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Rub Rail FAQ

The Technical Hotline’s Most Commonly asked Questions about Rub Rail


What rub rail goes on my boat?
Most boat manufacturers do not customize the rub rail used on the boats they manufacture, but rather choose an existing rub rail from a rub rail manufacturer.  Therefore, a variety of rub rail types and sizes can usually be installed on a particular boat.  Below are

Selecting the Same Rub Rail as Original:

TACO Marinemakes it easy to identify the original rub rail installed on your boat.

  1. Click on the following link found in literature requests on the TacoMarine.com web site to download the OEM Rub Rail Replacement Guide
  2. Scroll down to manufacturer of your boat.
  3. The TACO Marinerub rails the manufacturer has used on their boats (since 1993) are listed by type of rub rail. 
  4. Upon locating the rub rail, take note the rub rail and insert part numbers.

    Rub Rail Part Numbers

    • Aluminum rub rail part numbers begin with an A
    • Flexible Vinyl rub rail and Semi-Rigid rub rail part numbers begin with V11,
    • Rigid vinyl rub rail part numbers begin with V21.
    • Rub Rail Inserts (Located in the Insert Column)
    • Flexible vinyl insert part numbers begin with V12
    • Stainless Steel Overlay part numbers begin with S11

  5. Write down the part numbers that fit the description of your rub rail and note the page numbers.
  6. Scroll down to those page numbers and match your rub rail with the profiles and dimensions listed. 
  7. Write down the complete part number of that rub rail. If your rub rail has an insert or an overlay write down the partial part number, then scroll down to that section to get the complete part number.
  8. Once you have the complete part numbers you can order it by through your local marine supplier.
  9. If you would like to change the rub rail to a different type, go to that type and look at rub rails that have the same height or slightly larger then your original rub rail so you won’t see any discoloration that may have been behind the original rub rail.

Replacing with a Different Rub Rail

When changing the type of rub rail, please keep the following rules in mind.

1. The type of hull to deck join on your boat may restrict what type of rub rail you can use.

  • Hull to deck joins that have the deck cap overlapping the hull like a shoe box cover are the most common and will take most rub rail types.
  • Hull to deck joins that create a horizontal flange that stick straight out from the hull will require a rub rail that is in the form of a U or that have a void in back that will accommodate the flange.
  • Hull to deck joins that join up on the deck will require an extended flange across the deck to cover the join.  This may require the use of an L moulding underneath the rub rail and the rub rail installed upside down with the lip on the top.
  • Some hull to deck joins are made inside the hull and the outside surface is flat.  This requires that the rub rail have equal top and bottom lips or ones where the difference is minimal.

2. Another consideration is the size and subsequent weight of your boat. 

  • Once you start getting close to the 30ft. range, Flexible Vinyl Rub Rails and Rigid Vinyl Rub Rails with a Flexible Vinyl Insert become less effective and can even be ineffective.
  • The best rub rail for heavier boats is a Rigid Vinyl Rub Rail with a Stainless Steel Overlay.
What if my boat manufacturer is not listed or the boat was made prior to 1993?
If your boat manufacturer is listed but your boat was madeprior to 1993 you could choose from one of the rub rails listed for that manufacturer since they will most likely work, if not, go to the step below.

If your boat manufacturer was not listed, choose a rub rail by first selecting the type of rub rail you desire. Take into account the previous information concerning:

  • The hull to deck join
  • The height of your previous rub rail, if it had one
  • The size and weight of your boat.

If your boat does not currently have a rub rail on it, and you would like to add a rub rail:

  1. Determine the maximum height you will be able to use.
  2. Click on Rub Rail under the Products section located on the home page of our TacoMarine.com website. Rub Rail
  3. Select the type of rub rail you want to look at (Rigid, Semi-Rigid, Flexible, etc) for a complete listing of all of TACO Marine’srub rail of this type.
  4. Select your rub rail with proper dimensions and strength for your boat
  5. Click on the rub rail drawing for a larger view and to bring up the available lengths, colors, and the complete part numbers. 
    1. Below the rub rail will be the drawing of the insert or overlay. 
    2. Click on this drawing to bring up available lengths, colors and finishes for the insert.
  6. Take note of the complete part number, and use this number to order it by through your local marine supplier.
How do I install the rub rail?
The TacoMarin.com web site offers installation instructions in various locations:
  • Go to the Literature section found in the left vertical bar, then select Marine Products Guide to download this helpful Tips book providing instructions for installing all of our rub rails and inserts.  TACO MarineProjects Guide (pdf)
  • To obtain instructions for a specific rub rail type:
How do I install the insert?
The TacoMarine.com web site offers installation instructions in various locations:

Go to the Literature section found in the left vertical bar, then select Marine Products Guide to download this helpful Tips book providing instructions for installing all of our rub rails and inserts.  Scroll down until you com to inserts and follow the instructions for your exact insert. TACO MarineProjects Guide (pdf)

What colors and lengths does this rub rail or insert come in?
Click on Rub Rail under the Products section located on the home page of our TacoMarine.com website.
  • Select the type of rub rail you want to look at (Rigid, Semi-Rigid, Flexible, etc) for a complete listing of all of TACO Marine’srub rail of this type.
  • Select your rub rail with proper dimensions and strength for your boat
  • Click on the rub rail drawing to view the available lengths, colors, and the complete part numbers.