Rub rail rubber insert - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-17-2007
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Rub rail rubber insert

IF and when I get to fixing the broken rubrail on my boat. I can't help but wonder how difficult it will be to get that rubber insert back in the rail. It's pretty large and far from soft. I guess it was slid in when it was originally put on the boat. The midship location pretty much makes that an impossibility. The actual rail is like 2" or more and the insert is about an 1" with flat groves. Just wondering if anyone has dealt with this issue
thanks!
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Old 11-17-2007
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Its a pretty easy process.. best to do it on a warm day.. let the insert set out on the deck til mid afternoon when it gets really gets warm and the insert gets plyable... What your going to try to do is "PINCH" the insert together..
you can feed the insert with one hand and using a small block of wood with the other hand, compress the insert from the top, at the same time, pushing it into place... once you see it done.. its easy to follow.
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Old 11-18-2007
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I've found a disposable plastic putty knife to be a useful tool to push it into place with also.
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Old 11-18-2007
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A bucket of hot water on a warm day! Coil the rubber in the bucket, pour in the hot water, let it sit for 10 mins. or so to soften it (it will be hot!) then use a putty knife OR even better a "Trim tool" ($5-10) looks like a wide arrow shaped putty knife w/ a handle for cars to slide it back in.
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Old 11-18-2007
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thanks guys! the job doesn't seem so formidable now! I'm thinking a heat gun? it's going to be cold out over the next few months when I hope to take care of this and other TLC type things. The rubber insert is still on the boat. Only about 2ft is out of the broken/missing rail. Both sides that messed up are almost exactly center of the boat! Its kind of like the PO didn't know how to tie up next to pilings that so many docks have on Cheseapeake Bay LOL
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Old 11-18-2007
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Heat guns work well also but keep it moving or it can burn the rubber.
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Old 11-18-2007
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Maybe try one or a few of the little chemical hand-warmer packs instead of a heat gun for better control? Just thinking aloud here, but they should get hot enough to soften it without any chance of burning.
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Old 11-19-2007
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Or try a hair dryer....
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Old 11-19-2007
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I wonder if putting some dish soap in the track would help as well. Only drawback is that it will remove and wax from your topsides as it gets rinsed away. Maybe carwash (boatwash) soap would be better for that reason.

Also, capttb mentioned a putty knife. You can also try wooden stir sticks from Starbucks or the like, but I'm not sure if they are thin enough or strong enough. But they're super useful for all sorts of things. I try to grab a handful from time to time to use for small mixing / glueing / etc jobs.
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