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Old 17-11-2015, 02:12   #1
JMK
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Rub rail question / plastic lumber

I'm thinking about removing the teak rub rail that is fitted about a third of the day down from the deck along most of the boat's length. There is a second rub rail at the hull-deck point that projects just as far so I'm not losing much protection, but saving the maintenance chore.

I'm also considering replacing the top rub rail with plastic lumber. I spoke with one cruising couple at the dock who had done that and they were quite satisfied with their choice.

Any thoughts on the removing the hull rub rail? How much protection does that really add?

Thanks,
J.M.
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Old 17-11-2015, 08:19   #2
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

I had them and they did their job many times. I took them off and promptly hit a piling.
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Old 17-11-2015, 08:32   #3
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

I'd love to have them, larger IP's do. I haven't needed them yet, but would like it if they were there.
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Old 17-11-2015, 08:45   #4
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

In images of Gulfstar 44 I found online some have the lower rub rail and some not. The boat looks right both ways. That said, I like having a stout rub rail on my boat. Not only for protection, which I hope I never need, but also because it keeps the boat dryer knocking down much of the wave and spray.


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Old 17-11-2015, 09:40   #5
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

Leave it. I wish I had rub rails. With a blue hull boat, any ding is magnified.

In fact, how difficult is it to add one? My fear is that they have to be thru-bolted which would really be impossible once the interior is finished.
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Old 17-11-2015, 09:58   #6
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

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Originally Posted by Moody46CC View Post
Leave it. I wish I had rub rails. With a blue hull boat, any ding is magnified.

In fact, how difficult is it to add one? My fear is that they have to be thru-bolted which would really be impossible once the interior is finished.
The easiest and thickest rub rails to install are made from PVC. There are many patterns to choose from and the material comes in 20' lengths. I glued and screwed with 5200 and through bolts.. When I removed them a few years later the glue was still holding and they had to be peeled off.
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Old 17-11-2015, 10:07   #7
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

I wouldn't have any topside paint left without rub rails.

Always single handed, so when docking laying up on the leeward pilings just as the boat stops is standard ops with a beam wind. Then I start lassoing something.

Fore and aft winds I try to catch a piling on the way in. Then use the engine to hold position and tie off.

No matter I'm always rubbing on something until a couple or three lines are made fast.
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Old 17-11-2015, 10:14   #8
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

JMK, some boats are fatter below the gunwales. That makes a good argument for the lower rubs.

Not sure about your boat though.
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Old 17-11-2015, 11:17   #9
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

I don't have rubrails, but if I did, I would make them of the longest pieces of Starboard I could find, screw them in with self tapping stainless screws and finish washers. I have replaced some teak work on my boat, substituting the white Starboard. I'm very happy I did so. Using shorter pieces (than full length of hull) rubrails allows for easy replacement if you really mess up.
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Old 17-11-2015, 11:45   #10
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

a) I like the lower rail.
b) It will be far more work to remove it and fill the holes and botch the paint than just leaving it. Think about how hard it will be to even get at the nuts inside the boat.
c) You don't have to varnish that rail. Leave it bare.
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Old 17-11-2015, 13:16   #11
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

Thanks for the feedback. The PO painted the teak with white paint that is now peeling which is why I enterained the thought about just removing them. One problem I have noticed on the Gulfstar 44 is that access to almost anything on the deck or hull is hidden behind a maze of joinerwork.Looks nice, but a pain. I haven't checked how many of the rub rail fasteners are thru-bolted or just screwed into the hull, but that will be on my list as I keep considering my options. The toipsides needed painting anyway, which was also one of the reasons I was thinking of removing them, but there certainly is that arguement for the protection they provide.

Any source for the PVC rubrails? Still on the hunt for low maintenance if I do keep them.

J.M.
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Old 17-11-2015, 14:06   #12
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

Just as an alternative suggestion. We have fitted docking rubber in place of our tired old timber rub rail (after a neighbouring boatie complimented me on our "garden", grass was starting to grow in the cracks.). The look is a bit industrial, which I love, but not everyone's cup of tea. But the protection is fantastic, feels like driving a great big dodgem car. Easy to fit, I used the original holes in the hull and screwed in 14g self tappers from inside, plus used one of the sikaflex glues in 1" dots on 8" intervals. Comes in any length you want to order if you shop around.

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Old 17-11-2015, 14:49   #13
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

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Originally Posted by JMK View Post

Any source for the PVC rubrails? Still on the hunt for low maintenance if I do keep them.J.M.
Download the Barbour Plastics catalog. Just looking at the web site probably won't do it for you,
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Old 17-11-2015, 18:18   #14
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

Definately for! The original owner/builder of our yacht wrote in his book their most memorable moment was when they were

ď... fired at by an Ethiopian gunboat, ordered alongside in a three metre swell and interrogated under a row of cocked rifles
The only damage was a bent stanchion as the strake took most of the damage. We have been thankful for the rubbing strake when alongside fuel barges, rafted up or assisting other vessels.
cheers
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Old 17-11-2015, 18:46   #15
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Re: Rub rail question / plastic lumber

The cheapest option, though, is the simplest. Simply sand off the white paint and let the teak weather. If the "garden" is offensive to you or your neighbors (and you care enough about their judgement), then make a dilute solution of bleach and seawater and scrub it into the teak. The problem will disappear for several months and you can repeat the "cure".
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