as I can. Looking at Cetacea 53, they do look the same. Also, here's a shot of Bud Cligny's '73 Sakonnet from Chuck's web page:
Andy Holmes posted 05-04-2002 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     

I believe that CMI is right. The rail difference is not related to the smirk, but to the change from a bolt together system like CMI sells, vs. the welded system that BW changed to in the Late 80's. I investigated this issue at length when shopping for a bow rail for my 1998 17' standard. I ended up ordering the rail from the local BW dealer. Fit and finish were perfect.

The welded rail, incidently, was about 300 bucks cheaper than the CMI bolted together rail. You may want to call your BW dealer and see if they can get it for you. CMI may be quoting a different price to the general public than to BW, and the BW price may be less than getting it from CMI directly. This is just speculation.

Alioop posted 05-04-2002 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alioop  Send Email to Alioop     
Jack,My 76/77 Montauk's bow rail has the curve in the bow rail side support as Larry stated. I also have to disagree about CMI being Whalers bow rail supplier when they where in Rockland. The whaler news at one time had a article about the gentleman who worked"for"whaler who made all there rails in house,also Fred Caldwell one of CMI owners used to to be a parts manager at some local auto dealerships and I once worked with Fred for a short time and when I worked with him CMI was a side business of his. Mike
Tom W Clark posted 05-04-2002 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Whoa guys! Lots keep things straight here. The essence of Jack's (whalernut) original query is: are there different bow rails for the pre-smirk and smirked hulls?

He has asked this question before and I really don't know but my suspicion has been that a bow rail can fit either hull. I say this knowing the standoffs bolt to the hull at different levels on the two hulls, but the standoffs are free to slide up and down on a sectioned rail like the CMI product.

The two hulls are the same size but merely different shapes. As far as the bow rail is concerned, I don't see much difference in how it attaches.

BUT, Jack & Larry have made a very good observation about the middle stanchion on the bow rail being straight on the early bow rails and slightly bent or "cranked" on ones produced later on. Does this difference necessarily mean they are not interchangeable? No. It may be that they are not interchangeable, but maybe the difference has to do with something else besides the different hulls.

For the record: Boston Whaler started using the welded one piece rails on the Montauk only in the late 1990’s. I don’t know why this is when the Outrage bow rails were welded as early as 1988, but that’s a fact.

Alioop is correct about Whaler doing all the rails in-house as late as 1986 or 1987 but CMI is and was the supplier when Whaler decided to stop producing them in-house. I am not sure of the exact date when this change occurred.

Jim Nolan was the guy who did the rails when Whaler was producing them. The Whaler News that Alioop refers to is the June 1985 edition. It has a photo of Jim bending some rails.

The answer to the mystery may be near at hand. Alioop, you say your Montauk is a 1976/1977 model and has the bent stanchions. If it is a 1976 then it is a pre-smirk hull and confirms that the bent stanchion rail will work on Jack’s boat, but if it is a 1977 model then it is the first year of the newer hull and thus reinforces (but does not prove) lhg’s assertion that the rails are different. Which is it?

Alioop posted 05-05-2002 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alioop  Send Email to Alioop     
Tom,I worked with Fred Caldwell in 89 and CMI was not a full time business as of then,as I understand it CMI's name is the intials of the last names of the owners. My hull is a 76 with the smirk and 77 console that I bought new in May of 77.Hull was a left over and I ordered it with the 77 console as whaler gave me a choice of which console due to they had many leftover hulls and consoles due to the change over in hullls in 76.I looked at my rails and the little dog leg is there to fit past a curve in the hull. I would think the newer rail will fit the older boat,but the old will not fit the newer boat. Mike
whalernut posted 05-06-2002 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks guys. I am more confused than ever now!!! Anyway, I like the straight tubeing on the 73` Sakkonett, I wonder if they can make it like that?? Also, I couldn`t see the front tubing in your 76/77 Montauk. I will deffinately wait to order the right one, so I don`t mess a good thing up. Jack.
Montana posted 05-07-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montana  Send Email to Montana     
Just got off the phone with Fred at CMI. I'm ordering the standoffs and feet hardware for my 66' rails. They're pricey but I think they'll be worth it.

FYI - The stanchions for my bow rail do have a jog in them and they are the original stanchions to come with the whaler. The local whaler dealer for Virginia Beach thinks the straight ones must be replacements. I do like the looks of the straight ones though.

lhg posted 05-07-2002 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Like Clark Roberts likes to say, I'm standing my ground on this. My own 1971 16' blue interiored Nauset had the "almost" straight bow rail stantion, as shown in the Cetacea picture mentioned. I installed that rail myself, having bought it new in 1971, and owned the boat for 17 years, so I ought to know that the straight legged rail was the original design for the 16' hulls. Earlier catalog pictures also confirm this.

I have in front of me a BW Options catalog, circa 1986, page 18, that clearly shows the bow area interior of a later 17' Montauk. At the side stand-off, the rail takes a DEFINITE bend (maybe about 15 degrees) inward, because, as Alioop has mentioned, the 17' "smirk" hull has a slope at the point where a straight down rail would hit. So they had to bend it in to accomodate this change in the INNER hull mold.

It's possible that Alioop is also correct that in that the later Montauk bow rail (not the newer welded one) would fit either the 16 or 17' hull, but not the other way around.

The information that CMI was not Whaler's supplier before 1990 is also of news here, at least to me. This would explain why they only know about the later one with the bent leg design. I assume they purchased all of BW patterns for the various rails, but maybe not the earlier 16' straight legged bow rail. It could be that since the bent leg design fits all models, the straight leg design is no longer needed. But I agree, the straight leg design would be more appropriate, as the bend in the leg of the later rail would look unnecessary in the older hull. Just a purist's point of view!

If a (sharply) bent leg rail is on a '66 16' Whaler, it is not an original installation, and the Virginia Beach dealer is incorrect!

Alioop, thanks for the good information on CMI.

whalerron posted 05-07-2002 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
I agree with lhg. Look at my 1969 "blue interior" 16'7" on Cetacea page 33. There are some very good views of the bow rail assemblies. This rail is most definitely original and the stanchions are straight.

- ron

lhg posted 05-07-2002 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Thanks for the photo reference, Ron. Nice boat, incidentally. That just about sews it up for Jack. Now Jack, we want to see a photo of your boat with a bow rail on it, so we will know all our hard work in researching this one out for you didn't go to waste.
Montana posted 05-07-2002 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montana  Send Email to Montana     
All right I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers here and maybe we are talking about two different things here and if so then I apologize for speaking out of turn. Now if we are talking about bow rails for late 1960 model 16’ whalers then there were (are) offset bends located on the top and bottom of the original front stanchions. My boat was purchased by my wife’s Grandfather new in 1966. My father-in-law even has the original bill of sale. The only thing that has been replaced on my bow rails so far has been the little screw fasteners for the Tee’s. If you look at page 6 and 23 you’ll see a 66’ and a 68’ with the exact same bow rail that I’ve got and you can clearly see the offsets. If that doesn’t convince you look on page 53 at the recent 68’ restoration. If you look at the picture showing the close up of the Bow Chock/ Nav light you can see the bottom portion of this offset for the front stanchions. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but these are the original bow rails for this make and model of the 16’ Whaler.
whalernut posted 05-07-2002 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I do appreciate all of the info guys, but now I am more confused. I deffinately want to get an original style Bow Rail for my 73` Currituck, I will recearch further until I hit that perverbial nail on the head!!! Anybody else want to chime in please feel free to help out!! Jack.
lhg posted 05-07-2002 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Montana - From your picture references you are absolutely correct. Those are the original 16' bow rail design, as has been noted before. I guess the definition of a "bend" in the rail is the issue. The rail on the 17' Montauks is MUCH more pronounced, bending inward at about 15 degrees, at the side stand-off, than what you are pointing out in the pictures. If you saw one, you'd know what I mean.

Jack - don't be confused. You want the rail shown in Page 53 for your 16' hull, IF you can find one. Now you have enough information to talk to CMI again. Let us know what they say. The original 16' rail may not be available new anymore. The used market may be your only option.

Montana posted 05-07-2002 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montana  Send Email to Montana     
Whalernut look at page 57 varieties under the pic for "sell or keep?". You can see a really nice pic of the front bow rail for that 1975 17'. That family is the original owner and looks to have kept that thing in immaculate condition.


whalernut posted 05-07-2002 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
LHG and all, I really do want an original bow rail, does anyone have one for sale or trade, also Nausett Interior including center console and bench seat??? Thanks-Jack.
Tom W Clark posted 05-07-2002 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I must ask for clarification here. Are you saying your bow rail has a VERY subtle S bend in the stanchions? Because I'm looking at the sited Cetacea photos and am not seeing it. I also have on my desk in front of me every Boston Whaler catalog up to 1969 and they all appear to me to show bow rails on the 16' that have straight stanchions.

The 1966 catalog I am perusing now has no less than 14 unique photographs of the 16' hull with bow rail. The bow rail is shown from every conceivable angle and I cannot see anything other than straight stanchions. If there are bends they are right at the Tees and are very slight.

Now there is no question that the later bow rails have a distinct bend in them. As Alioop points out, the bent stanchion on his 1977 17’ hull (if it’s got a smirk it is a 1977 model though it may have been produced in the latter part of 1976) accommodates the new hull shape. I suspect Alioop has it correct. The new rail will fit the old hulls, but the old rail will probably not fit a new hull. That’s simple enough and consistent with CMI’s assertion that their rail will fit Jacks’ boat.

If the old trail does indeed have straight stanchions then it would be easy to convert a newer rail to an old style rail by simply substituting two straight pieces of 7/8” .049 stainless steel tubing of the appropriate length for the cranked stanchions of the newer rail, or ask CMI to use straight pieces in lieu of the cranked ones.

If, on the other hand, the old stanchions were slightly cranked, then it is harder if you are going for a “perfect” restoration. Jack’s boats is a 1973 not a hull form the 1960’s. Though the same, we do not necessarily know that Whaler didn’t change to a more pronounced bend in the stanchions. It may be the a “correct” bow rail for Jack’s boat is the one found on the newer hulls and produced by CMI today.

At an rate, the net effect of using a newer style rail on an older hull would be that the bases for the stanchions in question are moved inboard perhaps 1/2” to 3/4” because of a difference in the 1977 and newer hulls that does not exist on the 1976 and older hulls.

Jack, if you want to buy a used rail, great. If you want to buy a new one I think you’ll be OK as well. It’s not like your trying top match up to any old screw holes so I am sure CMI’s product will work just fine.

Montana posted 05-07-2002 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montana  Send Email to Montana     
I'm an electrician by trade and have bent more then my fare share of conduit and tubing. My stanchions have a very slight offset bend in both the top and the bottom giving them a slight "s" appearance. This offset is probably only about 10 to 15 degrees per bend. This might explain why the standoffs for these stanchions are about an inch smaller in length then the rest. I’ve been told in later models that all of the standoffs are of the same length.

If you are looking at the stanchions from a front angel I’m not sure you would pick up on the offset bends at all. As for trying to bend a 7/8” SS tubing you would have to find someone with a 7/8” tubing bender. This is not a common bender size and I’m not aware of one although there must be one out there somewhere. You could use a larger 1” standard bender but the radius of the bends would be bigger then what a 7/8” bender would provide. I do know a lot of people who do high purity SS tube wielding for a living so if I ask them about a 7/8” bender I’m sure they would know.

I also know that when I called and talked to CMI about my rails it was Fred who reminded me that there where two smaller standoffs for my bow rail due to the offsets in the stanchions. I feel confident that he knows what he’s talking about. He better as I just wrote him a check for over $400.00 to purchase all new standoffs, base feet, and the fasteners for all the Tees for my rails. A new rail cost over $700 by the way.

Please don’t take anything I say wrong. I am by far no expert on whalers but my boat has only had one owner and that’s my wife’s family. My father-in-law has confirmed that these rails are the original ones to come with the boat and I have no reason to doubt him.


Tom W Clark posted 05-07-2002 11:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I'm sure Fred at CMI knows what he is talking about just as I am sure you do as well. I was merely looking for a clarification. But you have provided an interesting clue.

It is interesting to note the use of a shorter standoff for the middle stanchion. This may itself be the reason for the more pronounced bend in the newer stanchions. In other words an effort may have been made to simplify production by using all the same sized standoffs so the stanchion with a greater offset was introduced and the shorter stanchions were discarded.

But I also find it interesting that Fred at CMI himself reminded you of this, It implies he knows about the difference in the rails yet Jack was told by CMI that there was only one rail for both the new and old hulls. Perhaps knowing that either one would work on Jack's 1973 model they were just trying to sell him a newer style rail because it is easier to produce.

I'm pretty sure Jack is not contemplating bending a rail himself. If you want to bend .049 (or .065 for that matter) stainless steel tubing for boat rails you need a real bending jig like what a canvas shop has, not a conduit bender. Using .065 you can get a radius as tight as 3", but only with a big bender! I've watched it being done.

whalernut posted 05-08-2002 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I appreciate all of the info guys, I really do. It seems to me I would like to buy a used original straight bow rail or if the newer one works then I guess it would be o.k. but I don`t know how much it would bother me not to be just like what they used in 1973?? Maybee I should write Chuck Bennett down at Whaler to ask him which one was used?? Thanks-Jack.
Taylor posted 05-08-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Jack wrote:

"...but I don`t know how much it would bother me not to be just like what they used in 1973??"

That's a really revealing question, and one that I have often asked myself in the context of several other projects, notably a MG car restoration effort that went from 1973 to 1992.

While *I* knew that I had an early 1964 three main bearing MGB engine in my 1960 MGA, apart fom the choke control, it was really hard for anyone *else* to tell the difference. In car events that kind of detail matters. For me, today, its mostly the functionality that counts.

The only people who really care about this for Whalers are already reading this thread, and we know Whalernut's a purist.

But if Whalernut was an absolute perfectionist, he's leave his boat a Currituck. Don't misunderstand, I think this Nausett conversion project is a good one. I just think close counts here. So whatever you find first at a reasonable price. Don't worry about it afterwards.

I want my next Whaler to be that cool 21 foot outrage with the holly and teak console, the canvas windbreak and the huge destroyer wheel. That was pretty darned cool. (Cetecea Reference: 57-05)

whalernut posted 05-08-2002 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I also like the 21 foot Outrage!! Anyway, I am a purest, but my age has caught up to Lake Erie and the bech seats just aint cutting it anymore!!! I will try to keep her as close to Nausett or Montauk configuration as possible as long as the parts are available. I wouldn`t mind tradeing my Currituck for a Montauk(73`-75`) or a Nausett, I would even trade for the boat and trailer and no motor, mine has a motor, but it would be fair considering the ohter would be a center console, anybody?? Anybody to buy the interior?? JACK.
Alioop posted 05-13-2002 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alioop  Send Email to Alioop     
Hi have been away on vacation and just got back. Jack I was not trying to confuse the issue here about the rails. The two points I was trying to make where CMI was not the only supplier of rails when Whaler was in Rockland, what they say should not be taken as GOSPEL. The other point is my boat IS a 1976 Hull with the"smirk" and was built and sold as a 1976 and I chose to wait until the 1977 console was built and made available to have boat assembled. Hull was already made and sitting at the factory.
Tom W Clark posted 12-04-2002 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I'm bringing this back up for the benefit if Rich Bulman (nvrtoomanyboats) who is looking for a used bow rail for his 1970 Eastport. He is trying to figure out if the bow rail from a smirked hull (mid 1976 and newer) will fit his.
tbyrne posted 12-06-2002 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
If I were in Jack's shoes, I'd try the bowrail he has coming. If it fits, keep it; if not, try the other version.

I too think it's important to keep Classics as close to the originals as possible, but I don't think that one must be obsessive about it. I think it's more important that one just enjoys using the boat.

tbyrne posted 12-06-2002 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
Whoops - I didn't ralize this was an old thread. Sorry for the unsolicited advice!

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