Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 3 - SUMMER 2016 - Page 12

by David Ayers Equipment Notebook Photos by author. Handy Handrails M 12 ounting handrails on your boat can serve many different functions. Their primary purpose is to provide a safe, sturdy place to grab onto while positioning yourself on the boat, or to stabilize yourself while navigating rough water. Falls on boats can lead to serious injuries, and having properly positioned handrails is important. Almost every riding position on the boat is made safer and more comfortable if a handrail is within reach. They are most accommodating around boat entry areas (such as steps, step-downs), standing positions, and, of course, adjacent to swim platforms. Handrails can also serve as tie-down points, towel racks, rope hangers, door handles, etc. They can serve as barriers for consoles or tabletops. Most handrails are fabricated from stainless steel, aluminum or teak. Adding a grab rail or two to your boat is usually an easy half-day task. They are easy to install with little preparation and just a few common tools. (1) A small handrail will be installed above this swim platform to assist people as they climb into the boat. (2) Mark where you will drill bolt holes. Check the underside for clearance and possible obstructions. (3) Measure carefully before you drill. Then measure again! (4) Confirm the size and depth to be drilled. The bolt should fit snugly in the drilled hole to prevent wobble. (5) Usually a rubber gasket fits around the handle base. Use fender washers on the underside when possible. (6) These grab rails make great barriers to help keep items from falling off of the console. GULF COAST FISHERMAN W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M