Boat Rub Rails

Boat Rub Rails How-Tos

All About Boat Rub Rails

Simply put, a boat rub rail is a strip that runs alongside the edge of the boat. It will start at the stern going round to the sides to the bow. Usually, it may come as one solid mass or consist of a larger piece with an insert where a smaller strip is inserted.

What Is It Made Of?

Rub rails for boats come in all manner of designs, colors, sizes, shapes and also material. Each variety will be suitable for particular applications. Also, the effectiveness, cost, durability, and appeal of the boat rub rail will vary. The most common types of boat rub rails are made from aluminium, stainless steel, semi-rigid vinyl, and rigid vinyl. Stainless steel is known to be durable while aluminium is light in weight. Both are also resistant to corrosion. Rigid vinyl and semi-rigid vinyl are quite flexible and come in many designs.

Why Are The Boat Rub Rails Used?

Rub rails always come as part of the boat. Their main role is to protect the boat from damage. Usually, a boat will knock on the sides of a wall or other boats. The rub rails will take the impact hence instead of the boat getting scraped or damaged; it is the rub rail that does. In addition, the attachment also absorbs some shock, vibration or impact which may affect the structural integrity of the vessel.

Replacing Damaged or Worn-out Rub Rails

Over time, the boat rub rails will wear out. However, they may also get damaged prematurely due to an accident or mishandling. Usually, the first sign is where the boat rub rail starts to slip or becomes loose. A closer inspection will reveal dents, bumps, abrasions, or even cracks. This not only lowers the aesthetic appeal of the boat, but may cause damage to the boat itself. Repairing the rub rail is pretty straightforward hence a handy and ambitious person can do it.

Repairing the Rub Rails

  • Step 1: Purchase the desired replacement boat rub rail. It should at least be of the same height as the previous one.
  • Step 2: Clean the rail and the surrounding area with water and detergent to remove loose dirt, grease, salt, or any other debris. You may use a putty knife to do so.
  • Step 3: Fix the rub rail by adding some rivets on a different section. If in bad shape, completely remove it and place a new rail and rivet it at different locations.
  • Step 4: Use a heat gun to heat the insert then pinch it while pushing it into the insert.
  • Final step: Insert the end caps.

Boat owners take pride in having a boat that is in good order. In order to have a functional and aesthetically appealing vessel, it is necessary to give the boat rub rails special attention. Besides absorbing the impact and preventing damage to the hull, boat rub rails also improve the appearance as well as the value of the boat.

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