Robin Garside devises a cheap, simple and effective method of straightening out his boat’s damaged toerail

Robin Garside writes: ‘During the storms earlier this year, I ended up with another boat hitting the toerail twice while I was on my mooring. I initially thought I would claim on the insurance, but having spoken to a couple of repairers I realised that it would be a long and expensive job, entailing the removal of
the whole toerail together with the stanchions.

The boat would be out of commission for a couple of weeks, and sourcing the right toerail profile for my 16-year-old boat proved to be difficult. As I’m lucky enough to own a dry boat, I was also concerned that there would be potential leaks from the innumerable fixings being removed and replaced.

The solution was to use an old hardwood door frame and some leftover bolt lengths and nuts and washers I had in the garage. The door frame has lots of profiles, and I simply positioned them against the bent toerail then tightened the bolts. This took a couple of goes, and I had to drill a couple of extra holes in the clamp to ensure alignment with the existing holes. This home-made tool only cost a few pence as I used bits and bobs from my garage: I guess if I had to buy the bits it would still cost under £20.

The finished toerail, while not perfect, can be worked on again during the winter. Meanwhile, I am still able to sail in a dry boat.


Hardwood tightened against the rail with bolts


Not perfect, but a vast improvement: and it can be worked on in the winter


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