Rub Rail Installation

Cold weather is not very motivating towards working in the cold garage on the boat. But – it’s hard to stay away for long. I spent a few evenings / days installing the rub rail. I set up a little camping heater to provide some warmth and worked away. The rub rail is the rubber piece that goes around the edge of the boat. This is the rail from the purple parts boat (I removed and threw away the thrashed rub rail from the blue boat a while ago). It is NOT very flexible and is surprisingly heavy. To get it around a few curves I heated it up with a heat gun which helped a little bit.

The process was time-consuming. I did not want to drill (more) holes in my boat so I very carefully aligned my drill on the rub rail with the holes already in my boat and drilled a new holes in the rub rail one by one. Then I’d put a screw through the rub rail and make sure it aligned with the existing hole in the boat and tighten everything down. Then I’d move over and do the next one. Each hole took a few minutes to align, drill and fasten, and there are a BUNCH of holes that attach the rub rail. Here’s a few photos of the in-process progress.

Attaching the rub rail
Attaching the rub rail
Align - drill - put in the screw - tighten down - repeat
Align – drill – put in the screw – tighten down – repeat
The end result
The end result

The rub rail actually is made of of two parts. The black part you see above and an insert that goes in the slot above that covers up the screws used to attach the rail. The original insert was blue, but the manufacturer does not make the colored inserts any longer. All you can get is black or white. Neither is appealing to me, so I did some research and found some 5/8″ colored tubing at an industrial supply place. These tubes are supposed to be for drinking water but I think it is going to work just fine. I got 10′ (the minimum order length) of the two blue tubes to see which one would color match better. One of the tubes is more flexible, where the other one is more stiff.

Which color do you like the best?

Two blue tubes
Two blue tubes
The darker blue is the less flexible one
The darker blue is the less flexible one
One more look
One more look

If you have an opinion you can leave a reply in the comments section. I think I like the darker color better. I may have to do some trimming of the stiffer tube to get it to bend enough in a few spots, but I think I can make it work.

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