The Blue View - Repairing the Rub Rail


When we hauled out for our annual bottom maintenance here in Mandurah, I misjudged our approach a skosh, and dinged up the end of the starboard rub rail. Getting into and out of concrete pens has always been an issue for me.

As is usually the case when we haul out, I had to remove the forestay and furler in order to fit into the Travelift, and I secured them to the outside of the lifelines on the port side. This made them vulnerable to being damaged if I got too close to the port side of the pen, so as I approached, I stayed as close to the starboard side of the pen as I dared – which turned out to be a little too close. Oh well, this wasn't the first time and undoubtedly won't be the last time the brightwork on Nine of Cups got dinged. I've bumped into haul out facilities in lots of different places as a matter of fact – Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, New Zealand, and now in Western Australia.


in process


I had the opportunity to make the repair one sunny day while Marcie was back in the U.S. I couldn't find teak in the size I needed, but I did find some jarrah. This is the same local wood I used to make the chocks for our Bruce anchor, and it is quite a nice wood for exterior use. Once it weathers, the color is also quite close to the color of the teak of the rub rail, so it ought to blend in well.

I removed the damaged section and carefully cut the jarrah to fit. I'm not the greatest finish carpenter, especially when my tools are limited to a jigsaw and a handsaw, but the fit wasn't too bad - at least when viewed from 20 feet or so.

I had planned to use epoxy and screws to secure the new piece in place. As I was working on it, two new friends, Ross and Cliff happened by, and after we finished discussing the general state of world affairs, the weather, and other important topics, the conversation turned to my project. Ross felt it might be a mistake to use epoxy to join the two types of wood together. Jarrah, as it turns out, swells considerably when it gets wet – much more than teak. If I epoxied the jarrah to the teak, the swelling might cause the joint or the teak to crack. After a bit more discussion, our consensus was that I should bond the two woods with screws and a more flexible adhesive like Sikaflex. Local knowledge is a good thing.