Thank you guys for your input. I was thinking of just getting a 2'2" piece of stainless steel rectangular tubing like hpeer mentioned and the sales rep mentioned how hard it would be to cut, as did the rep from penn stainless, as did the metal fabricator, and finally as did my brother the blacksmith. Yes I was thinking of using the big drill press and poking holes in to attach it to the wood- just trim off an 1/8" on either side and slide it right in. Epoxy
with screwing I think would be overkill. This is where I was asked if it was better to build something that will last 20 years and cost a bunch or simplify it and use one of those 1" closet organizer upright tracts that only cost a few bucks. This somehow seems wrong fixing to a level below my standards. Easier absolutely but still feels wrong.
On the other hand if I am replacing the boards (sorry no pic but they are original 1969) then why not get the thinnest available stainless steel c-channel
and build the boards and security
gate to fit inside of it. 1 5/8 will make the boards a bit thicker- but then so will the security gate. I know with reading this forum the mentality of boat security and here I am using a metal gate on a fiberglass boat. People will get in if they really want to- I just think the noise
of someone trying to get in will be absolutely enough to wake me.
I will admit that the idea about the security gate came from
Done by HoboTraveler and it is 1 min 10 sec into the video