Swan 48 S&S
Here's the situation: Dreamcatcher (under a different name) was re-decked almost twenty years ago.
At that time we suspect that the decision was made to replace the original alloy toerails with teak,
but it seems that the decision to access all the interior fasteners for complete removal of the rails
was to labor intensive. It appeared that they simply cut the vertical portion of the alloy rail away,
fastened the new teak rails directly on top, and painted the "freshly cut" aluminum outboard edge.
What seemed to be a clever solution, slowly turned into a big mess.
The alloy rails began to corrode beneath the new teak, which lead to heaving of the most outboard deck
planks, and more visibly, the oxidation from the combination of the new stainless fasteners in the middle
of the old rail and the un-anodized outboard edge (where the vertical aluminum was cut) was constantly
bubbling the paint and streaking & staining the blue topsides.
Without any exploratory or destructive testing, JBY outlined a detailed plan on how the repair should
be executed, what surprises could be found, and most importantly a firm budget was agreed to from the
The repair started with accessing the glassed & gelcoated-in interior fasteners from behind the joinery-work
and headliner, the entire length of the boat. The outboard-most deck hardware was removed, the teak toerail
and outermost deck plank removed, and then the original horizontal section of the aluminum rail was
un-earthed and removed. These buried aluminum pieces were found extremely corroded, but no damage was
found to the solid laminate beneath. After all the corrosion and old bedding was cleaned-up, a large
fastener was placed every foot along the deck to hull joint. Two new deck planks were milled and fitted,
new teak toerails were constructed, fitted, and shaped, the deck hardware reinstalled, and finally the
headliner and interior joinery reinstalled. Sounds simple? It took six weeks.
The result is a thirty-three year old Swan with a complete new look. The project has eliminated the most
"nagging" inherited issue for her owner, and doing-so within budget helps too.
Dreamcatcher seems to be the ideal boat; one the owner can successfully race, and very comfortably cruise
with a young family. After a very good showing in last year's Bermuda Race, she was sailed back to the
Northeast with the entire family, Mom, Dad, Sophie, Daniel, and Thomas (ages 4,6,7).