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Hull Joint Rub Rail

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frfletch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2009 at 1:40pm
I just completed installation of a new rub rail on Voila 166 using the 2770 section from Wefco Rubber and thought someone may find the information and experience of interest.

The rail material cost was US$3.00 plus shipping and I ordered it in black. They do black, white and grey, but only run grey when they have orders whose grey color material requirements exceed 200 lbs, so for grey one must wait bit unless your timing is lucky. Wefco manufactured and shipped within a week of the order.

Prior to selection of the section, I pulled a bit of the old rub rail off to find that the flange at the hull/deck joint was about 11mm thick and protruded 24mm from the hull, so the 2770 section looked a perfect fit and for the most part it was. The original rail had an outside depth dimension of only 22mm and an inside dimension of about 18mm, leaving it sticking quite far from the hull. I discovered the reason for that after I pulled all of the old rub rail off, and that is that in the molding and assembling process there is quite a bit of variation both in the thickness of the rail and in the amount in protrudes from the hull. By using a shallower section, they did not have to fiddle with either the joint flange, nor the rub rail section and could just glue it on allowing the gap between the edge of the rub rail and the hull to vary a little. Using the sightly deeper 2770 section which has an internal depth measurement of 24mm, same as the flange for most of the hull, the fit is perfect, however where the flange sticks out further, the rail stands off the hull a bit defining that gap. That is easy to take care of by grinding a bit off those sections of the flange and bringing them down to 24mm. The more challenging bit comes when the flange is less than 24mm, say perhaps only 20mm in which case the inside end of the rail will not make contact with the flange, and for the most part, this is where the bond is taking place.

Ideally, for this one would build out those sections of rail a bit with some epoxy and medium density filler and then grind it to conform, which would be pretty easy with some wood slats and waxed paper, etc. For Voila, we were out of time. It was -6C here this morning and we are expecting snow tonight. So, I trimmed some width out of the rail in a few places using a Dremmel with the small barrel sanding attachment and where I could not quite make contact, I added extra sealant adhesive to those areas and also applied the sealant to the side rails to increase the bond.

Mitering the corners had been a concern to me, but I found a good way to do this. I first put the rail onto the boat starting in the center of the transom and pulled in around the entire hull, making sure it was well "clipped" onto the flange with the little teeth inside the rub rail section. I did my best to put an equal amount of tension on the rub rail as I snapped it in place which was limited and measured by the tension wanting to pull the ladder over if one applied too much pull to the tail bit. When the rail was all on the boat, I cut off the extra leaving a couple of inches spare. Then I went around and marked the center of all the corners to be mitered. There are two on the bow, and one at each corner in the back. After marking, I took the entire section in the house where it was warm and used my kitchen counter as a workbench. I placed some duct tape on the counter, overlapped to get the correct circumference of the rail section, drew a line down the center longitudinally, and then layed out the mitered cuts which I had measured with an angle gauge, but I can confirm that for the two corners forward the "V" cuts are 20mm from the edge of the rail x 30mm wide, and for the bow section they were 20mm x 20mm. I used a piece of 3/8" plywood about 6" wide by 10" long to mount the section I was mitering on, to hold the section stable for cutting. Then using one of those larger art cutters with a new section exposed for sharpness, and being very sure to hold the knife dead vertical, I cut the notches. Directly after cutting I pulled the miter to check for fit, and then glued the miter using a product called Miracle Glue and held until fast (about 20 seconds). It was useful that I purchased about an extra 10' of this material to practice with, and I think I will be cutting a slice out of about a 7' length of it to fit the wider top flange on the transom, which is what was done with the original rail at the factory. You will find that the original rail is wider on its top across the transom owing the the greater difference between the depth of the flange on the bottom and top in that area because of the transom angle.

I then transferred everything back out to the boat. Make sure that the starting cut is very clean and straight top accept gluing the ends together at the center of the transom. The final cut will be in situ and one of those is enough.

To not put any stress on the newly mitered joints, I never let them hang from the rail. I pre suspended the rail using light line and the lifelines and the toe rail cars to hold the rail up at the working level. Otherwise, the hanging weight of the tail of the rail would possibly open up the newly glued joints, plus it would pull down and pull newly mounted and sealed rail away from the hull. Supporting the entire rail with lines made it easy, particularly as I was working alone.

In order to get the inside teeth of the rail to open and get around the outside of the flange, I bent the rail out from the hull a bit while applying in a radius away from the boat which opened the mouth of the rail and allowed it to more easily fit over the flange.

I used a white colored 3M 4800, we'll see how it works, and applied it to the inside of the rail instead of the boat to contain the mess. I used the nozzle of the cartridge to spread it a bit to the outsides, but did not come past the outside teeth of the rail which would have made the process very messy. Particularly working with a white hull deck, bright blue sides, black rail, and white sealant. Keeping the nozzle body clean on the outside was important in not getting the white sealant all over the external portion of the black rail so every couple of applications, I wiped the nozzle body down with a small piece of paper towel and then discarded it.

For cleanup, the 4800 laughed at acetone, but yielded to a product called Goof Off, used for removing adhesive glues from masking, label removal etc.

When I got to the end, I cut the end to length and used the Miracle Glue to butt joint the rail together.

The final result looks very good indeed. With the weather being very cool, here, it will be a while before the sealant and fastness of the rail can be tested. I'm guessing that I may have to lift the flaps of the rail in a few places, but that will have to be at another time. All this work is being done in Whistler, BC, and there is no more weather for this sort of work.

I took pictures of the mitering process if anyone is interested.

Pic of original grey PVC rubrail and the new black rubber #2770 profile


Edited by Bill Layton - 14 October 2009 at 10:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2009 at 8:22am
I would love to have the pictures as I am planning the same thing next spring, here on the east coast (NB) Please send to corbmike at nb.sympatico.ca
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fatjohnz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatjohnz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2009 at 12:28pm
frfletch, what length of section did you purchase? and would you suggest a section with a more shallow depth so there is less impact due to the flange depth fluctuations? thx
p.s.
I'm not a huge fan of the 3M stuff, as you noted, really hard to clean. I'm hoping the lifebouy will be sufficent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2009 at 1:35am
I ordered 70' and have 16 1/2' left over. I never actually measured the length they sent me. Regarding section size, the Laser rail is the very small and it is difficult enough finding anything that small yet with a mouth large enough to snap over the flange. If I can find your email address, I will send you a comparison photo of the old rail and new rail sections side-by-side. They are very similar.

Anyone you ask regarding sealant/adhesive will advise you to go straight to 5200. I used 4800 because it is cold here. It flurried all day today, and 4800 cures in 24 hours whereas 5200 cures in 7 days. The 4800 cleans up okay using Goof Off, but not as easily as Sikaflex 921, but then again that is a 72 hours material. It is best to work clean. I only had to spot clean the boat sides and rail in a couple of places, and this is usually owing to allowing the outside of the nozzle to get dirty, or having an unsteady hand when sticking the nozzle inside the rail while holding it from the end of a caulking gun. You are up on a ladder, holding the rail in one hand and trying to hold the mouth open, and then sticking the nozzle inside the mouth which is quite small. Perhaps a shot of Tequila may have been good just to steady things a little.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatjohnz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2009 at 6:40am
Thanks frfletch, I find that Sauza Hornitos works very well. You can mail me at jstephenson at hvc.rr.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2009 at 12:16pm
With Bill's help, I'm trying herein to post some pics of my recent rub rail mitering, etc. There is also a photo of the hull flange in on of the areas where it is less than 24mm from the hull.














Edited by Bill Layton - 14 October 2009 at 12:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Ross Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 September 2011 at 6:30pm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensignyachts/5962164635/in/photostream/

check out this interesting rub rail solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Ross Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 September 2011 at 6:42pm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensignyachts/5940341015/in/photostream/

Damn is she pretty!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 September 2011 at 1:19pm
She is pretty, but I can't tell what the rub rail solution was. Do you think he just painted the original PVC rail?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Ross Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 September 2011 at 2:02pm
It looks like wood to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ron Waterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 October 2014 at 10:27pm
frfletch,

I may take on the rub rail project this winter.

Now that you have had your replacement rub rails for few years, how do you like them?  Would you have done anything different?  I've been researching WEFCO rails...I keep looking at profile 0411 G (4th page down-lower left corner) as a larger replacement rail possibility.  Did you consider that rail and decide against for any reason? 

Thanks,

   Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2014 at 1:00am
Ron,
As you know I used the section 2770. It has worked very well, and no I never looked at the 0411G. The 2770 may look a little wimpy in the Wefco website sketches, but it is actually very close to the original once it is spread out and on the boat. Also, one will find places on the flange joint where the flange is substantially less deep. This creates a problem because the new rub rail can't be well seated onto the flange and won't bond well. I pre-fit the entire rail before gluing and used a small sanding drum on a Dremmel to trim the inside lip of the rubber so that it would come all the way on to its final seating place so the sealant/adhesive could do its job.

Mine continues to work well. About every two years I wipe it down with some paint thinner and then coat it with Armourall, the tire dressing compound. This helps preserve the rubber against UV deterioration.

Also, in the article I posted, I spoke of using 3M 4200. I would now definitely use 5200. Also, I would use some tiny little #6 stainless counter-sinking wood screws screwed directly in the middle of the rail into the edge of the flange to locate and hold the rubber in place. You may elect to remove them after the 5200 sets, or you may leave them it. They are not noticeable.

I may have mentioned in the article that if I were doing it again I would take the time to build out the flange where it protrudes from the hull less than the average so that I did not have to trim the rail. The trimming is not noticeable to the eye, but it is inconvenient. The bond is reliant upon the rubber extrusion being set all the way home. That is because the staples and pop rivets that hold the flange together stick out quite a bit particularly on the bottom. This prevents the bottom flap from lying tight to the flange, so the adhesive in there (on the sides) does not make full contact with the flange as those protrusions hold it out. That means that you are much relying on the center interior of the rail for bonding to the outer lip of the flange. I think the heavy 0411G section would be very difficult to work with to get the result that will make you happy.

I have some extra of the 2770 section. I could cut off a sample piece and send it to you for you to touch and feel. Somewhere I think I provided a photo of the original flange section directly next to the 2770.

Some time after I did the project, Bill Layton did much research for suitable section to replace the rail on a boat that had been re-built after the trailer broke loose from the tow truck, and he ended up also using the 2770 section.

Good Luck with it. It certainly serves to "pick-up" the overall appearance of the boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ron Waterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2014 at 8:55am
Great info.  If two of you have used the 2770 and it worked, I'll go with that.  Of course, now I have to work up the time and courage to take on the project.  On my Laser, it's visibly obvious moisture is being trapped in the joint by the old rub rail.  That leads to a consistent mold ring growing around the interior of the joint.  I would really like to end that.

Thanks,

  Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2014 at 9:27am
I also used the same cross-section from Wefco. Works well - I agree with Frank's comments on installation - a little planning reduces a lot of grief!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mad Max Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2015 at 3:12pm
Frank

Here is a  memory test.  I just ordered the 2770 extrusion from Wefco. My question is do you remember how many tubes of 3M 5200 it took to install the new Hull joint rub rail.
Dick #122
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatjohnz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2015 at 3:28pm
I'm not a fan of 5200; I've been using BoatLIFE Life-Calk (although I have had to do some touch-ups)
My memory is that one tube will do most of one side. Then a 3rd tube is needed to finish the sides and the back.
sj
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frfletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2015 at 3:58pm
I think two tubes should do it. I want to emphasize the idea of spending spending time to try to equalize the flange distance from hull. The flange varies a lot. In some places near the back on Voila it was very small, and nearer the front quarter it stuck out quite a bit. The problem with mounting the rail comes mostly from where the flange does not protrude sufficiently. The Wefco rail is configured on the inside to sort of grab the flange, but if the bottom sides of the rail hit the hull before the rail goes all the way down so that the flange fits nicely inside that grabbing bit, then you will have to flood the thing with sealant in an attempt to try to make it grade.

My recommendation then would be to take the old rail off and really clean up the flange. Take a section of the new Wefco rail (say a 6" piece), and try it first where the flange sticks out sufficiently to see how the new rail fits on that flange. Then try it on a portion of the flange that may not stick out sufficiently. You will immediately get a grip of the issue. In those areas you should build out the flange a bit. This could be done with a strip of stiff polyethylene sheeting cut to width, and clamped or screwed from the bottom onto the flange, and then filling the top with a glass-fill epoxy. After that sets, remove the polyethylene and use a sanding block or random orbital to square-up the outside of the flange. Alternatively, One could use a strip of 1/4" ply, or similar, and some cut strips of waxed paper to fit on top of it and be clamped between the flange and the ply, then epoxy on top of that.

If you don't do the above, you will have to trim the rail in those places so that the flange can fit into the grabbing portion on the inside. That varies the look of the rail and is a pain in the butt. However that is what I did because I started the process without awareness of what the problems were going to be with the localized areas of a lessor flange and to keep the project moving just used the drum sander on a dremel to trim the rail and move on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David DeBoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2015 at 7:14pm
Hello All,
Has anyone saved their removed original hull joint rub rail? I'm looking to patch in only a short section of my gray rub rail. Patch does not warrant replacing all of it.
I would gladly purchase this from you and arrange shipping. Please help me out if you can.
Thanks,
Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ron Waterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 October 2015 at 9:21pm
Sorry Dave.  I just did mine, but I did not have the foresight to save it for another purpose.  Wish I had now.

 Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Layton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 October 2015 at 12:00am
David, just cut out the bad part and heat up the remaining rubrail and it'll stretch easily to the original length. Good luck!
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