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  Bent bow rail, 2004 Montauk 170

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Author Topic:   Bent bow rail, 2004 Montauk 170
Marsh posted 04-07-2014 04:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for Marsh   Send Email to Marsh  
Trying to get boat back on hoist after a morning's fishing. I was solo, and was met with strong cross wind...probably 25-30 mph, higher gusts. Anyhow, wind took the boat and before I could react, my bow bashed into my dock piling. Luckily, all damage is to bow rail, and not to deck, stanchions, or hull. But bow rail now has a pronounced inward vee bend to it. Has anyone had luck straighteningg such a bend? I may just have to live with it, as a replacement rail would be more than I can spend. This "post classic" bow rail design has no center bow rail stanchion, and thus is easily bent in such an encounter. Guess I am lucky it is no worse. But is sure looks bad.
EJO posted 04-08-2014 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
Marsh it is SS tubing and you should be able with equal+ force adjust the distinct V you are talking about.
You can go about it several ways. It will be more than a one-man job.
Completely dis-mount and fight the large assembly that way.
Or you keep the rail on the boat, support (with wood (notched 2X4) the two side outside of the dent, then either push (again use wood) using a jack or so or pull using a come-a-long. The trick is not to over do it but you might be able to make it a lot better than it currently is.
Your main problem is the supporting.
Good luck and sorry to hear that happened.
Jefecinco posted 04-08-2014 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Consider removing the rail before working on it. My preference would be to have it professionally repaired. It should not be prohibitively expensive if you can do the removal and replacement yourself. If you have a trailer you could take to a shop or two for estimates.

If you choose to do the repair yourself consider using a torch to apply sufficient heat to bend the rail back to it's original shape without doing further damage. You may need a helper to maintain the heat while bending the tubing. Seek some expert advice on the best method to deal with stainless steel. Some special techniques may be required to avoid weakening the metal during the repair.


masbama posted 04-08-2014 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I had a guy come to my house and fix my bent rail. He had a device which did it. Didn't have to take it off the boat. $150.00
frontier posted 04-08-2014 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
I've had good luck with notched 2X4's and a large "C" clamp.
Marsh posted 04-08-2014 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
I'll try 2x4s and C clamp first. Got the boat back on the trailer this morning, so it's easy to work on. If C clamp trick fails, I'll call around to see if there's a guy locally who does this sort of this.

Thanks, guys!

Marsh posted 04-09-2014 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Good news: I heated rail with propane torch, secured it with 4 ratchet straps, and used a bottle jack to straighten out the bent section. One lucky thing was direction of the bend. The boat was pitching such that when it struck to piling, the bow rail was bent almost directly down toward the deck. So, I secured the rail with the ratchet straps anchored to trailer frame, and jacked the bottle jack upward from the deck, and the rail straightened right out. Looks 90% as good as new. Good enough to live with anyhow.

Bad news is that torch has turned the rail blue where it was heated. Chrome polish, and Brasso polish were of no use. Reminds me of the exhaust pipes on the old Triumph I used to have.

Anybody got a cure for blued pipes, er, I mean, bow rail?

Marsh posted 04-09-2014 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Went to the local Harley store, got some Blue-Job polish made for bike exhaust pipes. Removed the bluing from my bow rail quick as a wink.

Hopefully, I can keep my Whaler away from pilings from now on!

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