Making a rub rail

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by WesS, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. WesS
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    WesS Junior Member

    I have been looking for rub rails for the boat I am building and they are way expensive. I would like to make one anyway because everything but the motor, wires, battery, lights, etc on my boat has been made by me. It is a duck hunting boat made of wood/fiberglass and I know I will be beating the pooh out of it. I really don't want them out of wood. Needs some ideas- thought of a black garden hose, but don't think it will be too pretty.
     
  2. mcollins07
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    mcollins07 Senior Member

    Large diameter rope made of natural fiber.
     
  3. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Hard to beat wood. Spring for some white oak or iron bark. Apitong third choice, IMO. If you must, use UHMW-PE. Thousands of boats with this stuff all over 'em in Alaska, here.
     
  4. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Mark,
    I've puzzled over installing a rubrail on my modest little cabin cruiser. I'd like something robust enough to not worry about that wasn't made of wood. Attaching it is the puzzle. I'l like to throughbolt it but I don't have clean access throughout much of the area in the salon and behind the tanks etc. I've tried to think up a good way to do it all from outside but I stumble over the details. I think about using plastic or that D channel even alumininum pipe. Any ideas?
     
  5. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Good idea Par, just make sure to leave a healthy gap between each piece and slot the screw holes, PE has a high rate of thermal expansion in the sun so you need to allow for it just like vinyl siding on a house.
    Steve.
     
  6. WesS
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    WesS Junior Member

    Thanks!!!
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I don't have any idea about the properties of...what was it - HPDE? It cannot be as tough as UHMW which shouldn't matter anyway. UHMW expands at about the same rate as the wood boat you are attaching to (Metal boats require consideration). I would have thot cutting board stuff, as well. # 14 sheet metal screws hold with amazing force but be careful to size your pilot bore a bit larger than the screw shank (Okay, in fiberglass if you have a machine screw with a nut on the other side and really whack your trim, the bolt will break, the screw head will come off, or large pieces of fiberglass will. Equal result with a #14 sheet metal screw but you might possibly get by with less fiberglass damage. Correctly sized through a 1/4" piece of fiberglass, the fastener will break befor the threads give way. Wood or cored construction have different rules. I hesitate to put rubrail much tougher than the wood a boat may be made from - does one want the rubrail damaged or the boat it is designed to protect? This is one reason that I have never much cared for indestructable plastic rubrail - a piece of wood is nicely sacrificial and localizes damage). Test one screw hole and make sure that your screw gun can do it without rounding off the Phillips head, breaking the bit, or delaminating the fiberglass. If you are confident that it it holding like a mother, chamfer each hole enough to get the gelcoat away from the threads and make room for a little caulk "O" ring to form. Yes, you want the hole through the UHMW oversized a bit and that makes putting it together easier. One can buy dimensional UHMW here or rip to specialty shapes, router, etc.. It dulls bits and gets not so tuff if heated up to make bends or in machining with dull bit. I am partial to wood.
     
  8. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Pool noodles; hot-water pipe insulation tubing; self-adhesive weatherstrip; old-faithfuls (bumpers); canoe-style brass stemband; brass plumbing tube; Green garden hose; the heavy padded throw covers that movers use; carpet strips ...
     
  9. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    If you don't have access to the other side of a hollow hull, you can attach with plastic hollow wall anchors(the t-shaped ones)using s.s. screws. Cheap wood painted up nice can take a beating an be less painful financially to replace. Heck, it is a consumable item, like windshield wipers. It has to be changed occasionally anyway due to wear and tear.
     
  10. Typhoon
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Typhoon Senior Member

    Canvas fire hose with PVC hose stuffed down the middle.

    Regards, Andrew.
     
  11. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Fire hose is good for about 300psi and is very puncture and abrasion resistant,it does not need anything stuffed down the middle,the problem is haw to attatch it neatly.
    Steve.
     
  12. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Mark, you are right,HDPE is not as tough as UHMWPE,but UHMWPE expands a lot more than any wood i know,i used to manufacture snowboards which have UHMWPE bases and a base can grow a centimeter or more in length on a warm day so we needed to have a climate controlled room to keep the edges from blowing off prior to laminating the board,the wood cores would not grow a mesurable amount under the same conditions.
    Steve.
     
  13. Typhoon
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Typhoon Senior Member

    That's where the PVC hose comes in. Gives the fire hose a nice round shape and something to screw through and maintain a shape.

    Regards, Andrew.
     
  14. WesS
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    WesS Junior Member

    Thanks everyone. I decided to buy a commercial garden hose in black, split it down one side and wrap it around 3/4" square oak. Works great.
     

  15. hardcoreducknut
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    Before anyone flames me, I know this is an old post. I just wanted to contribute.

    One might try using composite decking instead of wood.
     
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