A composite question

I’m thinking of glueing a large ensolite pad in the bottom of my kevlar and fiberglass canoes. I would use silicone,which Im have used before so the glue doesn’t worry me,but my question is; would the area in between possibly staying wet a lot harm the composite surface?


Likely not
I think the biggest danger would be freezing water / expanding ice.

I think the second biggest danger would be stinky mildew.

Plenty of composite (sail)boats stay wet 365 days per year.

Silicone is a pain
Silicone is not a particularly good adhesive. More of a sealant. So it doesn’t stick very well to anything (relatively speaking). You’d probably get a much better bond with contact cement.

I would use contact cement instead.
I’ve never seen the solvent in contact cement have an effect on either vinylester or epoxy canoes, but for the best bond it’s still important to let the stuff dry thoroughly before pressing together. Just stay toward the outside of the timing instructions.

I’ve been using the peel and stick minicell and neoprene pads on my new composite boat. They seem to be sticking well. Overpriced but convenient.

Can’t you get a pad of the stuff and
form fit it in?It will wear out and then you have a mess.

Not to steal the OP’s post, but
where do you get peel and stick minicell stuff ?

And does it come in various thicknesses?



I have used clear silicone bathroom caulk to fasten my small knee pads for years.Works great and you can peel the reminants off if you want to return it to stock. Again, my concern was dampness against the inner,non gelcoated hull. With a large area(like a freestyle pad) covered I wonder if any water that got in would ever get out? I have seen fiberglass turn milky from water and don’t want to damage my hull.


Jack- I go over to REI to get pre-
adhesived pads. I think they’re 1/4" or 3/16" thick. I also got a roll of 14" neoprene with adhesive backing. Tough stuff, better non-slip surface. I’ve seen, and used, pre-stick contoured knee pads. I think Mike Yee has one version.

I’m sure that a careful contact cement job will have a longer lasting result, but the pre-stick products have worked well enough for me.

I lost all four peel-and-stick knee
pads from my Royalex tandem on the highways, one at a time, after only two seasons. Surfaces were clean and dry at application, but the canoe is stored outside and does suffer many freeze/thaw cycles annually.