Rub rail insert replacement struggle

Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
image.png image.jpeg maybe it is my heat intolerance, but this rub rail insert is a pain. Two inches at a time, this is as far as I got in an hour. My arms hurt and my fingers are sore. Pictures of the old and the new.
 
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Mar 20, 2015
2,255
C&C 30 Mk1 Silver Harbour, Lake Winnipeg
Is the rub rail on the older boats thinner/different ?
When I replaced it on my 87, it was reasonably OK, once I got the hang of it.
Initially I did on a colder day. Bad idea.
The next day was much warmer, and took much less time.
Working a few inches at a time, I stuck the upper lip in place then pushed the lower lip in with a large flat blade screwdriver.
The biggest hassle for me was that the last 1/4 of strip, was curled up from being in a roll.
 
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Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
I see you already have it in a hot water bath, I wonder if using a heat gun would help.
I thought I might try that Jacomo Sailor. It is taking so long to install, it has returned to the ambient 90° temperature, or colder after evaporation.
 
Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
Is the rub rail on the older boats thinner/different?
The biggest hassle for me was that the last 1/4 of strip, was curled up from being in a roll.
Not sure. This is the original and pretty narrow. I found a small nylon spatula with a slight curve that helped a lot. I actually wasted an hour at this yesterday with a flat metal spatula, but yanked it out in a huff. Only got a couple feet and it kept coming loose. Thanks for the heads up about the end. I read somewhere that a cooler was used, kept the water hot longer. Maybe I'll unroll it into a cooler tomorrow AND try a heat gun.
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,292
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Working a few inches at a time, I stuck the upper lip in place then pushed the lower lip in with a large flat blade screwdriver.
Same here, only I used a 1" wood chisel, which I had blunted on a grinding wheel. The job was still tedious, but not unbearable once I got the hang of it. I did have large blisters on both my thumbs before I figured out the chisel idea.

I found the bucket of water to be useless. The material would cool off in the time between soaking in the bucket and being shoved into the aluminum rail. Just do it in hot weather, preferably with the new insert lying in the sun.

A heat gun sounds good too. Heat gun and a helper would probably make short work of it.
 
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May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
been down this road, not on my Cat22 (yet), but on several powerboats...try a window screen spline roller...insert top first as said, roll in the bottom with the spline tool...
 
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Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
been down this road, not on my Cat22 (yet), but on several powerboats...try a window screen spline roller...insert top first as said, roll in the bottom with the spline tool...
A spline tool! Great idea - and I have one. I've been installing the bottom first. Okay, a heat gun, spline tool, unwind the roll and set the top first. Thank you, rpludwig, Gene Neill, Leeward Rail and Jacomo Sailor. There are times when I think I'm too old for this. I'd like to get this bucket in the drink before I throw in the towel. Your commiserations, advice and encouragement are inspiring. Thank you!
 
May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
SD...another tip from the past...the insert material will tend to "stretch" as you roll it in...when you get to the end (or ends) don't make your final cut(s) yet.......leave several inches hangin, let the material relax/contract for several days b4 you do the final cut(s)......
 
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T_Cat

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Aug 8, 2014
333
Catalina 22 1987 New Design. 14133 "LadyHawke" Modesto CA
IMG_0829.JPG
This is a repost of my rub rail installation...I hope it helps.
"Got it from Catalina Direct. Very easy to install. Soaked in the hottest water I could for 15 min. Drained and added new hot water with a squirt of dishwashing soap. Had a squirt bottle of water and dish soap. With the rubber still in the hot water I applied the water soap mixture to the rail and my hands. I placed the bottom of the rubber into the bottom of the rail and pressed the top in with my thumb. I kinda slide it along forcing the top into place. Just past the bow working down the other side I could feel the rubber starting to cool down and harden up. I added more scalding hot water and finished it up."

Russ
 
Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
Thank you, Russ.

Yesterday, it was 100° here in Sacramento. I had moved the vinyl insert from the bucket of soapy hot water to a cooler. I unwound it from the tight roll, too. Since it was so warm, I tried installing it by seating the top first and using the nylon spatula to seat the bottom bead without the warm soapy water. My arms didn't get as tired, but my thumbs hurt like hell. Only got a couple feet installed. But it seemed a bit easier. I have been using a big rubber mallet to seat the vinyl in the aluminum rail. It seems to have a small gap (~1/32") that I can't close by pressing. I will give the spline tool a shot today WITH hot soapy water. And maybe try the heat gun since 88° is the forecasted high today. Perhaps I can get my daughter to help.
 
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Sep 30, 2013
3,292
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
I don't know about the spline roller, but a nylon spatula sounds way too soft. A flat tip screwdriver will do it, but only a very short section at a time. My dull wood chisel was perfect.

Push the bottom up, primarily, not in. This is probably why the mallet is leaving a gap.

If you're using the right tool and pushing the right way, your thumbs won't get tired at all. You could do it with two broken thumbs if you had to. Your arms and shoulders may still catch hell though.

Personally, I wouldn't use soap, or lubricant of any kind, but perhaps there's more than one way to skin this proverbial cat.

You can do it! It's one of those things that, once you've done it once, you could do it again in half the time (or less). Wish I were there to help!
 
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Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
Thank you, Gene! The spline roller worked great for me. I'm nearly done. The sunset side went a lot quicker because I laid the insert along the deck. Warmed by the setting sun, it went in much easier and more rapidly. I broke out the heat gun on the last corner, the vinyl had stiffened in the shade and didn't want to make the turn.
Here are some photos as I finish up:
image.jpeg image.jpeg image.png image.png image.jpeg
 
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T_Cat

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Aug 8, 2014
333
Catalina 22 1987 New Design. 14133 "LadyHawke" Modesto CA
Back in the 80's a friend of mine worked at a window tint company. They always used dish soap when reinstalling the rubber gaskets around car windows after they applied the tint film. It allows a slippery surface that when dry does no damage to the rubber materials. And when you wash it the first time it washes away.
I think I did the whole 48 feet in a hour. Maybe they changed the dimensions of the rail. I didn't have any trouble with it.
Russ
 
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Apr 22, 2016
161
Catalina 22 Folsom Lake
I think I did the whole 48 feet in a hour. Maybe they changed the dimensions of the rail. I didn't have any trouble with it.
Russ
Hey Russ, I think my '73 uses a narrower, thicker vinyl insert than your '87. Here are the inserts as pictured on the Catalina Direct website:
image.jpeg
 
Apr 1, 2010
398
Cal 33 and Sea Pearl 21 . Crystal River, FL
im a little late to the party but i pulled my original tan rubrail to seal the deck/hull joint. re-installation was going TERRIBLE. after like an hr i had 6" back in (the original 1975 material was stiff as could be).

ended up dulling a 1" chisel to save my fingertips and the absolute biggest help was a heat gun. the heat gun made the rail almost gel consistency and SUPER easy to re-install!!! DEFINITELY use a heat gun if you have one!!
 
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