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Old 02-04-2014, 13:05   #1
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Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Ok so last fall I found a Dyer Midget dingy for $100. It'd been left upside down in the dirt for 5 or 6 years and the white oak rubrails are rotted off. The original means of fastening were about 100 copper rivets going from the outside 1x2 of wood to the inside 1x2" sandwiching both around the fiberglass hull and giving it rigidity.

I know Dyer makes the rubrail kits but $400-500 for what amounts to 36' of white oak 1x2 seems like a stretch. I've got a wood steamer set up to role and wanted your opinion. Instead of using copper rivets I plan on using stainless wood screws to go from the inside piece of wood through the hull to the outter rub rail to hold the two together. Does anyone have any thoughts as to if this wouldnt work? I'm somewhat adverse to using epoxy here because I'd like to be able to replace them as neccesary in the future.
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Old 02-04-2014, 13:13   #2
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

I will not claim expertise but I cannot, except perhaps for aesthetics, see any reason why stainless screws cannot be used. As to 5200, I really don't want that or silcone on my boat. I feel if you need 5200, you need to do a better structural job. However, I would probably want to use some form of sealant to keep water from moving into the seam from capillary action. Perhaps a polysulfide caulking material?

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Old 02-04-2014, 13:32   #3
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

I suppose it would, white oak should have a pretty good anchor to it. As I remember from mine, the wood isnt very thick though? maybe 1/2 to 5/8 thick on the inside and outside? You need to predrill each hole for a good bite, but big enough to avoid splitting. Nice dingy. I would probably 5200 the fiberglass side of the wood. Got any teak around? that would be an option to white oak.... Not sure you will need to steam it though.. up at the bow I suppose...
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Old 02-04-2014, 18:31   #4
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Finding screws big enough to hold but not split the wood will be tricky. Thick screws going through the fiberglass might weaken the 'glass edge as well. That may be why Dyer went with rivets originally. Would pop-rivets work here? (I've never tried them, but it's an idea.) If they do work, you might be able to avoid using glue and the mess that will entail. Bolts would be another option. Posting on the Woodenboat forum could provide useful ideas on how to approach this repair too.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:58   #5
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Why not just do the Boat rivets again? I suppose you could get small carriage bolts of stainless, recess each hole on the outside rail so they dont stick out beyond the wood and then put nuts on the inside. Still.... you'd have those nuts sticking out on the inside. I suggested 5200 so you could use appropriate size Sheet metal screws holding the sandwich together and the 5200 would bond the whole system. DO it once, it'll last a life time... IF you dont leave it laying in the dirt again!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:08   #6
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

I have some #10 1" long stainless screws I was planning to use. Yes I'm planning on predrilling each hole and counter sinking the heads on the inside rail. I'd rather not 5200 or glue them because when it needs replacing again it would just end up breaking the thin fiberglass of the hull off with the wood. For $10 I can get the screws, I don't want to know what 100 copper rivets pluse the peening tool cost.

I personally don't feel like trying to find copper rivets that need hand peening sounds like a pain to me. I'm going a little larger with the wood pieces I have a few strips of 1x2 red oak for the job. Also planning on going through the existing rivet holes and not drilling new ones.

The reason I'm going the extra step to steam them is I've heard the hull will deform before the wood will bend. So in order to try and keep some semblence of hull shape I'm trying to steam it up! Besides I'd be bored if it were spring and I didn't have a good boat project!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:15   #7
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Red oak is a terrible choice for outdoor wet environment. It turns black from water and rots readily. Yeah, use the screws because you will be replacing it again soon!
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:38   #8
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Well it looks like I'm back to looking for some white oak then... This is why I ask these questions! Thanks
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:36   #9
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

I need to be doing the same to one of my dinghies too, I'm planning on using UHMW PE 3/4X1 1/2 inside and out. it will never rot.
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:46   #10
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

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I need to be doing the same to one of my dinghies too, I'm planning on using UHMW PE 3/4X1 1/2 inside and out. it will never rot.
Good Idea. One thought... if he used this on the Dyer anyway... why not just rip a slot part way thru the piece and install inside/outside as one piece? Just slip it over the fiberglass and screw it...
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:47   #11
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

UHMW is not a bad idea! However, it would depend on the type of dinghy for those with strong sturdy hulls that are reinforced or cored I'd see no problem. However for a Dyer dinghy they have just a few thin layers of glass and no coring. Most of the structural rigidty of the hull comes from the seats and the rub rails, so the hulls are on the thin side.The plus side to them is they only way about 80lbs at 8ft. Now my friends fiberglass dinghy at 8ft which we put a 7.5hp engine on would be fine with UHMW rub rails, the Dyer would probably fold in half haha!
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:59   #12
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

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UHMW is not a bad idea! However, it would depend on the type of dinghy for those with strong sturdy hulls that are reinforced or cored I'd see no problem. However for a Dyer dinghy they have just a few thin layers of glass and no coring. Most of the structural rigidty of the hull comes from the seats and the rub rails, so the hulls are on the thin side.The plus side to them is they only way about 80lbs at 8ft. Now my friends fiberglass dinghy at 8ft which we put a 7.5hp engine on would be fine with UHMW rub rails, the Dyer would probably fold in half haha!
Good point, I was thinking of that after I replied. On mine in fact, the center seat was suspended on brackets from the toe rail and didnt stiffen the hull either. I think they designed the boat to flex rather than break. But that oak around the perimeter does give it it's only rigidity on the top! I took my 8 footer to mexico for 1.5 years in the mid 80's. I towed it once in big seas and it filled with water! When the mothership jerked it out of the sea I thought it would explode! NOPE , no damage. Strong but flexible. One of the most stable little rigid dinks around too.
It sure banged up the mothership though... have you considere some type of built in fendering while you are at it?
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Old 03-04-2014, 18:45   #13
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Yea that's the way it seems to be with them. The Dyer's seem to have a loyal following that's for sure. That and they command a steep price! I was thinking about either epoxing into the rail some large 3 strand rope as a large built in bumper. Or using some of that white bumper stuff they like to charge $200-300 for... Gee I wonder which I'll choose.
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Old 03-04-2014, 23:23   #14
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

I'd be more comfortable if you replaced the rivets with through bolts.

Take a look at the Beckson Flush Barrel Nuts.

They would allow you to counter bore the wood and set the head flush or even cover the head with a wood plug if you wanted to.

The other side could be a flat head machine screw counter sunk flush or set deeper and plugged.
Link: Barrel Nuts by Beckson

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Old 03-04-2014, 23:29   #15
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Re: Dyer Dinghy rub rail replacement

Didn't the Dyer originally come with the canvas covered foam gunnel guard like this?
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