Okay, so I picked up a nice “certified pre-owned” Royalex Dagger Reflection some time back. A slightly annoying looking wear-and-tear rip is at stern corner on the hull, and I don’t want it to go any deeper…What’s the best unobstructive (as in, won’t disturb the paddling one iota)method of weld job? (PS-I got plenty of epoxy, g-flex and 6 oz. glass already on-hand from an another boat job.) Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Either plain weave fiberglass cloth or Dynel (5oz/sq yd) will make a much nicer abrasion plate than Kevlar felt material, and in either case the edges can be nicely feathered. If you already have fiberglass cloth I would use it. One layer of 6 ounce/square yard fiberglass with the weave of the cloth completely filled with epoxy and sanded smooth will stand barely proud of the adjacent hull and be very slick.
I generally make a template of the abrasion plate out of packing paper or something else that maintains its shape and use that to trace out the outline of the pattern on my cloth. If you cut your cloth on the bias, it will fit around the curvature of the stem better and have less tendency to fray at the edges.
G Flex will generally result in a stronger bond to ABS. If you want a maximum bond you can try to remove the outer vinyl layer of the Royalex with a sharp wood chisel. You can also sand it off but it takes more time and effort than you might imagine, if you have never done it. If the vinyl does not want to come off easily, just go ahead and bond to the vinyl.
I like to add graphite powder to the epoxy when I apply abrasion plates. The black color makes for a nice contrast that I think looks pretty good on any color Royalex canoe. It will also provide for some additional abrasion resistance and UV protection. Of course, you can also paint the abrasion plate once the epoxy is cured well.
Here is a thread on another forum that has lots of application suggestions and photos of abrasion plates that may or may not be helpful:
You da Man, pblanc!!!