'Legends From The Norfolk Broads' is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook format.

Click here for details!

Installing D Section Rubbing Strakes for Enhanced Boating Safety

Articles and videos about boat restoration and maintenance.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 392
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:03 am

Installing D Section Rubbing Strakes for Enhanced Boating Safety

Post by NBF »

As we ushered in the New Year of 2022, I found myself amidst a nautical endeavour, navigating the high seas, and embarking on a mission to elevate the safety and resilience of my boat. The focal point of this maritime upgrade was the installation of a robust D-section rubbing strake, an undertaking long overdue but rife with challenges.

Setting the Stage: A Delayed Installation

The D-section rubbing strake had been slated for installation roughly two and a half years prior. However, a substantial fiberglass overhaul in a specific section of the boat had led to a postponement. Now, as the tides of time shifted, the endeavor was underway, showcasing a meticulous process.

The initial stages involved attaching a dry-fit section to the back, demonstrating a careful alignment of bolts that would later secure the strake firmly in place. Each bolt, when tightened, would engage with an internal metal strip, creating a formidable connection against the boat's interior, fortified with 36mm fiberglass-lined plywood.

Precision in Progress: Navigating the Challenges

The intricacies of the installation were evident as I meticulously worked on aligning each section. Balancing the symmetry not only along the sides but also at the front proved to be a task requiring constant adjustments. The challenge intensified due to the need for alignment with the boat's unique shape, demanding a vigilant eye for detail.

As the process unfolded, four coach bolts with concealed metal strips inside were strategically placed, forming the foundation of a structure poised to withstand the rigors of maritime life. The meticulous alignment process unfolded bolt by bolt, presenting challenges that required a blend of precision and patience.

Weathering the Storm: Challenges Amidst Rainy Days

A significant advantage surfaced during the tightening phase, as the rainy days of the season provided an opportune moment to retreat indoors. With panels removed, adjustments and fine-tuning became a rain-imbued ritual, a testament to the enduring dedication required for a seamless installation.

Section by Section: Overcoming Obstacles

The installation unfolded in sections, a strategic approach aimed at overcoming challenges and ensuring a flawless outcome. The initial dry fit presented its own set of hurdles, but with perseverance and adjustments, the strake began to take shape. The process involved strategic corrections, additional bolts, and the removal of previous dry-fit components.

Adapting to Winter Challenges: A Battle Against Cold and Time

Undeterred by the winter chill, the process continued, with each step revealing new facets of the installation's complexity. The rubbing strake's resilience was further tested as I grappled with alignment intricacies, working diligently to counter any deviations from the desired straightness.

The Final Stretch: From Telescopic Assistance to Articulated Alignment

In a bid for perfection, telescopic boat hooks were employed to achieve precise alignment, a makeshift solution to a challenging task. With sections aligned, masking tape served as a guide, marking corrections needed before the final installation. The intricacies of boat shape and the absence of a definitive edge added layers of complexity, requiring constant vigilance.

The Metal Inside: Essential Articulation for Durability

The metal components, meticulously prepared and strategically placed in three sections, provided the necessary articulation for a durable and resilient rubbing strake. The importance of metal reinforcement in accommodating the forces exerted during tightening was emphasized, ensuring a long-lasting and robust final product.

The Home Stretch: Corrections, Resin Application, and the Promise of Completion

As the project neared completion, meticulous corrections were made, ensuring the strake's alignment was as close to perfection as possible. Resin applications to seal holes from previous attempts underscored the dedication to a flawless finish. Despite the challenges, the anticipation of the strake's contribution to the boat's longevity and safety fueled the final stages of the installation.

Reflections on Form and Function: A Durable Solution

In reflection, the D-section rubbing strake emerged as a utilitarian solution, prioritizing functionality over aesthetics. While wood may boast attractiveness, the strake's formidable design and ability to absorb impact stood as a testament to its functional prowess. The challenges faced during installation were outweighed by the assurance of enhanced safety and longevity for the boat.

In conclusion, the journey to install the D-section rubbing strake was a testament to the resilience required in maritime upgrades. From weathering the elements to adapting to unique challenges of boat shape, each step underscored the commitment to a durable and reliable solution. As the strake stood poised for its maiden voyage, the promise of years of service and safety for the boat became a reality.
Webmaster of the Norfolk Broads Forum
Post Reply