repairing very old rubber/vinyl rub rail - SailNet Community

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Old 10-24-2009
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repairing very old rubber/vinyl rub rail

The wife and I just purchased a 1966 19' Paceship Mouette as our first sailboat. Naturally she needs some work to make her look beautiful. One thing has kind of thrown me. The rub rail. It's white in color. Very very hard (probably original to 1966). It has several areas where it has these "V" shaped breaks in it. When we were assessing the boat I didn't think much about it. Thought that I could spend $50.00 or so and replace it with something currently available. i have learned that is not the case. That to replace rub rail on this boat it looks like a $300.00 investment. GULP

I'm hoping to get some idea(s) for repairing the rub rail. What I could use to fill in these "V" tears. Then I could go back and paint the rub rail.

Any good ideas would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

Have a Great Day,
Jim
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Old 10-24-2009
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Start thinking outside the proverbial 'box'. $300 sounds pretty cheap by the way, especially if that is for materials for replacing ALL the rub rail at one time.

Stuff that is marketed to mariners is way overpriced. You could use a material marketed for a chair rail (as in mounted on the wall) in office buildings or you could even make something better out of a length of old fire hose. Used fire hose has an intrinsically nautical look and is extremely durable for this application, even if painted.
Some people even use 'Pool Noodles' for rub rail on their dinghies.

If your epoxy/fiberglassing skills are up to it you can find many ways to repair such shortcomings.

If you do not want to replace the whole rub rail then consider getting some 3M 4200UV or other putty that might include: 3M 5200, Marine Tex epoxy etc. and make a mold for it out of empty plastic milk bottles that will peel off eventually. Get creative. I like the fire hose idea as it is very durable and used as chafing gear on commercial vessels but if left raw it will scratch some surfaces. There are Polysulphides which are more like rubber in consistency and even Butyl tape which is easily scraped off and replaced.
If you want to try 'used fire hose' just search for it on ebay.
I have a 25' section in the trunk of my car that I am certain will come in handy for chafe protection somewhere along the line.

Some of your choice will be dictated by where you sail (Lake, Sound, Great Lake or Ocean) and how good you want it to look when done.
You need to experiment and get away from the marketing experts that seem to run the WWW. It is 'free' marketing for them so that is why it is 'free' to you and me.
Used tires would also work but look crappy.
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Old 10-25-2009
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I plan on ripping out the 33-year old black rubber rub rail insert on my boat and replacing it with 3/4" black 3-strand nylon line. I did this with 5/8" white nylon on my 8' fiberglass dinghy. Looks quite salty.
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