By 2018 I decided I had lost the battle to keep the mahogany toe rails in good shape through relentless varnishing. It was time to bite the bullet and replace them. I wanted something that would hopefully be easier maintain. The mahogany rails needed at least 2-3 varnish coats per season plus touch up for dings, and I’d already sanded them back to bare wood twice. Varnishing in the heat and humidity of the Cheasapeake summers is highly frustrating. On the other hand, I wasn’t yet ready for low maintenance alternatives like aluminum or PlasTEAK. I liked the look and feel of real brightwork. A fellow Seabreeze owner suggested Ipe (sometimes known as Brazilian teak), but I had difficulty sourcing it locally or finding anyone else that had used it for marine use. So in the end I decided on teak.
As of this writing it looks like this project will take about 4.5 years to complete, mostly because I undertook several other projects in parallel, and outside circumstances (the pandemic of 2020 and of course, the day job) meant I couldn’t move as fast as I wanted. The timeline for several pieces of the project do not conform neatly to the dates suggested in the URLs.
Note: chapters in this project are organized in a “logical” order and not necessarily the actual “sequential” order of work. They span several seasons and overlap several other projects, which will be apparent in the photos.
There’s no way I could have finished this project without the help of my good friend and mentor Sonny Lacey. Many thanks, my friend.
I also got invaluable advice from Tim Lackey at Lackey Sailing and benefitted immensely from his detailed project logs.
Finally, I owe thanks to the Allied Seabreeze Owner’s Association for inspiration and encouragement, and to my lovely wife for tolerating my constant excursions to the boat yard to spend time with my “girlfriend.”