Lifting rails pros and cons

lobster12

Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Posts
68
Likes
12
They seem to be popular with a lot of guys in the Maine area but you don't see many in Massachusetts. How much improvement in fuel economy and speed do they provide. I am not crazy about drilling holes in my boat particularly ones below the waterline. On the only boat in our harbor that has them the port rail is broken and has not been repaired for over three years. Not sure why but I suspect that the repair will be quite involved meaning the attachment bolts are buried from access inside the hull.

I never plan on racing my boats so the WOT speed is not important to me. Do the lifting rails make a big difference on cruising speed and fuel economy?
 

lobster12

Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Posts
68
Likes
12
Not much interest in lifting rails pro or con! Don't know what to make of that?
 

Overkill

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Posts
169
Likes
79
Location
Mid coast, Maine
Boat Make
44 Calvin Beal
I think they can improve speed and fuel economy when properly placed by lifting the hull but they are noisy, wet and easily broken by travel lifts, ice ( or anything drifting around) and are really hard on traps.
 
Last edited:

captainlarry84

Rear Admiral
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Posts
1,295
Likes
239
Location
Freeport NY
Boat Make
KristenFormer Charter Captain
Lifting rails...sometimes the work & sometimes they don't. Most are made of PVC which are bolted on in areas below the water line. On haul outs & launchings the travel lift slings take there toll. Basically when you think of it lifting rails change a soft chine boat into a hard chine. In some case that can be good & in some case it can be bad. So I am not that sure they are always a good idea. Plus they are hit & miss, the rails up or down as little as 1' can make a big difference. So I would use great caution before installing a set.
 

plowin

Rear Admiral
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Posts
1,896
Likes
2,011
Location
Newbury
Boat Make
33' flowers
I have them on my boat and they provide great lift and create less drag which obviously equals efficiency but if I were hauling gear all winter long and was going to encounter ice I do not believe I would have them.
 

Toolate

Admiral
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Posts
6,474
Likes
2,388
Location
Southwestern CT
First Name
Ben
Boat Make
1998 36' Sabre Express CAT 3116TA's, 2015 ROS Scotia 16 Etec 50
They seem to be popular with a lot of guys in the Maine area but you don't see many in Massachusetts. How much improvement in fuel economy and speed do they provide. I am not crazy about drilling holes in my boat particularly ones below the waterline. On the only boat in our harbor that has them the port rail is broken and has not been repaired for over three years. Not sure why but I suspect that the repair will be quite involved meaning the attachment bolts are buried from access inside the hull.

I never plan on racing my boats so the WOT speed is not important to me. Do the lifting rails make a big difference on cruising speed and fuel economy?

How fast do you run? I am no expert but I think they would be next to useless below 16kts or so.

Have read a lot around here about installing them with Plexus adhesive too. No bolts/screws.
 

lobster12

Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Posts
68
Likes
12
How fast do you run? I am no expert but I think they would be next to useless below 16kts or so.

Have read a lot around here about installing them with Plexus adhesive too. No bolts/screws.

Great feedback! I am looking to get a good efficient cruise speed anything over 18 kts would be great. 20 Kts is the goal but fuel burn has to be acceptable. Having heard what you and others have said it looking like no lifting rails for me. The Plexus adhesive sounds interesting is there anyone out there with experience with this product?
 

plowin

Rear Admiral
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Posts
1,896
Likes
2,011
Location
Newbury
Boat Make
33' flowers
I have a good friend that used the smart rail system on his boat and it worked great. They are still on the boat and do not have a single break in them. One thing worth mentioning is that he does not fish in the winter ny more so ice is not a concern.One nice thing about the plexus smart rail system that I like is that there are no hull penetrations necessary. On my boat they are thru bolted and then glassed over on the inside, zero access if there is ever a problem.
 

Brooksie

Rear Admiral
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Posts
1,986
Likes
1,153
Location
Cape Cod
Boat Make
Bruno-Stillman 35
I changed my wood spray rails years ago, quarter guards too. The spray rails go almost to midships and both were made from 2 layers of mahagony decking with epoxy between. The first layer was shaped then backed out where it met the hull with a plane w/ a convex iron. These were traced on the hull the hull was cleaned, masked, & abraded and they were stuck on with 5200 and 3 drywall screws. A week later, the screws were removed and the second layer shaped and added also with 3 screws,later removed. Then epoxy coated and painted. 12 yrs later they are still there like the day they were made.
 

Toolate

Admiral
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Posts
6,474
Likes
2,388
Location
Southwestern CT
First Name
Ben
Boat Make
1998 36' Sabre Express CAT 3116TA's, 2015 ROS Scotia 16 Etec 50
Again no expert or experience but have read about plexus adhesive being used to adhere them (I wasnt talking about the plexus rails mentioned later if there is such a thing, dont know).

Search that word and I am sure some threads will come up. I would like to hear some other opinions on my guess at speed before you decide too.
 

CEShawn

Vice Admiral
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Posts
3,326
Likes
1,224
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Boat Make
Downeastless
I really think they can be an improvement on efficiency, plain and simple. The problem is doing them right, so they do not drag and that is the tough problem. If you evaluate the job, the materials compared to fuel at $4.00 gallon multiplied by hours, I bet its probably on a list of things you can do to save fuel. The issue is its not something that is going to wow you, its probably saving a few dollars at the pump but its those things that add up.

I want to put them on my RP35 but haven't figured out where. I saw one naval arch somewhere, posting probably on here too, where they put large rails on and made a HUGE difference. They ran the boat infront of a camera, over and over again to see where to place them...
 

richardh

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Posts
144
Likes
4
Location
vinalhaven,maine
Boat Make
to many
if put on right they don't fetch up on traps and the weather don't bother them where i am and we put the days in with the wether
 

Toolate

Admiral
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Posts
6,474
Likes
2,388
Location
Southwestern CT
First Name
Ben
Boat Make
1998 36' Sabre Express CAT 3116TA's, 2015 ROS Scotia 16 Etec 50
If you want lifting rails, why wouldn't you just build a hard chine boat to start with? :confused:

In my case, I could buy them and install them or make some out of wood or glass and install them and the only cost would be the materials- good option for people who have boats with round chines and the ability to improve them. Pretty sure there a lot of round chine boat owners that love them for that reason.

Any consensus on the speed concept? I think its an important point.
 

dexterdog

Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Posts
26
Likes
3
Location
Kensington,NH
I think the speed all depends on the hull itself. I used to own a 36'x 9'9" Vinal Beal wood boat with a 205 Isusu that was all railed up when I bought it. I don't believe I would have gotten the speed out of her that I did without the rails, but that's just my opinion.
 

CEShawn

Vice Admiral
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Posts
3,326
Likes
1,224
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Boat Make
Downeastless
I've heard, perhaps we can get an answer here is, if you do not end it a few feet from the stern, you can have issues? Not sure if thats true because I think my old ones were like 8" from the stern is where they stopped.

I do know the company that makes the one I want, sold in Hamiltons, is actually right in Wareham/Taunton and sells direct.

I still think you are talking about speed increase in the decimal places but overtime it pays for itself, not sure if the concept is gotten there with people. Look at airlines, they took pillows off some flights because multiple pillows multiplied by many planes, equals cost savings.
 

petrel

Rear Admiral
Joined
Dec 17, 2011
Posts
1,583
Likes
381
Location
NC
Boat Make
56' DMR, 31' BHM
If you put in the hours, it will add up. There are a lot of people here who will never put the time in (on the water.)
 

Toolate

Admiral
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Posts
6,474
Likes
2,388
Location
Southwestern CT
First Name
Ben
Boat Make
1998 36' Sabre Express CAT 3116TA's, 2015 ROS Scotia 16 Etec 50
I mean the speed at which they might even start to make a difference. Cant imagine they matter at 7-10 kts too much.

I also not really a fan of the idea of plastic bolted or screwed below the water line. The risk of a trailer or slings breaking them off to me seems like too much to make them worth it.

Currently dreaming of a way to mold them onto my hull in fiberglass so I dont have to worry about the slings or screws/bolts. Thinking of making a form with a rectangular cross section about 1 1/2 x 3 or so then scribing one side to the hull. After that wax it up and make some glass rails in my shop by filling it with fiberglass and resin. Then grind out the footprint on the boat and glue them on with epoxy. Then grind the outside edge to the shape I want after the form is off. Solid glass- probably need some tabs to really hold it.
 
Top Bottom