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Replacing cheesy aluminum trim on swim platform


SunriseH2OSkier

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So I'm in the process of rehabbing my fiberglass swim step (first time having to do anything with it in 9 years of ownership, so please save the 'Teak is better' posts - been there, done that, F/G is waaaaaayyyyyy easier ;) ). I'm replacing the black rubber mat that is beginning to break down with a Sea Deck OEM replacement, and I'm patching a couple of spots on the edges where the gel chipped off. While I am at it, I'm looking at the really crappy looking aluminum trim around the perimeter, thinking about replacing it.

The aluminum looked cheap when it was new, so I'm not really interested in replacing it with more aluminum. I recall looking at a Nautique platform not long after getting my RLXi, and being really impressed with what looked like SS trim. I've always thought that is the way I'd like to go.

Wondering if anybody has gone down this path before? I found a 1/2" high SS rub rail insert at West Marine that looks like it could do the trick (pic posted below). The obvious concern is whether it can make the bend around the corners and still look decent. Any thoughts?

TIA

post-60-0-72422100-1335374349.jpg

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The insert will make the bend but it will flatten out a bit as you make the turn, as long as you dont mind the flattening of the insert you will like the SS better than the alminum.

Good luck, post up some pics when you are done.

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That's my thought too, that it will just flatten a bit. Was hoping someone else might have gone this route already, but curiosity will get the better of me, and I'll probably just go spend the $70 or so and see what happens...

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Here's a couple pics... You can see how crappy it has gotten over the years - almost black along the back end. Not sure the SS can make the sharp bend at the hull side corners, but the other corners are much more gradual - maybe 4-6" radius? I'd probably have to terminate the trim along the sides instead of wrapping around that tight corner.

post-60-0-81972200-1335397995_thumb.jpg

post-60-0-07491200-1335398012_thumb.jpg

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I'm curious first.... what is the black? Where the silver finish has worn thru to the real material the trim is made of? Is there no way to polish it up & remove the black?

Check out this site: http://www.tacomarine.com/

They sell a ton of different kinds of marine trim & rub rail. It might be worth a phone call to find out if they can tell you what kind of material is used on the Nautiques..... or how to make that bend. Seems like a stretch for SS to me. Aluminum with some relief cuts underneath might be more likely.

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I'm curious first.... what is the black? Where the silver finish has worn thru to the real material the trim is made of? Is there no way to polish it up & remove the black?

Not sure what the black is. I would have thought the trim was entirely aluminum (vs silver finish on plastic or vinyl). At the same time, I've not seen aluminum turn black like this is. I'll try some metal polish tonight and see what happens...

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Not sure what the black is. I would have thought the trim was entirely aluminum (vs silver finish on plastic or vinyl). At the same time, I've not seen aluminum turn black like this is. I'll try some metal polish tonight and see what happens...

That's what I think too, you can clean that piece of trim up like new. Maybe remove the trim, hit with 1000 grit paper, then polish, new screws & washers to install...will probably come out perfect & look like stainless. Assuming it's solid aluminum.

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That's what I think too, you can clean that piece of trim up like new. Maybe remove the trim, hit with 1000 grit paper, then polish, new screws & washers to install...will probably come out perfect & look like stainless. Assuming it's solid aluminum.

:plus1: When I painted my "new to me" fg platform I removed this piece, wetsanded, and polished. I would try to rehab it first so you don't have to worry about the bends and drilling new holes etc...

Edited by Ndawg12
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I am going to replace that trim piece on my boat one of these days. Always thought it looked cheap. A 1 inch, half round SS trim piece would be good there. I think I saw a Centurion with a SS rail that really looked nice. I think I like the rail better. Please post a pic when you're done so we can see what you came up with.

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If you guys replace that piece with anything I would think it will have to be "D" shaped or it won't sit correctly...? And I don't think you want that bottom edge exposed, mine wasn't finshed off very well. YMMV

Edited by Ndawg12
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I am going to replace that trim piece on my boat one of these days. Always thought it looked cheap. A 1 inch, half round SS trim piece would be good there. I think I saw a Centurion with a SS rail that really looked nice. I think I like the rail better. Please post a pic when you're done so we can see what you came up with.

We've tried this on a couple of swimsteps over the years. Your right, it does look nice. But it makes it not very useable, especially for wakeboards & hydrofoils. People always seem to hit it with the fins & foils, dinging both the trim & the fin or foil, making a mess out of it all eventually. I found rubber rubrail worked better. Nautique used to have a rubber rubrail with a rope insert that was both durable & a descent cushion. Didn't look as blingy but definitely protected the edge best while maintaining a good look.

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If you guys replace that piece with anything I would think it will have to be "D" shaped or it won't sit correctly...? And I don't think you want that bottom edge exposed, mine wasn't finshed off very well. YMMV

There is a lot of different profiles that you can get, so choosing one that suits best would be in order.

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Yeesh, not exactly sure. Kind of hard to tell if it is heavy, or just cumbersome to handle. It's pretty beefy - I'd guess 20-25lbs? Not sure it is significantly different than teak - I don't recall it being much different to handle than the teak was on my '01 Sunsetter. The brackets are surprisingly light. I just took them off to have them powdercoated, and they were lighter than I expected.

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