View Full Version : Skiff Rub Rails - black?

11-23-2008, 04:46 AM
Soon I will be adding rub rails to my skiff. Since I already have some 5/4 ash, that's what I will be using. I'd like them to be black, and thought it might look good if the grain was still somewhat visible (rather than painting). Is it a good idea to stain the ash rub rails black? If so, what type of stain should I use and what, if anything, do I need to apply on top of the stain?

Or, should I just paint them?

Or, would something else look better altogether (but still using the ash)?

The hull will be dark blue with red bottom paint and the gunwales, or side decks will be varnished meranti.



11-23-2008, 08:40 AM
Try painting a test piece. Ash is such an open grain wood that even two or three coats of paint won't fill the grain.

11-23-2008, 09:12 AM
I painted different parts of my dory black, among other colours, at various times and I gotta tell, they looked terrible.Hope it helps.

Jon Agne
11-23-2008, 10:45 AM
Try Kirby's Bronze Green. It's almost black, and it will enhance your sheer. I love paint. Every year it's one coat off and one coat on.

11-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Another reason to paint is because it's a rubrail. It's there to take the knocks rather than the hull. Touching up scrapes and bumps is a lot easier with paint than stain and varnish.

11-23-2008, 11:01 AM
If you're using ash there's a good chance it will turn black on its own. Imho black will look all wrong on a dark blue hull of that design. Forget the ash and spend a few bucks on a strip of varnished mahogany. It will look awsome with the dark blue and will match the meranti as well.

11-23-2008, 11:16 AM
If you want stain. Ive used minwax Ebony. Holds up well on the bed of my 1959 Chevy Apache. But then I dont haul stuff in it.
How long is your skiff and who's design is it? Looks good.

Pernicious Atavist
11-23-2008, 11:21 AM
What JinD said, I extended my roof rack with ash pieces and gave them a single coat of varnish. That was 6 mos ago. They're now black. Reckon a few coats of varnish will deepen the color and keep them that way. Nice thing about that is they won't leave black marks on things they rub on.

11-23-2008, 12:05 PM
I'll second some of the posts about "leaving marks on things..." -- why on earth would you want black rubrails?? With many boat hulls being white or light colored, why would you want to risk leaving marks on your friends boats?

Paint the sheerstrake a different color for accent, but leave the rubrails natural if at all possible. I find that CPES and varnish, or thinned BLO and varnish work very well...

11-24-2008, 09:51 PM
Who's design is she? Her length?

11-24-2008, 09:54 PM
Unfinished pine half round will crush and not leave significant marks as will painted rubrails. They'll turn grey, and are easily replaced from inexpensive HD stock.

11-28-2008, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I guess I will opt for paint on these rubrails. I'd try to color match them to the miranti gunwales, but I'll never match it right, and I'd rather paint a contrasting color than 'almost' match the miranti. I will give more thought to the color choice though:rolleyes:.

jclays: This is an 18 foot skiff I'm building with measurements taken from another skiff I was admiring while at Menemsha (Martha's Vineyard) last year, with some of my own embellishments incorporated. Thanks for the compliment.