View Full Version : Rub Rail. Screws: failed. Clench Nails: failed.

04-29-2013, 10:29 AM
My dinghy ties to a floating dock with structure on the side. A fresh or strong south will beat her up. I had ss screws that came with the rubber rubrail, they pulled out and gouged the sides. I changed them all to copper boat nails clenched. Unclenched or broke. Bigger nails? Rivets? Glue? They are fastened into the df sheer strake. Thanks.

04-29-2013, 10:35 AM
Rivets with backing washers. Or small bolts. Basically if screws pulled out, you need something that bears on both sides rather than something that relies on "grip".

Gib Etheridge
04-29-2013, 10:45 AM
Have you tried covering the "structure" with something cushy like bumpers or tires?

04-29-2013, 11:14 AM
I've had good luck securing gunwale guard (canvas & rubber) with screws and cup washers every 3-4".

04-29-2013, 11:18 AM
Are you putting epoxy in the pilot hole and on the ring nail when you seat it? Are you using a nail set punch to countersink the nail and then sealing over it with epoxy? I have a feeling water is intruding into the DF and the swelling is weakening the hold those fasteners have. Are you using boat bumpers? (A pair of Attwoods for your boat would cost about $24.)

Eric Hvalsoe
04-29-2013, 11:58 AM
Your description is inadequate. What are you fastening the rails to? Just the planking? Thin, thick, plywood,or cedar? Planking and frameheads? Planking and spacers? Planking and solid inwale? What? Yes a picture would be worth a hundred words, then somebody else can give you an intelligent answer.

04-29-2013, 12:58 PM
Somebody else can give you an intelligent answer.
I think Eric just called our advice unintelligent :rolleyes:. Ah well...

04-29-2013, 01:01 PM
When screws fail, go for bolts and good washers. Epoxy in the holes as above if possible. If there's a problem with these nuts inside the boat / gunwale / inwale, you may have to countersink them and use a deep socket to set 'em. A countersunk cap nut should give you some protection against scrapes on the inside of the gunwale.

04-29-2013, 03:14 PM
Thank you all. I did say "fastened into the df sheerstrake". It is nominal 3/4" douglas fir timber. I can't add fenders to the dock, as there are no assigned positions. I do suspect that most harm comes when the dink rolls, catching the rail under the dock longitudinal. I'll try rivets.

John Boone
04-29-2013, 04:13 PM
Hey John,

No better options available to tie up your dinghy?

What about just adding a few strap eyes and using a pair of
4" or 6" diameter fenders set horizontally.

Enough to hold your rail off the dock and easy to stow when not needed?


04-29-2013, 04:24 PM
I think John Boone's got it. The problem is not the attachment (which does need to be fixed, and bolts were the first thing that came to my mind) but the dock grabbing the rub rail. Put fenders into its mouth, so it can't grab the rub rail and wrack it loose again.

04-29-2013, 09:45 PM
That does sound good.