Hull and Keel protector

Anyone know the name of the stuff you can put on the Hull or Keel of kayak that protects it from impossible to avoid rock and sand impact. It looks somewhat like black tape I think?/??? In addition does anyone know if its a bad idea in that it could slow the boat down to a noticeable rate. Can it be removed ever?

I would like to put it on my much loved Current Designs fiberglass kayak. I am not trying to avoid all scratches for aesthetics its just that through years of use and future use it will eventually wear down the hull.

Keel strip

something similar and easier to apply?

– Last Updated: Jul-12-09 5:41 PM EST –

I just looked up keel strip and the process. It sounds like something I wouldn't feel comfortable doing to my boat, Sanding and accidentally ruining my boat. Isn't there something else anyone is familiar with that I could put on easily?

What boat do you have
and what is it made of?

You’re talking about rock impacts and you’re worrying about sanding your boat? Have a stiff drink and break out the sander…oh, and follow the instructions carefully. After all, what’s the worst that’ll happen? After a few rock impacts you’ll loosen up. Soon, you’ll feel comfortable taking a drill to it to install a foot pump!

Another option is to wait until the sand and rocks sand down your hull and keel for you.

Current Designs Solstice ST
I am pretty sure it is fiberglass I bought it used, and I know it is not polyethylene. What do you recommend that is E Z to do. I have a epoxy repair kit I got from NRS if that helps my options.

a 3M tape strip I could epoxy
I just mainly want to know is there any alternatives other than the “keel strip” task that is on sea kayak magazine and the Atlantic Kayak tours website. Has anyone had sucess with something different if not this winter I will do the latter but I would like to get something on their that won’t take time away from paddling and overall summer fun.

You’d be amazed how much of such
wear can occur on a FG boat without affecting strength or performance. Fiberglass boats are HARD and tend to wear smooth.

keel guard …
theres a product called keel guard too .not much you can put on the bottom of a boat to protect against rocks.

theres also a product for the labratory enviroment to protect countertops from chemical spills but i forget the name, sorry, it’s like a slick teflon -like product. Also i could not find out if it’s sea-worthy and it’s fairly costly. Contacted manufacturer and never got a reply back.

you can do two things:

– Last Updated: Jul-13-09 12:36 AM EST –

as mentioned above: just let the sand, rocks etc wear your gel coat finish till it shows cloth and then repair/reinforce or do it before it happens.
Unfortunately for something that will actually work a keel strip seems to be the go.
If you want a really durable keel strip you could use epoxy (tinted with the color of the hull) instead of gel coat.
Epoxy is more abrasion resistant than gel coat (which in terms is very resistant anyway)
Some British boats have a lot of gel coat on the hull specifically designed to wear on hard landing (read rocky coast).
And if you are serious about kayaking most likely you will get used to scratch your boat: it's part of the game, it ain't a show piece.

keel strip
A keel strip does not protect the boat from colision with a rock, the odds that it would happen right at the keel is pretty small.

It does protect the boat from being dragged up on a rocky or sandy shores though, that’s the purpose.

Bill H.


– Last Updated: Jul-13-09 9:14 AM EST –

If you've got deep scratches or a rough abraded area, the best fast fix I know is to use something like Marine-Tex:

You can apply a glass keel strip in the off-season, or have a shop do it for you.

I have no experience with the self-adhesive abrasion-resistant tapes.

Polarized sunglasses make it easier to spot submerged rocks.

as far as
sand goes around here, a keel strip will not prevent it from sanding down… it will last a little longer before it wears through and you can see daylight through a hole…

I would try to avoid the damage from beach landings (just get out before hitting the sand) or dragging the keel on the sand, then add a keel strip if you need it later. not that hard and it will cover any wear…