3m Clear Mask

I’m looking to put a clear protective sheet on the foredeck of my Nordlow to prevent the scratching caused by stowing spare paddles.

Some time ago 3m Clear Mask was recommended on this board. I’m asking which product have people found best and what source(s) for buying in small quanity but not as a car kit?


alternative to 3M
I have used 3M Clearmask before on a kayak and it is somehow suited to prevent skuffing the deck.

The problem with Clearmask is that is expensive and not all that tough.

I have recently found a better product for my needs in a marine chandlery.

It is a very wide self adhesive film used for the repair of Mylar sails. The film is tougher the Clearmask and cheaper. Unfortunately it does not contour to concave or convex surfaces too well since it does not stretch. I used it on the area where the paddle occasionally hits the deck and has so far proven very effective. There is no specific brand for that material (I also live in Australia) but I am sure there is a similar product available in USA.

Ghetto Solution…
I’ve used “Clear” duct tape at abrasion points with great success. It’s fiber reinforced, so it’s pretty durable. Easy to peal-off and replace when it gets worn. I’ve even used it as a make-shift keel strip (used several layers thick). It will wear through eventually, but you can peel it off and reapply new tape in just a few minutes. It also conforms fairly well to complex shapes. Certainly not as clear as the products mentioned above… but it’s cheap, multi-purpose and readily available.


Clear contact paper …

– Last Updated: Feb-21-08 7:32 PM EST –

I have a 18 1/2 ft long wood stripper I finished building early last summer and used clear contact paper under the front bungies where I store my Greenland paddles. I don't know why they call it contact "paper" as I've found it to be a clear, durable plastic film. Cut it to size with regular scissors, peel off the back, and stick it down carefully eliminating all air pockets and you're set.

I used the kind you buy in the grocery store. It works great and keeps the paddle blade from scratching up the varnish on my deck. I've had no issues with it wanting to peel off after being on there since June of last year. It easily conforms to the shape of the deck and hasn't worn through in a summer of fairly heavy paddling.

Cheap and readily available! Works great!


Very cool!
I’d used clear duct tape on the previous Nordlow’s fore deck. It did work okay though I am thinking of something less visible. The clear contact paper is intriquing,

Off Road Motorcycle Number Plate Film
Any decent motorcycle shop will carry these sheets. They come in a variety of colors. I’ve always used the clear on my boats for strike zones, etc. Stuff is bulletproof. Let sit in the warm sun for a bit, trim the edges to prevent excess residue, and lay on from the center, smoothing outward. Burnish smooth with a hard plastic tool handle or similar object. Any air bubbles can be pricked with an awl and burnished out. If there are no moto shops by you, try the following:


clear stuff.
I work at a bodyshop and i wouldn’t have a problem to give you some of the 3M clear stuff if you asked nicely :slight_smile: Also check with businesses(shops/on-spot guys) that do automotive decals and such, they’ll have leftovers i’m sure.

Scratches = love

Yes but…
Though for the most part, I find scratches indicative of good use, the fore deck of my Aquanaut where the spare splits have gouged the gel coat has started being of concern to me. I’m thinking a bit of protection at that point on the foredeck might be useful…

Yes, but…
is too much love a bad thing?

Scratches from spare paddles
Joe, I’ve got a pair of woody Euros with metal joints, and have had good luck “cuffing” a short segment of bicycle inner tube (ask your local bike shop for their throw-aways) over the joint ends-works slick.


And it comes off cleanly?
No residue or other effect on gel coat?