26S rub rail restauration?

Nov 8, 2014
151
MacGregor 26S Chateauguay
after a real lousy summer here in the Montreal area, we are just about ready to bring Egret home for some fall maintenance and improvements. Prior to painting the hull, I would like to restore the rub rail and I would appreciate some advice from someone who has done this before. At first sight it looks like it can be complicated, judging from the lazaret it looks like it's being held by screws and teflon nuts and most of them are reachable however how am I supposed to hold on to the nuts inside behind the liner? Or are those screws self tapping?
A second question is how to slide the rubber profile inside the aluminum rail? Any suggestions will be appreciated, thanks.

Bill
 

JCall

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May 3, 2016
66
Macgregor 26D Ceasars Creek
Bill, I am replacing my aluminum rubrail now. Not much information on how to replace, or what to replace the aluminum rubrail with. Most information is on power boats. Not much rubrail replacement information on a sailboat. I am an aircraft mechanic NOT an engineer. I imagine that there is a lot more load on the top and bottom hull joint on our Macs then a power boat. I guess that is why Roger went to the flange design on the latter S models and newer boats.
My rubber insert is hard as a rock. Many of the attaching screws were loose, the aluminum is corroded. Decided it was time to replace it.
I started at the motor well and worked forward. I Worked the rubber insert loose with a pick, got the end out then pulled the whole insert out in one long piece. The insert is too age harded to re-insert. Could not find a company the made a replacement rubber insert.
There are 1/4 inch diameter screws with nuts all along the rubrail, except for up by the bow where there are wood screws around the point.
It requires a helper, one to hold the screws, one to turn the nuts up under the top liner inside. I used a 7/16s ratcheting box end wrench to remove the nuts inside. I only removed the starboard so far. Worried about how flimsily the hull would be with the entire rubrail removed at one time with me moving around inside. There is a thin white strip of foam that is supposed to make a seal in the fayied surface between the hull top and the bottom hull. This foam is all torn up and nearly all the rubrail attaching screws were loose. The little bit of sealant the was left from the original installation had turned to somewhat sticky dust. There was no seal left to keep the water out. Rain, waves... I was tired of having a wet and stinky boat that I used as a dingy with semi-dry storage below. The worst part was removing the 15 tubes of silicone that I squirted above and under the aluminum rail. A real waste of time and money. The scary thing was that after I had found so many of the nuts attaching the rubrail loose, I popped the covers from the bolts that attach the chain plates to the lower hull. I removed ALL the nuts by HAND!
I then removed every screw, bolt, and fitting from the top and sides of the boat.
I purchased Maine Sail's buytle tape for re-bedding of the hardware. I will follow his method of rebedding. I also purchased Taco's 70 foot semi-ridged vinyl rubrail kit. More to follow, I will post some photos also.
 
Nov 8, 2014
151
MacGregor 26S Chateauguay
Thanks JC, as I expected it's not as simple as I thought but I will have to face the dragon eventually, please keep me posted if you have the time, meanwhile I'll survey my boat as soon as I get her back home and see if the condition is as bad as yours... I'm sure it probably is since my 26S is a 1990 model.
 

JCall

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May 3, 2016
66
Macgregor 26D Ceasars Creek
The sad fact is that my boat is not really worth what I am putting into it, especially when my time is factored in. I do enjoy sailing it and it works well for the tiny lakes in Southwest Ohio. Sumner has inspired me to want to sail the great loop when I retire. I am working on my Mac so it will be up to the challenge.
 

Macboy

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Aug 8, 2014
253
Macgregor 26S Sherwood Park, Alberta
I saw a very comprehensive post about this either here or on the other Mac forum. I'll see if I can find it. I recall one bit of it that said you need to really pull hard on the new rubber when installing it to scratch it around far enough. That stuck in my head and is why i know I've read about it online somewhere. As for where to get the new rub rail? Not sure. Maybe it'll say in the thread.
 

JCall

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May 3, 2016
66
Macgregor 26D Ceasars Creek
Thank you for sharing Macboy.
I have a "1988 D". The "D" and the early "S" models have an aluminum rubrail that is attached with 1/4-20 screws with nuts securing them inside, to reach the nuts you must go under the upper inner liner. The screws go through the aluminum rub rail, the top of the hull, the bottom hull, then the bottom inner liner "horizontally".
On the later "S", "X", and "M"s, the top and bottom of the hulls form into a flange that the screws go through "vertically" then covered with a flexible rubber rubrail that is stretched and sealed over the flange.
There is a lot of information on removing, sealing, and installing the flexible rubrail on the flanged hull joint.
There is next to nothing on properly sealing the aluminum rubrail on the earlier models other than squirting in silicone sealant and hope it does not leak. I tried just filling full of silicone it did not seal.
The first photo shows the stern at the motor well with the rubber insert pulled away.
IMG_0066.JPG

The second photo shows the aluminum rubrail extrusion pulled away showing the remnants of the original sealant and the filth that built up under the extrusion over the years. Silicone will not stick to the filth and form a seal.
IMG_0067.JPG

I also could not find a source for the rubber insert that has age hardened.
 

Sumner

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Jan 31, 2009
5,254
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
You need to clean the 'filth' off no matter what and need a clean surface to work with. I'm not a fan of 3M 5200 as it is 'so permanent' but would use it under the trim in this case and believe others have used it also. Chances are you won't ever be pulling the aluminum off again. 5200 might of been what the factory used in the first place???

Sumner
==========================================================================
1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
Endeavour 37 Mods...
MacGregor 26-S Mods...
Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
 
Nov 8, 2014
151
MacGregor 26S Chateauguay
First of all, tank you for your replies.
I am starting to get the feeling that the rub rail fastenings are integral structural members that hold the hul and the deck together so it's perhaps better to leave it alone except for tightening the bolts. No big loss, once the rubber is removed one can always paint it with an aluminum primer and then some good marine paint. Or just buff it with a dremel and epoxy it to keep the shine. The rubber bumper could be replaced with one with a similar profile and perhaps glued on with 5000 adhesive, or, better, an oak strip? Any opinions?
 

MccNeo

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May 11, 2014
55
MacGregor 26S Evans
The rubber rub rail is available from Blue Water Yachts (BWY) in Seattle Washington. They sold me enough for the entire boat for about $ 70. They can tell you how it is installed. You will. Need a warm day, a come-along, about 5 roles of paper towels, and about 8 tubes of 5200 sealant. Plan for a messy full day. BWY shave nearly anything you would need to make a repair on a MacGregor and they have drawings and sketches for nearly everything also so they are a for-sure GO-TO source.
 
Nov 8, 2014
151
MacGregor 26S Chateauguay
Thanks MccNeo, I should have thought of them... I've dealt with them before to purchase new shrouds, they are great!
 

JCall

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May 3, 2016
66
Macgregor 26D Ceasars Creek
Sumner, the filth is gone from from the area where the rub rail attaches. I have also filled the holes in the hull where the old aluminum rubrail was bolted through with epoxy.

IMG_0068.JPG


The white strip is the thin white foam removed from between the top and bottom hull parts where they were joined with the attachment of the rubrail.

I am planning on squeezing 5200 to seal and glue this joint together to replace the white foam strip I removed. I am then going to use 4000 to seal the replacement rub rail to the hull along with the same type 1/4-20 X 1-1/2 inch long screws. I am concerned about using 5200 to glue on the rubrail and then not be able to get it off again if there was an accident.

IMG_0069.JPG


The top piece in the above photo is a section of the removed rubrail insert. The piece below it is a cutaway of a drawing from Wefco Rubber Company. This was as close of a profile as I could find for a replacement rubber insert. This profile was not close enough for me.

Blue Water Yachts only offers the "U" shaped replacement rubrail for the later model "S" and newer Macs. Nothing for a replacement for the aluminum rubrail.

I considered this Rubrail from Taco Marine:

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|2276155|2276156|2276158&id=1404016

I did not like the look of the white rubrail with the chrome against my weathered white deck. Taco also offers a black semi-ridgid black rubrail with a black insert in a kit, however, the kit is only offered in a 50 foot length which is about 12 feet too short.

Another option is a ridged vinyl also from Taco:

https://www.jamestowndistributors.c...Name=TACO+Rigid+Rub+Rail+with+Flexible+Insert