The rub rail is a piece of trim that goes around the outside perimeter of the boat. In many cases, they are decorative. In a working boat they serve an important purpose.

I really like the aluminum trim pieces you see on classic boats. They look sporty and add a touch of class. Unfortunately, it won’t work for me.

Pleione is going to be a dinghy; a tender to my sailboat, Pleiades. I don’t want the metal trim banging against the side of my sailboat when she comes alongside. I need something softer.

For a long time I’ve been rattling an idea around in my head. I could cut strips out of PVC pipe. Durable, but soft enough not to leave marks when it bumps another boat.

I tried a piece of black pipe first. Unfortunately, it left little black scuff marks on Pleiades in bump tests. Pleione is going to be dark blue and white . . . why not white PVC?

I bought a special small tooth blade for my table saw, and screwed a piece of corner molding to the pipe to hold it straight in the saw. After a few cuts . . . I had a nice piece of PVC trim, 7/8ths wide, and almost a 1/4 inch thick.

One long tube and a table saw . . .

After a couple of cuts . . .

I just need to trim the sides to make them narrower, and put an edge on.

After a little sanding . . . they'll be ready to install!