Rail fittings are made from two materials: zamak (a zinc-aluminum alloy) and stainless steel. Zamak fittings have a highly polished look when new, but only a modest amount of corrosion resistance when subjected to saltwater, so we recommend them for fresh water environments only. Stainless steel fittings are stronger and have outstanding corrosion resistance, at a premium price. Match materials between system components to minimize the effects of galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals.
For safety, rails fittings should be thru-bolted to the deck, using substantial backing plates. While it is tempting and convenient to use sheet metal screws, machine screws with locking nuts will be far stronger. Plenty of sealant around the fastener holes, especially on the shanks of the fasteners, will help prevent leaks and water damage to the hull material. And a small dab of Loctite on the setscrews will ensure that your railing stays together for many seasons.
- Type 316 Stainless Steel
- Chrome Zamak
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