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FAQ Friday #25 - The strips that go from the tube onto the hull have come off. Are they important?

The strips which go from the tube down onto the hull are usually called 'attachment strips', 'fitting strips' or more specifically 'underneath strips'. They are made of the same material as the tube, so a PVC tubed boat will have PVC strips and a RIB that has hypalon tubes will have hypalon strips. They're usually the same colour as the tubes, but it's not uncommon to see older boats with contrasting coloured strips. For example an orange tubed Humber with black underneath strips.

If you have slide on, or bolt on tubes, you won't have strips which are bonded to the hull. 

Have a look at the diagrams on Tilley Inflatable's website which show a variety of RIB tube fitting styles. The attachment strips are something that all the glued on fitting methods have in common.

Whilst tubes are bonded to the hull, the external attachment strip increases the bonded area and strengthens the tube fitting. The strips also prevent water from trying to get between the hull and the tube.

I've heard a few horror stories of tubes detaching from the hulls. This has typically occurred in the bows, whilst underway, and typically starts with the underneath strips being in poor condition or having come loose and possibly even being being poorly repaired.

So yes, these strips are important.

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