canoe repair

I recently purchased a 10 year old Penobscot 16. The canoe was heavily used as a rental at an outfitter in the BWCA and has a couple of layers of kevlar skid plates that I would like to remove and replace. Is it possible to remove the old skid plates?

haven’t tried it
My guess is you would do best by grinding them off with a belt sander or disk sander. If you are going to be applying a new skid plates, all you would need to do is get it down to roughly the contour of the hull surface. If you do this, take enough breaks to make sure you aren’t generating so much heat that you damage the foam core of the ABS.

Maybe someone else has a better idea.

danger, danger, royalex melts at 220 degrees! But… if you could find a way to isolate heat onto the kevlar, you could get the glue soft and scrape it off. I wonder if you could use a clothes iron, directly on the kevlar? Gringing might be the best, but it is not something that sounds like fun.

good luck!


protective gear needed
Whether grinding or using heat, you will need protective equipment, especially if you have any allergies or respiratory issues.

There are reports of increased sensitivity after one or two exposures. So “I never had a problem before” is no excuse to take chances.

Eye protection in the form of goggles or safety glasses and or visor.

Breathing face mask with both particulate and organic vapor filters.

Skin protection including gloves, long sleeves and pants.

This may sound like overkill. However, I have worked in hazardous environments all my working careers, and all it takes is one exposure to feel some negative effects.

All this being said, have fun with your project, and let us know how it comes out by posting results. My Royalex Penobscot has many battle scars, is showing some foam core, and I need to do some repairs myself.


Can’t you just smooth it out with epoxy?
It might be a lot easier to make the skid plate you have better by fairing them with an epoxy filler mix.

It seems like you want to do a lot of work to make a used canoe pretty.

I’d suggest the best thing to do is use the heck out of it and if you want something pretty get some nicer wood paddles!