I am working on an older aluminum Duracraft boat that has many of the rub rail rivets sheared or just broken. There is no damage to the rub rail or hull, just the rivets are broke or loose.
My question is: Is there a better way to attach the rub rail? The rub rail on this boat actually forms the top rail of the boat, it's square edged and rolls over the top forming a ledge. The rivet heads are exposed all around the inside perimeter.
I was thinking of just using stainless or even just aluminum pop style 3/16" rivets to resecure the rail. There are a few spots where the rail is wallowed out and the rivets simply pulled through that will need washers, but they will be covered by the rubber insert.
The hull is an odd design, there is a 3/8" plywood floor which sets on an usecured wood frame on the bottom of the boat, then there is a set of 4 aluminum side supports that go from the wood floor to the rub rail. The supports are very flat and are covered by two side boxes that actually seam to stiff the gunwales because without them the boat has no side strength at all.
I was thinking about re-arraging the layout a bit but I think I am pretty much stuck with the side boxes or I would have to make some sort of side structure on each side to support the gunwales. With the side braces and boxes removed, there is nothing but single wall aluminum on each side. The hull below the floor has four full length aluminum stringers and several cross braces that come up and meet the floor at about the same point where the top braces meet the top of the floor.
I am in the process of a complete redo on this boat, I need to make sure the inner hull and all structural points are covered before I turn it over and strip and repaint the bottom. With the side boxes, brackets and rub rail loose, the hull has no strength and would most likely collapse if lifted or handled. With the boxes riveted in, the sides are rock solid. I will most likely have to leave them in and simply make covers for them as rod boxes. The right side is a long narrow insulated livewell. the boat is cable steer with a forward tiller, I'd also like to find a more modern steering set up for this. I may custom make a tiller system using a rotary steering box and teleflex cable.