Cleaning Rub Rails

I was recently asked by an inflatable boat owner how to clean the rub rails on his inflatable boat.
Often in a restoration project, the rub rails, which protect the boat pontoons from abrasion, look as tired and worn out as the boat material.
Tuff-Coat boat paint is NOT to be applied to these rub rail areas. The material is usually made from a high impact rubber or plastic composite and unlike Hypalon or PVC, the Tuff paint will not bond to rub rail material.
In extreme cases, if the rub rail is severely damaged, you may be looking at a costly repair – by a certified repair shop. But usually a very simple cleaning trick is all that is necessary to ‘restore’ life to the rub rails.

Simply apply a small amount of Xylene to a rag, and with a little elbow grease, you can rub the rub rail back to a lustre, that actually looks very decent. Make sure you do not use too much Xylene and that you do not abrade the rub rail material with too much aggressive rub/friction action. You will find a little will do just fine.

Clean Rub Rail with Xylene

My Rub Rail Half Cleaned

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1 comment so far

  1. allinflatableboats on

    What if the rub rail has a lot of mold in it? What would you use to clean that off?


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