Re: Rub rail rubber gutter
I remove mine most times I haul to thoroughly clean the channel below and polish the cap rail. I have seen no change in its elasticity - it is incredibly durable stuff and, I'm sure, has not shrunk nor lost its elasticity - it's just not stretched out enough - read on.
When you reinstall it it takes a while to come up with just the right twisting/inserting technique, but not difficult - about a half hour per side. I use a blunt nut driver to push down every few inches on the rubber as I reinstall it, although fingers work just fine. It does stretch as much as you want so you can have it be tight against the aft end of the channel (water will still flow off the end, that is, not puddle on the rubber).
I start at the bow for reinstalling and as I approach the stern I make sure it is coming out a bit long (just pull it aft) - then I just push it a bit forward for a perfect fit.
I have not painted it but found a new Armorall product called Trim and Plastic restorer that lasts a couple of months - better than anything else I've tried. Then just redo from the dinghy when you want.
If you just want to dip your toe in, before you remove the whole strip, try removing, say, just the aft 10 feet, then stretch it a bit when putting it back and see how it works for you.
Craig Briggs, SN#68 Sangaris
---In amelyachtowners@..., <mdondra@...> wrote :
What has been the relative success rate in removing and reinstalling the rubber gutter on the top of the rub rail. Do they lose their elasticity and become too stiff to reinstall. And at what age was it when this was successfully or unsuccessfully done. Our 15 year old gutter has shrunk about an inch (at the stern). We would like to remove it to paint the rub rail, and then reinstall. Perhaps an impossible mission.