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  caulk under rub rail- best way to remove it?

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Author Topic:   caulk under rub rail- best way to remove it?
mgwhaler posted 05-26-2003 09:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for mgwhaler   Send Email to mgwhaler  
Man- I tried grinding, sanding, using a wood plane, rubbing with acetone and scraping. Sanding is getting there but slowly( I only had fine paper and a finish sander so I could not really go at it too hard) by layers and leaving a little behind. Do I need a gasket remover or should I try steel wool with the acetone as I was using a rag before?
I plan on adding a little fiberglass under the new rub rail for strength since it is a bit beaten up.
Any ideas?
sr posted 05-28-2003 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
If you are careful you can chuck up a twisted wire wheel into a small angle grinder. Wear safety goggles and let the caulk fly. Just go slow and don't go into the gel coat except where you will be re-glassing. If you get a few small scratches you can polish them out.
mgwhaler posted 05-28-2003 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for mgwhaler  Send Email to mgwhaler     
Well- so much for keeping the job small- I had already decided on a grinding disc in my cordless drill. My rail was bad enough on its face that I figured a bit more work on top ( fixing up gel coat) was worth getting at that darn caulk.
Ended uo slicing into the face of the rail and tunneling it out to get rid of the rot inside- what a mess!
Thanks for confirming my guess- that stuff was unreal!
sr posted 05-28-2003 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
I have not had to perform this operation on a whaler, but have used it on other restorations. Had the rail been hit hard to mash the glass? I actually have no idea what is behind the rubrail.
mgwhaler posted 05-28-2003 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for mgwhaler  Send Email to mgwhaler     
Actually-the outside was not so much crushed as cracked and real rusty looking ( in spots). You'd swear it was steel under there, especially where the side meets the underside of the rail before turning out and up.
I have to post photos because I'm not nearly handy enough to be as aggressive as I'm being and it is a sight- to be sure!
I don't like rot though.
Its real interesting though- I think if the bow light wires run through a tube shaped tunnel inside the rail- then that may be causing my rust and a lot of rust I read about under the rails on this site in the forum etc. The screw holes allow water in and then maybe the wire rots and crumbles and any bashed foam turns into mulch under the laminate. The foam was dark brown 2" back and in some areas- moist mud like foam( or actual mud?) spun out as I sheered through the face of my rail- leaving a base and a top- but slicing out a 3/4 in groove in the face of the rail.
Once my grinding wheel was inside- I was careful to match the angle of the rail ledge so I would not slice through it as I was tilting the wheel up and down- gouging out foam. With a base and a ceiling- I am less afraid of getting into a lot of mash repair because I just have to shape the outside Vs re-creating the ledge and laying up a whole lip.
Once I got back about 2 inches- the foam was white.
I am thinking of setting threaded sleeves in epoxy so I can screw a new rub rail into a seriously set receptacle. If I can find something in brass or good ss I think this may cure a lot of the staining.
I am thinking it is very important to put some kind of great sealent under the head of the screw on the outside of the base rub rail track and the inside of the base rub rail track.
No one should leave their whaler upside down without covering it and keeping it up away from standing water. I'm sure this is much of the problem. If water puddles around the boat- those screw holes are under water. Not good. You'd have to have the steering wheel off to do that actually- would'nt you? Maybe I'm wrong or maybe it was up on its one side or just too much time in the water- it is 35 yrs old.Lastly as I sit here like in idiot in a tyvek suit when I should be working on the boat- I would not be surprised if this thing was loaded with carpenter ants- that is how milled the brown foam mulch looked- like coffee grounds.G'night
sr posted 05-28-2003 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
steady as she goes. I think you are doing her right. Get rid of the pulp and build from a good foundation. I agree with what you are doing, except I would not glass in a receiver for the screws. If you hit a dock or whatever the force will be transmitted deeper. The rub rail should transfer any impact directly to glass. The fasteners are only to hold the rub rail in place.
The rub rail tends to float on the glass surfaces. Dirt, water and fish scales all get back there. The best that can be done is seal the screw threads into the predrilled holes (you will make) and peridocally r&r the screws with new sealant. Your boat ha smade it 30+ years thus far and it sounds like you'll have her set to at least that again.
Your description of past storage practices may be on track to what happened to the hull.
Keep up the good work it is worth it!

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