Rubbing Strakes

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Andy Reilly 4 years, 9 months ago.

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    Alex Alderton

    I am the new Equipment & Safety officer for UWE Bristol’s university sailing club.
    I am looking to add some Rubbing Strakes to our 6 fireflys, in the hope it protects the gunwhales a little.

    First of all I’m looking for a guide on cost and where to get them from. I also was hoping to do this in plastic although I understand from a glance at the rules timber is required for competition. Cost being the key factor here,the cheaper the better.
    Secondly I am to be considered a novice when it comes to boat repair so any hints and tips for this job would be much appreciated.


    Andy Reilly

    Should we be offering congratulations or commiserations for taking such a role?
    Adding some sacrificial wooden gunwales is not too taxing and will certainly help protect the boats. Given that the wood is there to get a beating it is not worth going for anything expensive but I will have a look at what could make a good choice. Otherwise most of the bits needed are more likely to come from a wood merchant than Harken 🙂 The only thing is that you will need to buy 72 stainless steel screws and these are much cheaper on the internet then looking in any chandler.
    I will have a look at one of the plastic boats and see if I can offer some ideas on the woods and lengths.


    Alex Alderton

    Many Thanks for your reply.
    I suspect based on the pictures I have of the boats it is commiserations, although you’ll be hard pushed to find me not in high spirits, with this many hull repairs to do in my garage!

    I was wondering if you’d found anything? As my reason for posting was I had run out of places to look.

    Once again, many Thanks



    Andy Reilly

    Hi, I had a look at a Rondar boat tonight and measured the gunwhales. The wood capping on the gunwhales is 13 feet long and is curving in 2 directions.
    I took a couple of pictures that show how Rondar used one piece of wood with a step in in it. I understand that some institutions build the wood up in a couple of layers. That is probably easier to manage and bend into shape.
    If you really want some fun, have a look at wood steaming. It is incredible what fun you can have with a wall paper stripper and plastic dustbin! By using a steamer you can mould the wood to the shape you want without having to fight with it.

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