Fixing a Bell Canoe H channel

I used some goop to fix the H channel on my Rob Roy last week. Seems to be working OK. I sent the corporate folks a little e-mail explaining how and why they ticked me off. I simply asked how “I” should repair this simple problem. Instead of telling me over the phone what type of adhesive to use, they insisted that I take photos of the messed up H channel and send them to the company. I did that, and then got a long and drawn-out corporate response as to why it wasn’t covered by warantee. I never wanted anyone to fix it for me. I was just looking for suggestions. I can take the corporate response from car dealers and insurance salesmen, but not from boat builders. canoes are WAY more important than that.

Hopefully I can get some photos of the repair on the site.


what is a Bell H Channel?
Hey Chad What is Bell H Channel?

It’s the extruded rubber strip that sits between the main hull and deck 1/2 of the boat.

Kinda looks like

The 2 halves are placed together in the H-channel and then bonded on the inside of the hull.

h channel
it’s basically like the plastic black bumper-like trim on all composite kayaks. rob roys have the them too.

What exactly did you find that was wrong
What was it that needed fixing. My rob roy and evidently many others came with an H channel that had a gap in it. Was that the problem or something else???

h channel
Mine has gaps, too. I think it comes from the channel shrinking over time. I’m sure that UV rays and heat from the sun shrink that rubber-like substance to some degree. I’ve usually dabbed a little clear caulking sealant at those gaps. My problem was the H channel popped off at the stern. The holes in the stern used for the rope handles made that section of channel weak, in my opinion. I was just looking for a way to re-attach it. I’ll fix it better after the touring season is over.

As far as Bell’s response, some of it could have been miscommunication because of the e-mail format. However, I did talk to the guy over the phone for about 10 minutes on two occassions. He seemed nice and asked for photos. Then the guy sent me a somewhat stoic company response with details on why Bell wasn’t liable as far as the warrantee goes.

BTW, I’ve also noticed recently that the right rear section of the wooden gunwale is warping inward. It doesn’t appear to be affecting the shape of the deck, not yet anyway. Have you seen or heard of similar problems? Also, what year and lay-up is your Rob Roy?