Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
David Montgomery
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Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby David Montgomery » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:10 am

[Give advice on what replacement rub rail should be installed on a 13-foot Boston Whaler of unknown model year]. Boston Whaler sells rub rails just like the original rub rails. There are Taco brand rub rails which look easier to install. Thanks--DaveM

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opencage
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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby opencage » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:20 am

Read:

Rub Rail Replacement
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/rubRail.html

[In the future I may install] a rub rail that I may buy from Specialty Marine.
Last edited by opencage on Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

jimh
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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby jimh » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:24 am

Questions about rub rails are frequently asked.

Replacement rub rails are discussed in the FAQ. See

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/FAQ/

Sources for replacement rub rails are also mentioned in

Original Equipment Manufacturers and
Recommended Vendors

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/refere ... l#rubRails

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby biggiefl » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:53 am

The three-piece rub rail [i.e., the OEM style] was made by Barbour Plastics, and it is sold by many vendors. I am not sure that Specialty Marine is any cheaper than your local Whaler dealer or Twin Cities.

I am fortunate enough that I have a marine surplus store by me that gets new stuff from all the local manufacturers--which are dwindling in size--and they usually have Barbour receivers and inserts for much less money. I bought the larger size rub rail components for my Revenge, Newport and Outrage [from the marine surplus outlet store] and also the tiny one for the windshield mount outrigger base, but I have rarely seen the rub rail size appropriate for the 9 to 17-foot Whalers.

Try e-Bay. A few years ago I bought an OEM rub rail kit for around $160 with the cost of shipping included.
Last edited by biggiefl on Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby El Rollo » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:52 pm

I used this website [i.e., CONTINUOUSWAVE.COM] tremendously during the restoration of my 1988 15-footer.

I highly recommend the three-piece set up available from Twin Cities. I have no affiliation with them.

I highly recommend rivets of appropriate size as opposed to screws. The rivets really drew-in tight and the rail rail installation came out perfect.

I purchased many quick-clamps from Harbor Freight to hold the rub rail receiver track in place while fastening it to the hull. [Use of many quick-clamps] made all the difference in the world. Installation can be simple if you just take your time. A second person helps to hold, to move, and to adjust the many clamps.

Don't be intimidated by how stiff the material is when you get it. The track is of excellent quality. The installation
is straightforward if you take your time. I clamped the entire receiver track into place the day prior to final installation in the hope that the track would relax a little.

Do not forget to run wiring to the bow for the navigation lamp--I almost did.

I messed up the first rub rail receiver track in an attempt to soften it with heat prior to installation---a bad idea. I had to re-ordered piece.

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby biggiefl » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:21 pm

I use the three-person approach, especially if using rivets (which come with the kit). I have myself at the rear, a friend next to me holding the track tight to the hull, and a third in front of him or her holding the coil trying to keep it straight.

Rivets work great but their installation more time consuming; you have to drill, then rivet. A screw you just screw it in and if for whatever reason, it can be removed easily. When you drill out the old rivet heads there is no need to drill out the rest, just make sure it is flush. You can fill the old rivet "tube" with sealant if you like. I then mark the hull with a pencil where the old rivet was so that I do not drill into it with new screw or rivet.

I have replaced around six rub rails with OEM. and I have two more to go currently. They are a pain in the butt for the first side. Once you get to the bow, much easier going forward. Don't believe the directions about leaving it in the sun or using a heat gun, it helps by about 5-percent--and I live in Florida. Just screw it!
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby biggiefl » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:31 pm

From Jim's article mentioned above I saw this:
"Reports from several purchasers indicate the rub rail materials can be obtained for approximately $100-$125.".

Obviously that has changed since written in 05/2000. If I remember correctly $225-250 seems to be the going rate for 9-17' classics and more than double for the Outrage, Revenge and Newport models. The Newport uses the larger "outrage" rail due to the cap. You can use the smaller but that is another subject.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby jimh » Fri May 01, 2020 6:32 am

The initial inquiry was about what type of rub rail should be used and where to get it.

Re advice offered on installation of the OEM three-piece rub rail made by Barbour and some comments about the process:

The usefulness of the advice about pre-warming rub rail components may vary with the latitude and time of year of the location in which the rub rail is being installed. In northern Michigan a nice summer day might hit 75-degrees, a bit lower ambient air temperature than in Florida on a 99-degree scorcher.

Warming any thermoplastic with a "heat gun" depends on using common sense and selecting the right heat gun. If you use a 3,000-Watt heat gun designed to strip paint with a concentrating nozzle, I am quite sure a thermoplastic product like a Barbour Rub Rail track can rapidly be heated to a temperature that causes distortion and loss of strength. A 500-Watt hair dryer held several inches away and on the low heat setting may be a better tool for slightly elevating the temperature. I have resorted to heating the black vinyl insert on a cold fall afternoon to get it to pop back into the receiver track after it became displaced while performing its function as a rub rail while encountering the concrete wall of a lock.

Wiring for navigation lamps in installed after the receiver track is in place and before the black vinyl insert is popped into position. The black vinyl insert is not a one-time only use. It can be removed after being popped in place and reinstalled.

dtmackey
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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby dtmackey » Fri May 01, 2020 8:38 am

If you go with the original style rub rail it loves to stay in the nice tight small coil and will fight you all the way. One way to make it easier and condition the rub rail is to grab two 2x4x12 at your local lumber yard and roll the rigid portion of the rub rail against that and clamp with hand activated quick clamps at least 24 hours before install. Leaving it against the 2x4 will relax the memory the coil has taken since its manufacturing. I find by doing this it reduces the amount of struggle when installing and I've always been been to install a Whaler rub rail as a one person process.

Image

For install, for 25 years I've used stainless Phillips pan head sheet metal screws instead of the supplied rivets. My reason for doing so is each removal or repair down the road if needed. I've drilled and cut enough of those rivets in my lifetime and after drilling them and removing the old rub rail, they still present a sharp metal hazard until fully removed.

Image

Another good idea, whether you use the rivets or screws, is to mark where the new holes are to be drilled so you know you are not drilling into a pre-existing hole where the fastener many not hold as well. In this case, I used blue masking tape.

Image

When drilling for screws, drill the hole through the rub rail so the screw easily passes through. The hole into the gunwale should be smaller allowing the threads to "bite" into the glass.

You can eliminate this two-step drill process using rivets. If using rivets, buy yourself a pneumatic rivet gun, if you have access to a compressor. [Using a pneumatic rivet gun powered by an air compressor] makes the [installation of the rivets] much easier in anything you do with rivets.

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby jimh » Sat May 02, 2020 10:47 am

Using screw fasteners to hold the receiver track in place on a replacement makes good sense. If a second replacement were needed, and the prior replacement used rivets, there would be so many holes in the gunwale by the time the third rub rail was in place that the gunwale would look like Swiss cheese. Also, the notion that you just pound the headless rivets into the gunwale instead of cutting them off sounds like it further damages the structure of the gunwale.

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby opencage » Sun May 03, 2020 8:01 am

For install, for 25 years I've used stainless philips pan head sheet metal screws instead of the rupplied rivets

What size and length screws do you use to install a new three-piece rubrail on a classic 13?

dtmackey
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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby dtmackey » Mon May 04, 2020 7:37 am

opencage wrote:What size and length screws do you use to install a new three-piece rubrail on a classic 13?


The rub rail only comes in one size and fits 13 to 17' hulls. Plan for screws every 3 to 4-inches, and maybe a bit closer in the bow radius. If memory serves be correctly, I used stainless sheet metal, Phillips pan head screws in the #10 x 1-1/4-inch size.

https://www.boltdepot.com/Sheet_metal_screws_Self_tapping_Phillips_pan_head_Stainless_steel_18-8_10.aspx

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Re: 13-footer Rub Rail Replacement

Postby dtmackey » Mon May 04, 2020 7:43 am

If you go with the original style rub rail it loves to stay in the nice tight small coil and will fight you all the way. One way to make it easier and condition the rub rail is to grab two 2x4x12 at your local lumber yard and roll the rigid portion of the rub rail against that and clamp with hand activated quick clamps at least 24 hours before install. Leaving it against the 2x4 will relax the memory the coil has taken since its manufacturing. I find by doing this it reduces the amount of struggle when installing and I've always been been to install a Whaler rub rail as a one person process.

Image

For install, for 25 years I've used stainless Phillips pan head sheet metal screws instead of the supplied rivets. My reason for doing so is each removal or repair down the road if needed. I've drilled and cut enough of those rivets in my lifetime and after drilling them and removing the old rub rail, they still present a sharp metal hazard until fully removed.

Image

Another good idea, whether you use the rivets or screws, is to mark where the new holes are to be drilled so you know you are not drilling into a pre-existing hole where the fastener many not hold as well. In this case, I used blue masking tape.

Image

When drilling for screws, drill the hole through the rub rail so the screw easily passes through. The hole into the gunwale should be smaller allowing the threads to "bite" into the glass.

You can eliminate this two-step drill process using rivets. If using rivets, buy yourself a pneumatic rivet gun, if you have access to a compressor. [Using a pneumatic rivet gun powered by an air compressor] makes the [installation of the rivets] much easier in anything you do with rivets.

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opencage
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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby opencage » Mon May 04, 2020 8:29 am

dtmackey wrote:If memory serves be correctly, I used stainless sheetmetal, phil pan head screws in the 10 X 1-1/4" size.

Great, thank.Your info and details from all your posts have been VERY helpful in my own project.

Can the wiring to the bow still be run between the insert and rigid receiver?

Are you countersinking the pan head screws?

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby biggiefl » Mon May 04, 2020 10:54 am

The pan head screws do NOT need to be countersunk.

A screw every 3 to 4-inches is not needed, except in the bow area. You will see where the rivets held the receiver track in place when you remove the black insert, and that is roughly how many screws you will need.

I bought a box of 1.00 or 1.25-inch-long self-tapping stainless steel screws [with drill tips] so I would not have to pre-drill the screw holes--a suggestion from Len. I will use these drill-screws when I redo the rub rail on my Outrage soon.

[The] wiring fits [between the receiver track and they vinyl insert when screws are used in] the same way it does with rivets.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby dtmackey » Mon May 04, 2020 11:46 am

opencage wrote:Are you...countersinking the pan head screws?


Pan head screws do not get countersunk.

I've always found plenty of room between the black insert and the rail to run the wiring for the bow light.

Inserting the black piece is muich easier when warm and best in direct sunlight. A rubber mallet makes quick work of it.

D-

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby biggiefl » Mon May 04, 2020 2:09 pm

[To install the black vinyl into the receiver track use a] rubber mallet and a wide screwdriver or preferably a head gasket scraper.

You will likely have to remove the set screw on the transom at some point this summer, cut off some excess insert, and screw it back into the transom after you bump into a few things and it stretches or sets in correctly.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

Don SSDD
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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby Don SSDD » Wed May 06, 2020 6:45 am

Robertson screws with a square head are what we in Canada use, they have been in use for almost 100 years here. They have made their way into the US in recent years. The square heads means they can be installed with one hand since you don’t need to hold them on the end of the screwdriver with your free hand.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby jimh » Wed May 06, 2020 8:34 am

ASIDE on the new topic of what sort of screws and what driver is best:

Screws with a Robertson drive usually have round heads, not square heads. The drive is a square hole with a tapering depth. See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives#Robertson

When our sailboat was in Canada in the 1980's, someone made a repair using Robertson drive screws. Unfortunately, much later when I needed to remove those screws, there was no Robertson drive screwdriver on the boat. This was my introduction to the (at that time) very unusual Robertson drive screw. It was quite common in Canada then but just about unheard of in the USA. Even today, try to find a screwdriver at a local hardware store with a Robertson driver. With the popularity of multi-tip screwdrivers, you can find Robertson drive tips, but good luck find a dedicated Robertson drive screwdriver.

If stainless steel screws are used, they probably won't be held magnetically in a typical Phillips-head magnetic screw driver. The Robertson head might by handy.

Phillips-head screws are (often said to have been]) intentionally designed to not allow them to NOT be overtightened. The Phillips-head tends to cause the screwdriver tool to spill off the head before a self-tapping screw would be stripped in wood material. One often mentioned (possibly apocryphal) anecdote is Phillips head screws were used by Henry Ford in early automobile assembly with power screwdrivers. Back then, there was no practical torque limiting in the power screwdrivers. The Phillips head would avoid the stripping of screws into the wood chassis of the Model T.

POZIDRIV screws look much like Phillips head screws. I first encountered them on high-end SONY television gear made in Japan. There were often many POZIDRIV screw chassis fasteners that had to be removed to work on the internal electronics. The screws were used with anodized aluminum chassis. The anodizing seemed to act like a screw lock adhesive, and breaking loose these POZIDRIV screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver was very difficult. SONY actually later began to include a POZIDRIV screwdriver with some of their gear as a service tool.

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby Phil T » Wed May 06, 2020 10:59 am

Jim -
Many call the Robertson type of screw "square head" not because the shape of the head, rather the shape of the bit one needs in their driver. Another example is the star (torx) head.

I prefer these styles of head to the traditional phillips style.
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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby jimh » Wed May 06, 2020 6:07 pm

Screw fasteners with Torx drive are VERY common on automobiles made in the USA. You really cannot have a proper set of tools these days without having a full range of TORX tools. But you can go for 30-years between occasions when you need a Robertson driver if you don’t live in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, eh?

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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby Phil T » Wed May 06, 2020 6:53 pm

Sorry. Not true.

Very common in the residential construction industry here in America.
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Don SSDD
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Re: Rub Rail Replacement Source and Installation

Postby Don SSDD » Wed May 06, 2020 8:00 pm

The Robertson screw was used on the ford model t (likely those built in Canada?) back when the screws available were only the slot/straight screw, it was said to reduce the time building a T by hours. Henry tried to buy the patent from Robertson but he wouldn’t sell. Around that time the Phillips screws came out and Henry started using those. Robertson remained to control his patent until he died, then the family sold it to a USA Corp who started bringing it into the USA. It is used a lot in the northeast in the wooden boat industry.
I hope most of that is true, I’m quoting it from memory and my memory may have a screw loose.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia