[Rhodes22-list] Tessilmare Radial Flexible Rub Rail

Lowe, Rob rlowe at vt.edu
Thu Aug 25 08:56:47 EDT 2016

Looks pretty good!  This product looks more robust that what comes with the boat.  Very nice.  We appreciate you taking the time to document your efforts too.  All this goes into the archives for future use. - Rob

Rob Lowe

-----Original Message-----
From: Rhodes22-list [mailto:rhodes22-list-bounces at rhodes22.org] On Behalf Of Graham Stewart
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2016 12:23 AM
To: 'The Rhodes 22 Email List'
Subject: [Rhodes22-list] Tessilmare Radial Flexible Rub Rail

For those who might be replacing their rub rail I thought I would post some notes and a picture of my boat after installing the Tessilmare Radial Flexible Rub Rail system.(see: http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=56893 

The system comes in two parts: a plastic track and a rubber bumper. The track comes in 6' lengths and the rubber rail is continuous in the length you choose. I ordered 55' and that worked out fine with about 3 feet extra.

The primary reason I choose this system was because installing it can be accomplished working alone. I didn't want to have to find and then depend on someone to help. Unlike the more popular Tacho system the rubber rail does not need to be stretched during installation. In fact, I was able to install it alone so that worked out fine. However, the time it took was considerably longer than what was implied in the sales material.

The track goes on with screws. It is fairly soft plastic and if the screws are driven in too tight the track bulges around the screw and this deformation shows when the rubber rail is installed. As it turned out, and in spite of various approaches,  I was not able to find the perfect setting where the screw was sufficiently tight without creating the bulge. The only way I could avoid the bulges in the rubber rail was to use a box cutter to shave off the sides of each bulge on the track. That was not difficult but it was time consuming. You can see in the attached picture slight dimples in the rubber rail where each screw is located. You only see them when you look along the rail with the light reflecting off the surface.

They recommend screws but say that rivets could also be used. Rivets would compress the track much more tightly than screws and would bulge the track considerably more so I don't see rivets as being practical. So unlike the original rub rail I was not able to use rivets to install the rail and secure the hull/deck join at the same time. I riveted the join first and then installed the track with screws. I used 1 1/2" screws but should have used 1" screws.

Screws go in easily and are spaced every 6 inches. After drilling the hole for the screw I squeezed a dab of sealant into the hole. I suspect that had little effect in creating a seal - but I can't be sure.

The sales material implied that the track can be bent around corners and the bow without the use of heat. Once you get the kit you find out that a bend in excess of a 40 mm radius required the application of heat. In the case of the Rhodes the bow and both ends of the transom are too sharp to avoid using the heat. That said, it does not require a lot of heat. I used my heat gun on the low setting and moved it back and forward along the track while I slowly  bent it around the bend. However, you need to put a length of wire under both tabs in the track to avoid having them  lose their shape and make it impossible to fit the rubber rail later. I used pieces of coated clothes line wire and that worked perfectly. 

To install the rubber rail you bend it back to spread the tabs that grab onto the track and roll the rail forward. By the time I was finished I had developed the method and was progressing well but it took me a long time and multiple tries at first. It can be done alone. If someone is there to help they can manage the length of rail. I did this on a hot day and I suspect thaat made the rail material much more pliable. I am not sure that I would have been able to install the rail had it been cold.

At the sharp corners a gap forms between the rubber rail and the boat so I filled the space with black Boat Life sealant.

The kit comes with plastic caps for the end. You can either put two end caps on or use a join piece to end them together. I put a screw through the ends of the rubber rail to make sure it  did not shrink back and then attached the link piece with a screw. The problem I ran into, however, was that the upper pintel on the rudder would not clear the cap. After considering various options I decided to shorten the pintel pin, (or is that called the gudgeon?), just enough to allow the rub rail to be cleared and then drilled a hole in the pin so that I could secure it with a pull pin. That seemed to work fine.

Unlike the Taco system, there is no insert that goes into the track that will give a two-colour look - which can be attractive.

Attached is a picture of the rail attached. Not having installed the Tacho system I really can't say whether the Tessilmare is better or easier to install. Certainly the rubber rail seems beefy and should provide good protection.

Graham Stewart
Agile. R22, 1976
Kingston Ontario Canada

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