Drilling into kevlar...

I’m wondering if there is anything in particular I should know before drilling into kevlar in order to install a clamcleat? Thanks…

I have not done it
But I would think you should put tape on both sides where you are going to drill. That is all my wood work experience tells me, now get information from people who know about this stuff.


Kevler had a very high tensil strength
and it does not cut well at all. It loves to entangle blades and bits. And then it fuzzes.

Yes, do use tape. If you have a scrap piece of Kevlar composite, practice on it first. If not at least drill a smaller (much smaller) hole than you need, to practice. Always, always use the sharpest tool you can. Dull always equals a mess with Kevlar. There is a particular rotozip “blade” that did well on Kevlar, but for the life of me I can not remember which it was.

But it is really not that big of a deal. Just drill the hole and install the hardware.



seal the hole before installing hardware
Drill your holes, Mick is right, it will fuzz up. Seal all holes with epoxy. Install hardware after epoxy cures.

Sounds like wooden boats
Sounds like what you do on wooden boats. Drill a slightly larger hole than you need, seal it with epoxy and redrill the size you need. I have drilled very small holes in kevlar with out a problem or special prep but the sealing advice sounds good.

I didn’t do anything different when
drilling in my kevlar canoe. I installed at least forty snaps for my canoe cover. Just use a sharp drill.

Agree with yaknot …
No need to overthink things…

Suggest drilling (just don’t ram it in) a smaller hole ( than screw) and let the SS Machine screw cut its own threads this ‘seals’ everything. Saturating with epoxy makes a mess and is not doing much. Back up with common sense washers.

kevlar absorbs water
It’s a fact. Don’t seal the holes with epoxy, 5200 or even adhesive caulk at your own risk. May not affect the short term boat owner, or one who trades often. But can cause delamanition around the holes in the future.

I Installed A Thru Hull
fitting a couple of weeks ago. I drilled a 1 1/8 inch hole using a normal hole saw in a drill. I did it the same way that I have in fiberglass.

The previous posts are correct from what I saw. I got a bunch of fuzz which had to be cut off, I used a razor knife. My hole had to be trimed just a bit and a dremel did fine. I was using epozy resin the same day and I did seal up the edges of my hole.

Happy Paddling,