Rub Rail Question

Outboard designs up to 14'

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BillW
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Location: Seattle, WA

Rub Rail Question

Postby BillW » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:55 pm

Hi folks,

I have heard that automotive side molding is sometimes used as rub rail on boats. Does anyone here have experience with that or care to comment?

I am somewhat of a new guy here. We began building a Squirt many years ago, and recently finished it. But I was not a computer guy then, and
did not get very involved with this forum. Our Squirt is on the Boatbuilders Blog; Bill and Linda's Squirt.

You can see from our pictures that boats don't look quite right without a rub rail. We actually have two homebuilt boats, where I made the
mistake of finishing them without a rub rail at all.

Thanks,
Bill

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BarnacleMike » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:06 pm

Hi Bill,

I have used the self-adhesive chrome auto trim made by Protekto, and have been very happy with it. In fact, I used the same type that rbrandenstein used on his Malahini, since he seemed to have good luck with it.

Some folks will put stainless steel screws through it to give it that "metal" look. I did not. I found the adhesive to be VERY strong, (and very unforgiving, too). I would certainly not hesitate to use this particular trim again.

I would also recommend working in short sections, too, in order to keep your lines straight. Once that adhesive sticks... well, I personally didn't want to fight with it to pull it off.

Here is a link to my blog post on my own application of it. There are links to the online distributor's website and to rbrandenstein's blog as well:

http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/2016/04/its-almost-three-years-to-day-now-since.html
-Michael

Built Utility "Perseverance" — completed Aug 2016
Currently building a Zip
My Boatbuilding Blog: http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
My Website of Boat Photos: https://michaelsmaddox.wordpress.com

BillW
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BillW » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:48 pm

Thank you for the information. Can I bother you with a couple more questions about it?

I could not see in the pictures what the cut off end looks like. Were you able to file or sand it smooth, or rounded off?
On a car would it terminate in a cut off, or is there some kind of end fitting to hide the cut?

I assume these boats are new. So, is there enough history to know how it holds up, or how to deal with it when the boat needs re-painting?

Thanks a lot. Those boats are both very nice looking.
Bill

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Roberta
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby Roberta » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:43 am

I used the chrome colored self stick trim on the upper areas in the aft part of the Torpedo. It looks nice and easy to apply to a flat surface. It will make some of the tighter curves and contours that the SS rub rail will not. When using it, make sure the shear line is flat where you will be applying it to get the best contact surface. You can use longer pieces by working in short sections, holding the trim in place and pulling the backing away as you stick it down. It helps to have a second person holding up the excess length. This trim may be fine for the smaller boats but may not hold up on a larger boat unless placed out of harms way. Docks, waves and wind can be brutal on rub rail.

My preference is to round over the shear line and use hollow back SS rub rail. It stands up to dock abuse and easy to mount in 8 foot sections. Bow points can be beveled and there are trim pieces for the ends. Neatly cut joints are not very noticeable. A small boat like the Squirt can be done in under $100.00 using 3/4" rail. Less if 1/2" rail is used.

Here are pictures of the aft end of the Torpedo where I used 1/2" self stick trim on the upper cowl of the boat and 3/4" hollow back SS rail on the aft and lower shears. The trim can be cut using a scissors and nice bevel cuts can be made.

Roberta
Attachments
final assembly 003.JPG
final assembly 004.JPG
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BarnacleMike » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:17 am

BillW wrote:I could not see in the pictures what the cut off end looks like. Were you able to file or sand it smooth, or rounded off?
On a car would it terminate in a cut off, or is there some kind of end fitting to hide the cut?

I assume these boats are new. So, is there enough history to know how it holds up, or how to deal with it when the boat needs re-painting?

Bill


I think it would be fairly easy to sand or file the ends so that they're smooth. With enough diligence, a person could probably shape the ends so that they're rounded or similar. I personally did not bother. I simply cut the ends with a pair of metal snips, and stuck it on. The ends simply show the black rubber of the substrate material. Here are a couple of close-up shots from my boat.

As far as longevity, I only installed mine last April. I believe rbrandenstein attached his about 4 years ago, so perhaps he will chime in on how it's holding up. From what I've seen so far, I have no reason to expect longevity to be a problem.
Attachments
IMG_0112.jpg
Starboard side, bow
IMG_0111.jpg
Starboard side, bow
IMG_0110.jpg
Port side, aft
-Michael

Built Utility "Perseverance" — completed Aug 2016
Currently building a Zip
My Boatbuilding Blog: http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
My Website of Boat Photos: https://michaelsmaddox.wordpress.com

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rbrandenstein
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby rbrandenstein » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:32 am

Bill,
I made a miter at the front where the two pieces ended. It was not a very good miter and I was going to cover it with a piece of stainless, but I never got around to it. Out of sight, out of mind. At the rear, I cut it off square and added a wood strip to butt to the rub rail and also cover the seam between decking and transom.
Img_0870-2.jpg

Regarding wear. The moulding cracked in one place where a snap screw was attached. I have a fitted cover and the upholsterer put the snaps through this rail. In one case he must have gone too tight and there are a few hairline cracks extending from the screw hole. The other issue is if you hit a dock hard, it will permanently scuff the plastic and lose it shine at that spot. I have one or two of these. I presume these are irreparable but have not tried to polish them out.

Other than that, it has held tight and still looks like new.
________________
Bob
Completed Malahini (launched 6/24/2012)
http://bobsboatbuild.blogspot.com/

BillW
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BillW » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:46 am

Thanks very much, Roberta, Mike, and Bob,

I need to give this some thought.
Our two boats do look a little unusual without rub rail molding. But, people don't seem to notice until I point it out.

Those boats are beautiful. That Torpedo is amazing; is Glen-L going to offer the drawings for that boat?

Thanks, Bill

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BarnacleMike
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BarnacleMike » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:53 am

BillW wrote:Thanks very much, Roberta, Mike, and Bob,

I need to give this some thought.
Our two boats do look a little unusual without rub rail molding. But, people don't seem to notice until I point it out.

Those boats are beautiful. That Torpedo is amazing; is Glen-L going to offer the drawings for that boat?

Thanks, Bill


Roberta's and Bob's boats do indeed look amazing... mine just floats, but thank you :)
-Michael

Built Utility "Perseverance" — completed Aug 2016
Currently building a Zip
My Boatbuilding Blog: http://barnaclemikeboats.blogspot.com/
My Website of Boat Photos: https://michaelsmaddox.wordpress.com

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Roberta
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby Roberta » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:55 am

Thanks, Bill!! My Torpedo was built as a proof of concept with Glen and Gayle's input. The original drawings and plans are being revised with in-process changes I made during the build as well as some tweaking by Gayle and Glen. Hopefully they will be released in the near future.

Roberta :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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vupilot
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby vupilot » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:53 am

Ive replaced the automotive rub rail trim before. It was on the boat for about 6 years and had begun to flake the chrome looking coating off. Its really simple to replace, just heat it with a heat gun as you pull it off and go slow and steady. It came off easily without removing any paint underneath it. Then I just put the new stuff back on. This stuff is so cheap changing it out every 6 years is no problem if it happens to flake again. I only had to change one side.
I still have 32 feet of stainless 3/4" rub rail sitting in my garage that I paid big $$ for and could never get the 3/4" to form against the contours of the boat. Maybe if I cut it into 3ft sections it would have worked but thats a lot of cutting and fitting to get right and if it doesnt work youre left with holes in the sheer. On that boat ended up using half round rubber rub rail from Wefco mfg.

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Andy Garrett
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Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby Andy Garrett » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:48 am

I used auto trim too. I countersank stainless steel screws every 8". I've been very happy.
I'm hard on my boat and the trim takes a beating. Sooner or later, it'll have to be replaced as Chris said, but I got it real cheap on Ebay.
I suggest full length sections and apply as Roberta said..., just peel the backing as you lay it down. Two people is best.
I lined mine up with the top edge of the side to hide my plywood endgrain.

Here are some picks and a video link with plenty of views.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=29505
Andy Garrett

Perhaps the slowest Zip build in Glen-L history...

BillW
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:03 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby BillW » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:22 pm

Thanks very much for everyone's help. Lots to think about.

Bill

Hercdrvr
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Location: McKinney TX

Re: Rub Rail Question

Postby Hercdrvr » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:08 pm

Guess I'm the odd one on this topic. I started with the sticky chrome strips. They looked good, easy to install and cheap. However, in my case they started coming off in 1 season, mostly due to rough use. We climb in and out on the water with no ladder which tugs at them. Also, I abuse my little Squirt in rough water and one day a doozie of a wave tore of part of the rub rail off.

My biggest hang up with going with Stainless steel was the cost, not so much the material but the dang shipping. Then I figured out shipping is free if it's delivered to a West Marine location. In 2 weeks I had 1/2 inch 12 footers dangling out the back of the pickup. Install took a few hours. I used a plain old file to slowly shape the ends.

Either way works, you will likely be the only one to notice the difference.
Attachments
image.jpeg
The ends need a bit more shaping
image.jpeg
1/2 inch stainless


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