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.

How Vinyl Rub Rails are Manufactured (Video)

See how boat vinyl rub rails are manufactured at Taco Marine.

Video Transcript

From the raw materials to the finished product, Taco marine is focused to do some quality product.

Hello! My name is David Phaneuf. I am Taco Marine's Plastic Extrusion Engineer. I've been in the plastic profile extrusion industry for 33 years and I have a lot of experience in the marine product industry. What we do here is a work station where we design the tooling in the dyes.

We have 3-D modelling. We have 2-D modelling. We use the latest state of the art software. Right here we have a 3-D model of an extrusion dye that I have been working on.

Actually the 3-D model is a perfect tool to see how well the dye is constructed and to see if there's any problem. You can take it apart. You can see if it's constructed in different ways. You can split it up and then you can examine if there is any design flaws.

Now let's take a look at how Taco Marine Rub Rail is made.

Materials are over here on my right. It pans out here on the floor. We load it up into this Maguire copper load. What happens is that we fuel up. It mixes the colours. This will make it black. It's mixing it 1% black colour with 100 pounds of natural colour.

From here, it drops out into this extruder. From the extruder, it goes out. We draw it down to a water bath tank. Which actually pulls the part down. It goes into a puller. From there, we put it onto a spool and put it into a box.

Here's a look at how Taco Marine's Rub Rail meets exacting specifications.

So we have here the blue print of the part and we have four critical dimensions on this part, which we operate as one, two, three and four. Any of those is critical. The operator checks those during the run consistently and constantly. He checks them to make sure that the quality is correct and if those parts meet the blue print's specification.

Consistent quality is assured with an automated drill that drills holes to the precise specifications. Every part of the production process is focused on quality. Taco Marine makes every effort to be a green company like grinding and then recycling left over and scrap rub rail materials. Once the rub rail is completed and boxed. It's sent off wrapped to our customers.