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Rub Rail Tips

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Stainless or plastic? For stainless if needed, I wouldn't use anything harder than a rubber mallet to coax the piece(s) onto the boat. Once you bend or dent a section it is going to be noticeable forever. On my old boat with a black plastic rub rail I set the rail and insert pieces in the sun to limber them up before I put it back on. If you scuff up any screw heads I would pull that screw and deburr/replace as needed. The factory screws on my '10 were terribly burred from being "over tightend" and it ate up a succession of guide pole pads and covers until I replaced the bad ones. 2 people will be a big helps well.

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It is plastic. I hope to get it done it done during a good Oklahoma sunny day to help with the flexibility.

Right now I have rivets in it. Should I go back with rivets or switch to screws? My dealer suggested using epoxy with new screws if I had screws in it already.

So should I do epoxy and rivets?

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IIWM I would epoxy it and go with screws. More work in prep but, simpler, reversible and better looking if the screws are exposed and easier to fix (no drilling/cutting/prying out the old rivets) if it gets messed up. My old rub rail insert covered the screws so it didn't matter. Plus rivets will most likely be a 2 person job as someone will have to hold the inner retaining washer that the rivet expands in to hold the rail on. JM2C

Edited by wdr
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I think I'll do it with screws, wonder if 5200 would work or better to use a 2 part epoxy?

Guess it's time to get a few pounds of stainless screws.

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  • 1 month later...

If you don't do a single thing pre drill the holes in the hull! If not some of them will spider crack and you are looking at more time and money for something that was easily preventable. I would also chamfer the holes if possible to help reduce the chance of them spidering. I used a stone dremel to basically radius grind just the color gel coat. Counter sinking can be tricky, especially as thin as the rub rail will be in the existing holes. Too much counter sinking and the hole will become too big for the screw and then you will have an odd sized screw head. I would also pre assembly it all with tape to see how everything is going to line up.

Edited by wdr
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Pre-existing holes? We must have quite a bit different rub rails. Mine is just a solid piece of plastic no holes drilled.

BTW the factory didn't appear to predrill the screws that attach the top cap and hull. I will predrill but kind of interesting how little they really do in comparison to what us owners do.

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On my last 2 boats they both had/have the plastic base piece which is screwed to the hull covering the top and bottom halves of the hull where they are joined. The actual rub rail is then screwed into the base piece, stainless on my LSV. Even on my '10 if the screws couldn't be seen they were screwed in like a drive by shooting and some of them are spidering! The logic being time is money I imagine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well thanks to two heat guns and two friends we got it done. Actually figured out man handling the base cold made for better curves then when heated.

Now the insert on the other hand was a royal b**** to get in.

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