Alternative to Keel Strips

-- Last Updated: Feb-11-07 2:41 PM EST --

At the risk of starting another P&H Guerilla marketing thread, Garth Schmeck just posted a interesting thread on the P&H Blog (

For those who don't know Garth, he owns Penguin Paddlers, a shop in Ca, and specializes in ultra-light lay-ups...thus the need for a highly durable keel strip. His solution: the same spray on liner as is used on truck beds.

An interesting concept!

--Mark (P&H Team)

Very interesting
I wonder how long they last. Does saltwater and sun degrade them? I wonder how they’d adhere (and look) on a plywood/glass boat? If they do degrade, can you sand them off and apply a new strip?

I’d email garth directly…
with any questions. There’s a link to his email/website on the blog. From his post, it sounds like they stand up to all of that.

spray on bedliner
there is a company that makes concrete domes to live in…Monolithic…as an option to elastomeric paint you can have them cover the dome with the same material that is used in pick up beds…next time you’re around a truck with this try to scratch it with you fingers…of course that doesnt say anything about UV degradation but its tough stuff.

can be done later in life …
i know Garth has been doing this for some time - the nice thing about it as well - it can be done later in the boats life - if needed.

from Jim @ P&H

Never seen it, but
there’s a guy here in RI (Carl Ladd) that has been repairing boats for a while, and he has evidently started using those truck-bed spray liners as a keel strip when he does other boat repairs. Pretty popular with the rock-garden paddlers in the bay here. I don’t know how long he has been doing this, but I’d trust his judgement.


is it smooth or textured
The pickup bed stuff is textured.

Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures
Yes - Sam and Carl @Osprey - Very good folks.

I think you can get the bed liner stuff in different textures…don’t quote me -

Jim @ P&H.

Non - Non Slip ?
Seems like a neat idea but a “non slip” surface might not be best for boats.

Is there something like this with a slippery surface?

Clear Bra?



keel strip
best way fwd. - having keel strip (kevlar) installed at time of production…you can go clear or colored gel coat.

i think the bed liner is an awesome “alternative” - and i’m sure there are different textures you could use. i’m currently looking at spraying the the interior of my jeep (floors, etc) - the stuff is pretty versatile.

jim@ P&H

hey jim
By Jeep, do you mean Wrangler? If so, how far along are you into exploring this option? We have a wrangler and had the same idea but hadn’t looked into it yet. I’m wondering about cost and prep.

the little jeep -

guessing around $500 for interior - if i strip all the stuff out…etc. etc.

the best of glass & rotomold, combined!

keel strip
Carl put this keel strip on my husband’s Tempest165 in the fall. It not only is durable but it also looks nice. I’m probably going to have him put one on my RomanyLV and Vela. The color won’t match – as far as I know there’s just one shade: black – but it’s better than holing the keel in a rock garden or two.

I agree – Carl and his wife Sam are great. Part of the reason I can even remotely paddle in rocks (let alone roll) is due to their instruction.

is it smooth or textured?

All the ones I’ve seen were textured
Of course, they’re textured for application as a truck bedliner so gear doesn’t slide around as much. Might be doable in a smooth surface.

Another downside would be weight. The stuff is heavy.

How much would this cost? Kevlar kits are getting expensive these days, I didn’t know the price of this material. Does it come in strips? Or does it paint on?

Great Idea…
I think that is a great idea! I may consider this myself. I don’t think that the texture would be a problem in terms of sliding over rocks, etc. My only concern would be with creating extra drag in the water. Of course the effect would be minimal, but if you are the kind that really likes to paddle fast then perhaps this would be a factor–not sure. What do you think?


bed liner keel
check locally - pricing may range - i think garth gets his done @ $114 - your local shop may vary - i’d encourage you to tape it off and clean the surface - this would save $$ -


Smooth Bedliner
Most paint-on bedliner products come textured with rubber granules in the polyurethane mixture to produce a non-slip surface. However, Durabak offers a smooth option for their bedliner which would be a better choice for canoes. I’m considering painting several coats on the ends of my worn canoe rather than installing the typical fiberglass/kevlar grunge pad. It is tough stuff and should make a good renewable, sacraficial coating for high wear areas. I’ve had good experience with this stuff on a multitude of surfaces, but haven’t tried it on my canoe yet. Expensive per gallon, but a little would go a long way if you applied it judiciously. Pour any remainder you have into a smaller airtight container since the stuff hardens if there’s too much air in the can.