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A boat rub rail serves two very important roles. It is used to conceal the area where the boat’s deck is joined to the hull. But it is also used to protect the boat when it encounters a tall structure (for example another boat or a seawall). A boat rub rail is made up of two key components: a rail and an insert. By selecting the right rub rail for your boat, you can better protect it in the long run.

But before you begin shopping, you need to first look up the make and model of your boat in order to be able to match the rub rail and insert to your existing rail.

There are six very important things to consider when choosing your new boat rub rail.

1. Material

The most popular and readily available materials for your new boat rub rail are aluminum, rigid vinyl, semi-rigid vinyl and stainless steel. While a vinyl material is the easiest to bend and cushions better upon impact, aluminum and stainless steel last longer. But rigid vinyl with stainless steel overlap will provide you with the best protection overall and the longest useful lifespan.

2. Height

Make sure to select a replacement rail that is similar in height to your current one. If you get a rail that is too small, you run the risk of the deck-to-hull seam being exposed. And if you get a rail that is too large, it could overhang the intended area.

Before removing your existing rub rail, make sure that you use a pencil to lightly trace the top and bottom of it. This will help you better position the new rail and install it straight.

3. Length

If your boat doesn’t have a rub rail, it can be difficult to eyeball the length you’ll need. Instead, use the following formula and you’ll be all set:

(boat length) + beam measurement + extra

Keep in mind that the amount of “extra” rub rail will depend on how far you want it to extend across your transom. There’s always the option of cutting it down to size. You should always order 10 feet of extra length for trial and error during installation.

4. Color And Finish

While most simply replace their boat rub rail with a similar or identical one, feel free to change it up. Regardless of the material or color originally installed by the boat’s builder, you can install any material or style you desire.

5. Quality

Your boat was a large investment, and as such, you should take good care of it by using quality materials. Taco brand is the best-known in the industry for durability, fit and fade resistance. Be sure to check out this replacement selection guide to better help you choose the right Taco rub rail or kit from Boat & RV Accessories.

6. Convenience of a Kit

When you’re purchasing a new rub rail, you need to make sure that you have all of the proper parts to complete the job. These include the rub rail, insert, fasteners, end caps, splice caps, etc. But instead of buying parts individually, consider looking into boat rub rail kits. These kits conveniently include everything you need for installation, making the task a lot easier.

Let Us Help

Shop for all your boating needs at Boat & RV Accessories. If you have a question or need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of boat specialists today.