Impact of keel protection on speed

-- Last Updated: Apr-20-15 8:28 AM EST --

I'm thinking of using Gorilla tape to put a 10" strip of bicycle inner tuber on the rear keel. Purpose is to protect the keel while loading the kayak from the rear, since it must rest on the pavement. I now use a carpet but I think a keel protector would be easier and more effective.

How much might this impact the speed of the kayak?

Or what do you think of putting a layer of Gorilla tape the length of the entire keel bow to stern? I have a raised keel through the middle.

Kayak is made of thermoformed plastic.

One more idea: A removable 12" flexible pipe fit over the stern only for loading and unloading. I think something more permanent is better because it also protects the keel on loading ramps, rocks, and beaches.

(I know about KeelEasy. Just thought I would try something I have on hand and that could be removed.)

Anything other than smooth
Impacts speed. Per John Winters

That said you probably won’t notice it unless you are racing

The added drag of a 10" strip should be small and probably not very noticeable. At any rate, it would be easy to try, removing it if it adds too much drag. That said, even a small amount of drag at the stern end will add a little ‘skeggy’ behavior, i.e. it may track a little straighter.

Keel strip
I put a KeelEasy the length of my CD Caribou 2 years ago. Haven’t seen a noticeable difference in speed. There’s one in the future of my Anas Acuta very soon.

If you want to do it, do it. You can always remove it if you like.

So . . .
maybe a strip of Gorilla tape the entire length of the keel bow to stern would create less drag?

why put anything that stays
I also load my kayak from the rear of car and put the stern of the kayak on cement. For my fiberglass gel-coated kayak (18 feet long) I just use two large rubber bands to hold a piece of vinyl table cloth to protect kayak from the cement but remove it for paddling. Why affix something that would stay when you actually paddle? Use it to load and remove kayak from car but it comes off for paddling makes more sense to me.

Loading from Concrete

– Last Updated: Apr-21-15 8:13 PM EST –

I use a vinyl covered cushion on the concrete, the foam inside is 2" thick. Saves a lot of scrapes.
KeelEasy is as they say "easy", I'm not fast enough to notice any additional drag.

Less Drag
Maybe yes, maybe no. Most likely yes for the little drag the keelEasy adds. Question is will Gorilla tape stay attached, and will it really stand up to abrasion?

Only one way to find out.

Gorilla tape as keelstrip-not so good
I had that bright idea when we had our outfitting business; we had twelve 20-foot Boreal Esperanto tandems in our fleet and the cost of real keelstrips would’ve been prohibitive.

So I tried Gorilla tape. It tended to get abraded by rocks, and then sand would work its way into the holes and be held there by the adhesive. Also happened on the sides of the tape.

So I stripped all the tape off, but a lot of the adhesive stayed on & picked up even more sand. Visualize scrubbing off 240 feet of sticky residue…acetone was the only thing that came close to working, and I gave up after two boats. Never again.

Boreal Tandems-a walk down Memory Lane
I will say, though, that those Boreal Esperantos were incredibly durable. They were the workhorses of our livery fleet, had at least a couple of seasons on them when we bought the business, and even though we beat the crap out of them for 5 years, they held up so well that we felt fine about donating them to a community boating organization when we closed the business. I paddle out of Stonington (CT) several times a year, and those boats are still being paddled by inner city kids 5 years later.

They were the only sit-in kayaks we rented out because they were so stable and easy to paddle. You really had to work at capsizing them, which naturally the teenagers in some of our programs took as a challenge. Of course, I made them do T-rescues afterwards, which took at least 4 kids in 2 rescue kayaks to empty those 20-foot, 100-lb monsters :slight_smile:

My husband & I talked about keeping one, but in the end let all of them go. Probably a wise decision, but still…

Thanks for that input!
Very helpful. I can visualize the problem.

Walmart cardboard boxes
sels large cardboard boxes. Slit standing unconstructed box inside side up the corner with a razor blade…in the ellow box.

Place two opened boxes on ground rearward edge length of your yak plus a coupla feet.

Lower yak end onto box…box will slide on ground both going up and maybe going down. Stern will grab box slide on box.

Boxes wipe clean with paper towel one dry one moist

replace as needed.

buy 6

3M leading edge tape
Go to the Aircraft Spruce Co website and order roll in 2-4 in width. Cut to fit, and apply by the wet method in the included instructions. If you use the dry method it will never come off. I replace the strip every 2-3 years, bottoms of both my kayaks pretty beat up, but the section under the tape looks brand new. Tough stuff, used on leading edge of rotor blades and prop spinners, adds little if any drag to the boat. Tim