View Full Version : Anybody replace a rubrail?

10-26-2006, 10:37 AM
My rubrail -- the aluminum rail and the rubber insert are both chewed up a bit. Have any of you guys replaced yours, or at least the rubber piece? Tough job? It looks like the aluminum piece is riveted in place so I may skip that. And it looks like the rubber insert may be tough to squeeze in at a few places (e.g., around the nose, around the corners).

Should I try it?

10-26-2006, 10:42 AM
It is a doable job. One trick that I have heard (from a boat manufacturer) is to boil the rubrail material in a big pot (like a turkey fryer). This makes it nice and soft so it is easy to puch into the aluminum channel. Just wear heavy leather gloves and get someone to help you.

east tx skier
10-26-2006, 10:44 AM
From the advice I've receved on the subject, it is more bearable as a two person job---one person feeds it, and the other moves it along.

10-26-2006, 11:16 AM
I replaced both my rail and insert on my old boat. The rail in a pita, but the insert is pretty simple. We filled the bathtub with "hot" water and put laundry detergent to slime it up a little.

10-26-2006, 11:19 AM
I replaced the insert.

I used a heat gun (the kind for stripping paint) to make the insert flexible.

The method that worked for me was to put bottom lip into the channel and use a wide, dull putty knife to push the top lip into the top of the channel.

You have to heat up the insert so that it is soft enough to bend, but be careful, you can melt it if you heat it up too much. I found that I could do about three feet at a time.

It is an easy job, but high in the pain in the a** factor !

Good luck.

10-26-2006, 11:25 AM
You're not going to want to do it in cold weather. Go ahead, ask me how I know.

Brian and ttu have the right idea. The dealers where I worked didn't have a container large enough to hold it so I was S.O.L.

10-26-2006, 11:32 AM
Where are you getting your replacement rubrail?

10-26-2006, 12:09 PM
It's a bugger - definitely requires a heat gun especially for the rub rail itself. In cold weather, the insert is also hard. Usually, the rub rail is in sections (20-footers I think)- there may be two or three sections per boat and they are pretty cheap, like $30 per 20 foot section IIRC. The MasterCraft part has several countersunk holes already in it that match current locations for the screws that hold the deck to the hull. When you buy the rub rail section, it comes rolled up, so it's good to heat the stuff up to get the shipping bends out of it. Manipulating a 20 foot section of polyethylene rub rail is hard with just one person. The insert AFAIK is usually all one piece. It's relatively cheap. VERY hard to install if cold. What I found works best is to bend it acutely back on itself as it's installed into the rub rail. That brings the two legs closer together and allows them to slip into to slot in the rail.

Definitely do-able. Definitely a PITA.

10-26-2006, 12:10 PM
Where are you getting your replacement rubrail?

Not sure yet. Lex at Rambo told me he had both the insert and the (plastic) rail (the newer boat rails are plastic). But he said shipping the rail would be too expensive since it would have to be freighted. I assume I can get the insert from Rambo, but I'm going to check if there are any local suppliers first.

Sounds like the insert shouldn't be a big deal. I can soak it in my hottub. The weather isn't too cold around here either.

10-26-2006, 12:14 PM
was your rail screwed to the hull? I pulled out a short section of my insert and it looks like my rail is riveted to the hull. Also, it sounds like yours is the newer plastic kind Lex was telling me about, right? My existing one is aluminum.

10-26-2006, 12:20 PM
Do a search for taco industries. I believe it's available through west marine and boaters world as well. Freight will kill ya.

10-26-2006, 12:29 PM
was your rail screwed to the hull? I pulled out a short section of my insert and it looks like my rail is riveted to the hull. Also, it sounds like yours is the newer plastic kind Lex was telling me about, right? My existing one is aluminum.Yes, my 2004 is black polyethylene (I think). It looks to me like MasterCraft secures the deck to the hull by slipping it over like a shoebox lid on a shoebox with some silicone sealant, then laying down the rub rail and driving stainless steel screws through pre-drilled holes in the rub rail which go through the rub rail, deck, and hull about every 6 inches. I know that older MasterCrafts used rivets.

10-30-2006, 10:35 PM
I did the Aluminium and rubber on my 84. The rail was riveted on I just drilled out the rivets and it comes off. I screwed mine on with srews Use stainless screws that FIT in the counter sink in the rail (ask me why). The rail was the most expensive single part of my restoration and it was almost all freight to get the four twelve foot pieces to Montana ( I think around $400.00 for the order and shipping!). I ordered it from west marine. The "Rubber" insert was around 50 bucks for 50 feet. I used the turkey fryer big pot method. Could easily be done on the stove. Pot of water to near boiling remove from heat, set in coil of rub rail insert, near instantly goes from hard plastic like to soft flexible unit. Two people, we almost ran around the boat! I started with the putty knife but with in three feet just started pushing it in without a problem. An interesting (to me) aside is that my mufflers are held to the hull with pieces of the rub rail material screwed to the side. TB

10-31-2006, 02:20 PM
does anyone know which rubrail insert I can use on my factory '79 aluminum rubrail from Taco Marine or West Marine.

10-31-2006, 03:10 PM
I'm not sure on the exact one for that year. You'll need to look at the profile ( I removed the rear vent cover from the transom) and have a few measurements. I'm also not sure you can buy direct from taco, I think you have to use a dealer such as West marine. TB