Replace rub rail

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by kenJ, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    My sailboat currently has a rubber like insert in an aluminium extrusion for the rub rail. The insert is only a couple years old, but still has the frustrating habit of popping out of the extrusion if it touches a piling/dock with any way on. Picture attached is not my boat, but mine set up is similiar.

    Thinking about replacing the rubber insert with a wood one. Rounded exposed edge, fitted and screwed into the extrusion. There would have to be several scarf joints on each side to get adequate length. Width of the space in the extrusion is ~1", the rail would probably be ~3/4" in height.

    Good idea? Bad idea? Is teak the best choice or would it not be good in this application?

    I had thought about just fastening a stainless crown over the existing insert, but with the flex of the insert, thought the crown would end up dented/creased.

    Any other ideas, other than better seamship, to solve the problem?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    The rub rail is pretty small to begin with. I'd make it bigger (beefier) and replace the aluminum too if I were going to replace it with wood for all the work it would entail.
    Just filling the insert channel with the right vinyl strip again rather than wood might be the best solution. The problem is you don't trust (or maybe can't find) the correct profile.
    Try Hamilton Marine in Searsport, Maine for the correct vinyl insert. they have hundreds of patterns.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    TACO Marine s the likely place to find a rub rail insert that actually fits your extrusion.

    > <

    As Alan said it's the logical path to go. This said, you could make a wooden insert, but it'll take some fancy machine work to get a good fit. Teak is a choice, but I'd opt for live (preferred) or white oak instead as they're tougher (especially live oak), easier to get and usually cheaper too. Teak could be left natural and permitted to weather, but the oaks will need paint, varnish or polyurethane.

  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The problem with all those rub rails is that they are just cant lay on the profile and ropes chafe them up.. Id say go for whatever you find to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to fix.

    For the insert use your imagination. The shipyard has a small workskiff. Its rail is the typical aluminim rail profile, but the insert is a long rubber hose with the cover of an old double braid halyard snaked overtop of of the rubberhose. The braid covered hose still looks good after years of abuse .
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