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Author Topic:   rivets or screws
SMLWhaler posted 03-02-2004 09:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for SMLWhaler   Send Email to SMLWhaler  
Getting ready to install new rub rail on 1964 13' that had old style rub rail. The 3 piece kit came with rivets. My question is should I use the rivets or should I use stainless steel screws? Seems to me the screws would have more bite than the rivets. Any input would be appreciated.
Al_A_Buy posted 03-02-2004 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Al_A_Buy  Send Email to Al_A_Buy     
SML - Just completed the same job on my Outrage and used stainless screws instead of the supplied rivets. The labor savings and the ability to quickly re-position while working was well worth the small investment in hardware. The installation process is described in the Reference Section. I used two drills, one with a drill bit and the other with a Phillips bit. I would mark about every six inches, drill and then screw...

Good luck


SMLWhaler posted 03-02-2004 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for SMLWhaler  Send Email to SMLWhaler     
Thanks, sounds like screws are the way to go.
andygere posted 03-02-2004 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There is a long thread on this in the archives, definitely worth the read so do a search. Short version: the rivits are a better fastener for this application, considering the relatively thin fiberglass. The screws will only bite with a few threads at best, while the rivits act more as a clamp, and can develop more tensile strength before failing. When I did my 13 rubrail years ago, I used the supplied rivits with great results. The rivits really do "pull" the rail track tightly to the boat when used with a decent rivit gun, and they are actually easier to install.
keltonkrew posted 03-02-2004 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for keltonkrew  Send Email to keltonkrew     
perfect timing for this post as I'm about 2.5 weeks away from putting on the rub-rail


Al_A_Buy posted 03-02-2004 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Al_A_Buy  Send Email to Al_A_Buy     
Andy - You make a great point. Not being familiar with the 13, the structure may require a different application methodology. On my '74 Outrage, the rubrail is installed where the hull/deck join. In this configuration, using the right length screw, you get two layers of fiberglass plus the adhesive used to join the two pieces, resulting a very secure installation.


Tom W Clark posted 03-02-2004 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The other advantage of the pop rivets is their heads are of a lower profile than Pan Head or even Truss Head screws. This is important if you are running wiring under the rub rail insert, as there is not a lot of room.

Of course if you are not running wiring, then it's not a factor.

LHG posted 03-02-2004 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I also believe the pop rivets should be used.
Martman posted 03-02-2004 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Martman  Send Email to Martman     
I debated the same thing 8 months ago. I wanted to use screws instead because (in my mind)I thought they would hold better. However, after reading previous posts and since Sue sent the rivets with the rub rail, I decided to use the rivets. I was pleasantly surprised how easy the installation with the rivets was. With 2 people, we were able to install the rub rail (13' Whaler) in about 30 minutes. Hope this helps.
acseatsri posted 03-02-2004 06:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Use the rivets. A rivet holds on the entire circumference of the hole and is not sharp. A screw will hold on perhaps 1/4 of a thread in the thin fiberglass and will cut its way through the fiberglass eventually as it loosens and begins to work back and forth. Before you "pop" the rivets, just make sure you push it hard against the rubrail.
Royce posted 03-02-2004 07:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royce  Send Email to Royce     
Before I installed a comercial duty rub rail on my 1985 Outrage 25, I called the Outboard Motor Shop(Whaler dealer) for advise. They said if I wanted it to stay in place that I should use 5200 and screws every six inches. When I removed the old rub rail that had rivets, I only had to pull it and they popped out one at a time. What ever you use, fill the old rivet holes with either sealant or marinetex.
ibeenfishing posted 03-03-2004 07:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for ibeenfishing  Send Email to ibeenfishing     

I also feel rivets are the only way to go. The only thing that I would add is to buy a good "Riveting Tool" ie; Craftsman (about $20.), etc. If you get a cheap tool the rivet stems hang in the tool and the job will take much longer.

I used a commercial heat gun (Milwaukee) and a couple good clamps (I used the ones with the trigger to tighen) Home Depot about $15. ea.

The rub rail is very stiff when you receive it so you will want the hot sun, a heat gun, or something to make it more pliable. I did this job alone but if you had a helper that could keep a steady pull on the rub rail as it was heated and applied it would go much faster.

I would drill the heads off of the old rivets as opposed to pulling them out. Then push them back in, and seal the holes (I like Marine Tex) some use 3M's 5200. This is an easy task and you'll wonder why you waited.

acseatsri posted 03-03-2004 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
I wouldn't use 5200 with the rivets or screws. It's a tenacious adhesive, so if you ever have to remove or replace the rubrail again, you'll probably pull off some of the gelcoat with it.
SMLWhaler posted 03-04-2004 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for SMLWhaler  Send Email to SMLWhaler     
I think I've changed my mind. You guys have convinced me rivets are the way to go. Thanks for all the pointers. Once again this site has proven to be a most valuable resource.
kingfish posted 03-04-2004 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Sorry to be getting on this train late, but I am replacing the rubrail on an '84 Montauk very shortly, and while I'm happy to see that my thinking is in line with the experts so far, I find I still have one question:

Is it ridiculous to think that I could re-use the old rivet holes? Or would the accuracy required in blind-drilling the rubrail make it an impossible task?

Or, does the rubrail come pre-drilled (in which case the likelihood of being able to use the existing rivet holes in the hull would be just about nil)?



kingfish posted 03-04-2004 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
OK, that was 3 questions...
ibeenfishing posted 03-04-2004 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for ibeenfishing  Send Email to ibeenfishing     

First, the rubrail does not come predrilled, 2nd unless Superman with his Xray vision is helping you drill the holes, seriously just fill the holes (Marine Tex is good) and drill new holes

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