Re: rub rails on MC13

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Feb 20, 2005

"Kurt is kinda funny!"

I hear that a lot. What can it mean??

Dude! You want rub rails for a Mill Creek 13? Hah, we'll fix you right up... See my web site for more than any normal person ought to be able to endure regarding MC13 construction, and particularly this page for the rub rail thing:

Now here's the deal three years and six boats later: I LOVE RUBRAILS! They add immense visual pizzaz to the boat, and act superbly as splash deflectors. I put 'em on ALL my yaks.

Taper them, yes, yes, yes. And make 'em from contrasty wood, either really dark or really light colored. And make 'em thin. We're creating delicate looking wooden boat art here, that happens to be surprisingly robust and durable equipment, for all those who appreciate the great paradoxes in life.

Beware: rub rails look clunky when handled improperly. They need not be thicker than 1/8" to do every aspect of their job with perfect aplomb, especially as decoration. And this thinness even makes them easier to install -- such a deal!

Taper them mightily! Mine go from 3/4" to 3/16" over a four foot span, on either end. End them where it pleases your eye to do so; they can die short of the bow and/or stern by as much as a foot (or more?), or go all the way to the bitter end. They need not be symmetrical either; make 'em start 18" aft of the bow, and die within 6" of the stern. Use your imagination!

Always be aware that there are two major focal points to any boat: the bow, and the driver's seat. This means you ought to pay particular attention to the ends of your rub rails. Take care with the sandpaper in ending them nicely, wherever they end, and it will pay bigger than you think.

Note the bow (and stern) strips added to the extreme ends of my hull(s). They are almost ridiculously easy to add, look great, protect the end grain of the plywood against abrasion, and yet you hardly ever see them. But rub rails are a relative royal PITA -- especially with carefully fashioned tapers, but yet you see them often! What's up widdat?

I'm hardly the craftsman I'm said to be... I just go an extra mile on the little bitty details. Or is this what makes a craftsman? If so, it's a really easy way to fame and fortune, lemme tell you.

Cheers, Kurt

Pair O' Mill Creeks Project

In Response to: rub rails on MC13 by Lou on Feb 20, 2005