Fixing skid plates

Hello: We have a Mad River Courier with many miles and loads of abuse. On it’s most recent outing I noted a leak in the stern where two cracks had been repaired by adding a skid plate. The cracks were never filled in so I assume this was the bandaid approach. I am considering filling in the cracks from the inside and then sealing the edges of the skid plates. My question is: does anyone out there have any “been there-done that” experience in re materials, methods, etc. I’d appreciate any hepl you can give. Thanks


Ideally I’d recommend taking the skid
plate off to do the repair. Two reasons for that.

  1. It is not easy to do a good, lasting repair on a split in a Kevlar felt skid plate. The skid plate is relatively thick and inflexible, and just putting an adhesive (possibly West G-flex) in the crack will not keep it from working.

  2. If the skid plate is removed, you can do a much better outer repair on the ABS with glass cloth (S-glass is better) and epoxy. Otherwise you are hoping that the repaired skid plate will keep the crack in the hull from spreading.

    As for the inside repair, given that the inside is stretched whenever the stern is whacked, a flexible cloth such as Kevlar or polyester may hold better than glass. Obviously epoxy will be used to wet out the Kevlar. I recommend using a low angle chisel to skim the inside vinyl off the ABS. Easier than sanding or grinding, although it requires “touch”. The epoxy will hold better to the ABS than it will to the vinyl.

    You’ll need to dry that Royalex crack off thoroughly, which will be easier if the damaged skid plate is removed.

    My suggested procedure will get long, so I’m going to stop here so you can reflect on options and others can offer suggestions.

On reading your post again, questions:
1. Are the cracks so separate that there are two skid plate repairs, or just one?

2. Are the cracks on the centerline of the boat, or somewhat out from it? Are they longitudinal?

You never stated and I hadn’t asked, but I presume we are talking about a Royalex boat.