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Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-07-2007, 2:44 PM Reply   
My rubrail, and the pieces that hold it, are fading from black to greyish. Is there anything I can do to restore the black color? The fading is getting worse.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-07-2007, 5:38 PM Reply   

I dont know what your rub rail looks like mabey you can post some picks of it. I have taken scratches out of my rubber rub rail by sanding the scratches out with 320 gri paper and then Aceatone. Here are some pic's of Before and After

Here is the damage fro a rope being drug over the rub rail Upload
Here is a sanded pic Upload
Here is a pic after the Aceatone\popjpeg
The Aceatone and the rubbing action sorta melt away the 320 grit scratches. It leaves the rub rail real dull you need to put some rubber conditioner on it to bring it back. It looks pretty good when you are done. You can see where you did the repair job but IMO the repair job looks better than the nicks or scratches
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-07-2007, 5:39 PM Reply   
Finished Pic
Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-07-2007, 5:55 PM Reply   
"G"-the fading has ocurred not only on my rubrail, but the pieces that hold it in place. I think the pieces(on the top and bottom) are made of aluminum, but were once black. Now they look similar to the first picutre you posted. The acetone and sandpaper work that you did came out really good. Do you think it would be safe to acetone and sand both the rubber rubrail and the aluminum pieces above and below? I also have small nicks in the rubber, but are more concerned with trying to restore the black color. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-07-2007, 6:01 PM Reply   
"G"-also, what rubber conditioner did you use to bring it back?
Old    Dave Johnson (riverdave)      Join Date: May 2007       06-07-2007, 6:04 PM Reply   
If Your aluminum rub rail has faded then your pretty much SOL. The only way to get it back to it's original state is to take it off, have it stripped, and re-anno'd.. By the time you get done with all that it'd cost more then just ordering a new rubrail.

Take this as an opportunity to upgrade your rubrail!

this is currently what you have.. (I'm not sure, but I think this place will actually have it anno'd for you if you want?)

This is what I'd replace it with

You want the Hollow back probably 1 inch if I had to guess. It takes alot of massaging to get it around tight bends aka the two corners at the transom, and the point at the bow. But if your patient it's not that big of a deal. I've done a few now.

Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-07-2007, 6:04 PM Reply   
First off trying to restore or bring back the color with sandpaper is a Bad Idea. Getting close to your gell finish is a Bad Idea.

Try this. If your rub rail has a center removable
peice like myn take it out and loosen the rub rail so you can make room for a peice of tape between your gell and the rub rail. This will protect your gell finish. Then try the aceatone only. use the paper on the nick's only.
If it was me I would just replace the whole rub rail. A job like restoring the whole rub rail would take more time then replacing it IMO. I think a rub rail for my boat is like $450 and Im pretty sure you could do it in 1 day. Yes its a Pain in the but job but it will loook a whloe lo better then trying to restore the whole rail
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-07-2007, 6:07 PM Reply   
I use the Mcguyers Vinyl and Rubber conditioner. The same stuff I use on the interior vinyl.
Nick whats your rubrail look like What kind of boat is it on?
Old    Justin (jusstty)      Join Date: Dec 2006       06-07-2007, 6:08 PM Reply   
Very nice job
Old    Dave Johnson (riverdave)      Join Date: May 2007       06-07-2007, 6:09 PM Reply   
Incidentally that aluminum rubrail is ridiculously cheap.. You should be able to do your whole boat for 75 bucks. (300 - 450.00 from marine distributors)

The Stainless which is normally 800 - 900 from marine distributors is about 280.00 off this website, and before you ask.. Yes it's the real deal, we just ordered a stainless rub rail for a daycruiser and it's the same stuff people sell for retarded prices.

Old    882001 (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       06-07-2007, 6:13 PM Reply   
acetone + a rag+ 5 min= very nice clean non faded rubrail
Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-08-2007, 9:28 AM Reply   
"G"-Thanks for the info. I wanted to find out if there is a quick and cheap solution to eliminating some of the fading on the rubrail. Even if it doesn't fully restore, I will be happy with having it appear more black than grey. The rubrail is on a 2001 SangAIR, and portions of it look similar to the rubrail in the first picture you posted. I wanted to know if there is something that can be done, besides replacing the entire rubrail and aluminum pieces, which I have heard, is a fairly difficult task.

Dave-thanks for posting the links and info. If I end up going the route of replacing the rubrail, I will definately consider

882001-if using acetone and a rag, will the rubrail look clean and non faded for a while, or will it quickly go back to a faded look?

For the time being, I think I am going to tape of the rubrail sections the best that I can, use acetone and a rag to see the results, use sandpaper on the nicked sections, and possibly use the meguiars conditioner "G" mentioned. Any other advice or precautions? Thanks
Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-08-2007, 11:13 AM Reply   
Dave-i just noticed that the rubrails on the link you provided only come in 12 foot sections. Does this mean that you will have a few breaks in the rubrail? The one I have researched from Sanger wraps all the way around the boat with no breaks.
Old    Dave Johnson (riverdave)      Join Date: May 2007       06-08-2007, 12:28 PM Reply   
Nick, I'm pretty sure any rubrail is going to have some "breaks" in it no matter what. If the install is clean though you'll never notice them. By the time you wrap it around the boat it's going to be 54' - 58' worth of stick. How would the mfg even ship that to sanger?

That Website also offers 16' lengths by the way. For a 21' boat I think the break down is 1 - 16', (which you start at the middle of the stick, as close to the middle of the transom as you can get it without over lapping holes), and 4 12's.. You'll start the 1st 12 at the bow, in the center of the stick and work your way back on one side then the other..

If you click this link and scroll about 3/4 of the way down you can see a Stainless rubrail that myself and a friend put on my girls boat..

Actually you can see how to restore a 30 year old gel coat as well if your interested. ;) And a custom trailer being built, guages, steering wheel etc..

(Message edited by riverdave on June 08, 2007)
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-08-2007, 12:40 PM Reply   
Im pretty sure Nicks rub rail is all rubber No aluminum. All the rubber rub rails I have seen are 1 peice (except 4 mastercraft) Jasons 209 has a multi section rubber rub rail. But Im pretty sure you can buy a 1 peice rail that wraps all the way around the boat and meets at the back where you have a trim peice Aluminum that cover the joint.
Nick. IMO depending on how faded and hard the rubber is will determan weather or not you can use the chemicals to restore the rail. I know there is hotter chemicals than Aceatone. Im pretty sure the chemicals melt the surface of the rubber and take a bit of the finish off reveling fresh darker rubber. If the rubber is super wasted it will be faded down deep into the rubber and no chemicals will work. Your just gonna have to give a few diffrent things a try.
Old    Dave Johnson (riverdave)      Join Date: May 2007       06-08-2007, 12:49 PM Reply   
Never seen a rubrail like that.. Thanks for the heads up "G" ;)

Old    Nick (ndavis03)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-08-2007, 2:31 PM Reply   
When calling Sanger, I was told that the aluminum pieces(top and bottom) that hold the rubrail insert, wrap all the way around the boat, no breaks. I was also told the rubber insert part, for the middle, was also one piece. Grant, I don't think the fading is too deep to not bring back to life. I will try the acetone and rubber/vinyl conditioner tomorrow in hopes that it will be sufficient. I will also report the results to you guys.
Old    Dave Johnson (riverdave)      Join Date: May 2007       06-08-2007, 2:46 PM Reply   
Nick, take a picture of your rubrail. If it's the annodized aluminum rubrail with a rubber/vinyl insert then acetone isn't going to do much other then clean the aluminum.



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