rub rail


New Member
Is the rub rail (older aluminum style) on a fish structural at all?
I am considering removing mine 'cause it's pretty beat -up and was toying with the idea of using automotive door edge guard.
It has a heavy duty butyl adhesive and you just pry it on and stick it in place.
There is a manufacturer in my town and they have many sizes and colours. The best part is ther price...$20 for 50 feet.
Has anyone else tried this? How did it work?
Can anyone see any drawbacks to this idea?
After working with the Aluminum railing a couple of times your idea sound pretty good. The rub rail serves no structural purpose. It there to keep the fiberglass from getting beat up. The deck and the hull are "glued" together and after the joint was set up the rail was installed, drilled and riveted in place.
You may need something to hold it on the edge at least around the cockpit area as a sliding butt can produce quite a bit of force and can easily pop off a glued on edge.
Went to a regatta the other day at Austin Yacht club in Texas, and I noticed several fish with a really nice, well fitted rubber edge but I couldnt find anyone to ask about it maybe email the club? Looked very professional.
Eye., Mike and Mojo,
APS has a rub rail kit, listed at $4.00 per foot, they state 32' are need for a sunfish/laser (I think 29' is correct for the SF, measure to be sure). That adds up to $128.00, plus shipping, any tax, and glue (they recommend 3M 5200). Some of the other companies sell the aluminum rub rail in 5' lengths. I don't know the cost. The APS rubrail kit appears to be a vinyl extrusion and meets the rules (check the rules section on the class page). That would give a nice clean look and protection to the edges of both new and old styles, but might be a bit of a pain in the b..t old the older style.
Has anyone on this forum used the new vinyl rubrail on an old style boat? I would venture to guess that the groove is sized for the new style rolled rails that are pretty thick and so the groove may be too wide to fit over the old style joint. I guess that you could use a lot of sealant to fill in the gap if it is too wide. I like the auto body stuff idea. Post back to tell us how it looks/fit.

There is also another style that is aluminum with a vinyl coating that I have used with great success and I think it alos look much better than the stock aluminum railing. Visit you local boat supply and they can probably help you out. I found the stuff at West amrine and I believe the Sunfish takes the 1/4 inch width.

Here is the item at West Marine:

And here si the product website:
In looking through the ISCA Rules, on the National Sunfish Class page, part 3.1.7, states that any material may be used under 1" in diameter. Read the rules to get the exact wording.