I am attempting to replace my rub rail that has sustained a lot of damage from a PO, either multiple docking incidents or one really bad one. Unfortunately I can not just replace the rubber insert - I also need to fix the aluminum extrusion as well, which is dented in multiple locations on one side (see photo). I did buy both the rubber insert as well as a 6.5' section of extrusion from CD, so I have the parts.
I read through everything I could find on the forum related to this job, but some of the info seems to be conflicting and I'm not sure what to expect. One person suggested that you could just knock out any dents that were present in the existing rail, but I would have to disagree that this is possible. I have attempted to do this, and I believe that I have a better chance of ripping out the screws holding the rail to the boat than I do of straightening the rail itself. This leads me to believe that I have to remove the damaged section of the rail altogether and replace it. I read in a post from quite some time ago (and I haven't been able to find it again), that someone else attempted to do this and found the through-bolts impossible to remove due to access to the nuts from the inside (if I remember correctly), and they ultimately ended up cutting around the through-bolts with a hole saw and leaving them in place, then drilled larger holes in the new rail to slip over top of the through-bolts. It's possible that I read this elsewhere, but I thought it was on this forum.
I'm curious if anyone has removed the aluminum rub rail, how difficult it was, and were you able to remove the through-bolts to do so?
1993 Catalina MK1.5, Hull 1238
LaSalle, MI (Lake Erie)