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How To Install Aluminum Rub Rail

TACO Marine Aluminum Rub Rail Accepts Flexible Vinyl Insert

Materials Needed

Rub Rail, Insert, Stainless Steel Screws, Silicone Sealant, Safety Goggles

Tools Needed

Tape Measure, Variable Speed Drill, Drill Bits, Caulking Gun, Hack Saw, Heat Gun



Have one person heat the rail and the other slowly bend it around and avoid forcing the material due to inadequate heat.

Before installing the rest of the rub rail, put it up in position and check to see if any pre-drilled holes line up with filled holes. You will be able to adjust the hole location by cutting off several inches from the end that butts up to the previously installed piece

Before bending, if the rub rail takes an insert, install about 6" of insert into the bend site to keep the channel from collapsing or losing shape during bending but do not cut it off the roll.

How To Install Aluminum Rub Rail on your boat

Aluminum rub rail is available in 12’ and 20’ lengths with holes pre-drilled every 6”. Some aluminum rub rails incorporate vinyl inserts, while others do not.

Installation Instructions:

  1. Place masking tape above or below where the rub rail will go. Mark where the new holes are going to be located, or mark where the filled holes are so as to avoid them.

    Note: This should be the first step in all rub rail installations.

  2. Place the center of the first length on the bow. If a mounting hole is already there, move it to one side 3”.

  3. Press the rub rail against the hull until you come back to one end.

  4. If any of the holes line up with the filled holes, try adjusting the rub rail a few inches one way or the other. Avoid a hole within two inches of either side of the bow.

  5. Drill through the pre-drilled holes with a drill bit smaller than the screw.

  6. Coat the threads with Silicone or 3M 5200 and install the screw.

  7. Continue this process up to the bend at the bow.

  8. Bend the rub rail around the bow by applying steady pressure with one hand while you lightly tap the rub rail with a rubber mallet where you want it to bend.

  9. Complete the installation of the rest of the rub rail.

  10. Butt the next length up against the previously installed length. If a hole lines up with a filled hole, cut a few inches off the end in a miter box. This will change the location of the holes.

  11. Butt the rub rail up against the first length and install this length according to steps 4 & 5 .

  12. Continue this process until you come back to the other end of the length you installed at the bow. Measure the last length carefully so that it fits tightly and install the screws.