Adhesive separating from tape
That’s the same thing I observed where my KeelEazy was peeling away. The adhesive layer was stuck firmly (perhaps gooeyly) to the boat, but the tape was coming up. My KE was applied by a boat-building professional (Sterling Daniels), so there is a good probability he knew what he was doing and applied it properly.
Not that it means anything, but Chris Mitchell, the KE guy, was hanging around Sterling’s shop when I picked the boat up after it was repaired and the KE installed. Seems like Sterling would have had the opportunity to learn installation technique from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Adhesive separating from tape
I used KE on my Valley Rapier 20 and the stuff peeled right off no matter how much I cleaned the hull first. Chris M sent me out another batch for free and that stuff came right off too.
I am surprised that your’s lasted as long as it did, Matt… I will be going with real keel strips in the future, especially on surf/rock hopping boats.
This is Chris from KeelEazy and I wanted to update you on our latest development in the KeelEazy product line. We have started shipping Keeleazy with the adhesive running the full width of the strip which seems to work better around the tight corners. However, when the adhesive shows on the side it can attract more sand.
Cleaning is the key to a successful application as some of you sugggested. We use and recommend Isopropyl Alcohol 80-90%. Of course, you can use Acetone on gel-coat. No sanding necessary. We use a heat gun at about 500 watts. The procedure we have the best result with is to tact one end, pull straight to the other end, apply pressure down the center of the strip, then starting from the middle, use the heat gun to to warm the tape and following with an insulated leather glove applying pressure evenly along the strip. On the ends we warm the tape and smooth tape outwardly from the center.
Too much heat will burn the PVC and might be a reason that the adhesive separates from the PVC.
We have found that some Marine paints have additives that don’t adhere well (like wax). We offer free sample of the material for boaters to apply to their boats prior to purchasing a full length.
We only guarantee the installation on boats that we do the install on as it is impossible to for us to be sure the procedure was followed. The same is true with fiberglass products. I have Keeleazy on all my boats and regularly have them in surf and sand. As a matter of fact, that is the reason I spent two years prior to launching the product test many different types of material. I hope this sheds some light on Keeleazy and it’s application.
it’s called KEELeasy
Sort of sounds like it goes over the keel, which is not flat.
@Chris... Thanks for the detailed explanation, please Chris add these heating suggestions to your instructions or FAQ, the 500W seems to be very important.. Thanks again, I did had some minor issues with the sharp curves my Tarpon 120 bow is having, I do have some wrinkles on the sides which I cannot seem to remove with the heat gun at 500W..
Thank you for responding in person in this forum. Not every manufacturer has the integrity to do something like that.
You are welcome. As someone mentioned previously Keeleazy is currently a one and a half man show and we try to do the best we can. By the end of October we should have two more full timers on board to offer better customer service. I will be on the road more to be attending events and training Keeleazy installers.
Kayak Academy (where I ordered my Keeleazy from) is sending me a new roll free of charge.
I am going to try again and see how it works this time.
I used your Youtube video as a guide for my installation and followed the same procedure.
In doing the installation again I will be sure to clean the hull very thoroughly.
I also may get a new heat gun so that I can ensure it is a 500W or has that setting. My current one only has high and low. I used High.
I think that the adhesive going all the way to the edge would likely solve this problem.
I will try again and will follow the installation instructions explicitly and then will report my results here.
Be careful, as an example my Milwaukee heat gun has a high and low setting as well and the manual claims that the low setting is around 570 F air temp and the high can go as high as 1000F, the latter might be way too high.....The heat gun is rated for 11 amp, hence I assume the high setting load is over the 1000 watt capacity...
The distance is important too
I have a fully adjustable heat gun and it makes a huge difference how far way I hold it and for how long in one spot. Unfortunately, the only way to tell how much is enough is not easy to figure out. I have very limited experience working with the heat gun to shape plastic material, but my observation is that the material will visibly relax and become pliable at one point, then you should immediately remove the heat, shape the material, and wait for it to cool, so that it holds the new shape after you let go. If you heat further, the material deforms too much and might lose it’s strength or even begin to burn.
I think with KeelEazy you can probably feel the same with the tape and rely on the adhesive to hopefully hold long enough while you are pressing down and cooling off the strip, so it remains shaped per the surface it is being installed on. But because it is somewhat soft to begin with and there is strong adhesive, it is hard to determine how much the adhesive holds and how much the thermoforming is contributing to the shape. The only places that this is obvious is at curves, where if you do not put enough heat the corners will lift and be wavy (but I don’t think it will be obvious if you apply too much heat)…
I did some research. I think that the 500 refers to the temperature of the heat gun and not the wattage. I just went back and referred to the installation video on Youtube.
From what I looked at online, it appears that most heatguns have two settings at 750 and 1000.
I found one that has a 500 degree setting. I am going to order it and try that when I re-install. There should be no reason this time that any issues with the tape staying in place will be a factor of installation error. The procedure is pretty straightforward as you can see on the Youtube video.
I do think that having the glue go all the way to the edge would be helpful.
When is that going to be available and from where?
It is available now and Kayak Academy has it in stock.
the stuff with adhesive to the edges???
you mean the stuff with adhesive all the way to the edges?
Has worked well here
After several friends had very good luck with this product, I installed it on an old, used boat with a V keel I bought for solo tripping on the Maine coast this year. To say the boat got unmercifully dragged around upon landings and launchings and shoved up on rocky areas to avoid the tides is an understatment.
Installation was easy and the material has held up amazingly well. It is true that the material is softer and thus will get cut/gouged more than a FG keel strip if hit by sharp, jagged rocks. For pebble beaches and the routine somewhat smoothed tidal rocks it has worked very well and its durability has been great. Aside from a small area where the stern has sharp angles, it has adhered without problems as well.
All in all, I have been very pleased with its performance and the protection it has provided.
I have had no problems on the install on four of my boats. I will install it on the others. I have installed it on QCC and Tempest. I did shred a 3 foot bow piece on one 7 day trip to Georgian Bay. The gelcoat survived without a mark. Needless to say Georgian Bay is full of hidden rocks in the bay and river rapids. I use my Milwaukee heat gun that has a 10 position rheostat. It works well at 7 through 10 settings. I use my left hand with a leather glove to form and press down the hot material. The glue usually comes out of the sides after rubbing the hot piece of material. When the material gets really hot the grain starts to disappear and it gets shiny. I stop heating it and press very carefully. I also clean the area a couple of times with denatured alcohol prior to the install. I usually apply it in 3 pieces since the bow takes the most abuse. Overall i think it is a pretty good product.
I got the replacement Keel Eazy strip from Kayak Academy–they replaced it for me for free. I thought that was pretty dang good of them.
The strips they sent has the adhesive all the way to the edge. I think this is a better set up by far
I purchased a new heat gun that will go down to 500 degrees and installed. I used it today and it seems to be holding up better than the last strip (which was peeling after the first use).
So I will have to see and will keep you updated, but I think the updated product is an improvement.
As to the company…I would have liked it if they took the time to answer my two emails I sent to them, but they did not. Yes they responded to this post, but I am criticizing their product publicly.
I also question why they would change the design of the product to extend the glue all the way to the edge unless I was not the only one to have had problems with it. Seems logical; however, the posts above imply that the peeling is due to improper installation.
Keel Eazy was not willing to answer my emails or to stand behind their product and provide me a replacement…bad business. Fortunately one of their dealers (Kayak Academy) answered my email immediately and sent me a free 18 feet of it as a replacement, no questions asked. Thanks.
One man operation or not, I would run my business differently…and I do with all the stuff I sell on ebay. I usually give the benefit of the doubt to the customer and sometimes take hit in the name of good business.
I guess the last thing I would say is that if the installation is so critical to the product working then perhaps it should not have been marketed to individual consumers as a “do it yourself” product and limited only to professional installation.
Frankly though I don’t buy that. There is nothing complicated about the installation of this stuff. And if the 500 degree heat setting (versus the 750 on my old heat gun) is critical then it should be stated. Incidentally, the vast majority of inexpensive heat guns that have only two settings will not go down to 500 degrees. I found one after a good bit of searching. Otherwise you need a Dewalt or other high dollar model that provides more temperature adjustment.
Even if the poor performance of the original installation were due to user error, had they responded to my emails and sent me a replacement I would be praising them here publicly as I have done with many other products. Would have been a good investment and good customer relations.
sorry if this sounds harsh, but just being candid…the customer is always right and I feel I am in this case.
But to be fair the replacement provided by Kayak Academy seems to be holding up so far. I will post an update in a while. Most likely I think it will be positive. I think that the problem was the design of the product with the adhesive not extending all the way to the edges. now that it is modified I think the product will perform much better than it did for me and for some of the other posters above.
Harbor Freight el-cheapo Heat Gun
I got one of these and it has been very good so far. Fully adjustable from warm to about 650 degree, plenty of attachments to direct the hot air depending on the situation, plus some scraping tools (presumably for paint stripping, but work well for smoothing out kayak hull fuzz and scratches). Only negative - not a high-volume blower, weaker than most good hair driers (in terms of volume of air flowing through) even on the High setting of the fan (which is independent of the temperature adjustment).
mine was an el cheapo too
got it from Home Depot online. Was one of the cheaper ones they had. I think it will be worth the money as I plan to continue to use this product if it holds up.
I am not sure if dwell time has been addressed here, but I thought I would let you know some experience I have with various pressure sensitive tapes.
Dwell time and dwell conditions is a very important variable for any tape. I use tapes in constructing kayak sails and kayak sail rigging for Falcon Sails. If some tape is at risk of not holding as well as necessary I will make sure I leave it on as much time as is convenient and necessary.
We have all seen how masking tape comes off very easily the day it is applied, but progressively sticks more every day. 2 years later its a nasty tape removal project.
I am sure the KeelEasy will peel off a lot easier the day you put it on, than it will a month later.
If I where putting some KeelEasy on my boat, I would put it on and make sure it sits for a few days, and even a few weeks would be better. If you do not paddle in the winter, I think you should put it on early in the no paddle season, and keep the boat in a heated area if convenient for the dwell time.
PS - It looks like a KeelEasy person uses the long in name Falcon. It has nothing to do with Falcon Sails.
It is nice idea but I have also had problems. It shrinks up in length and leaves exposed tape glue and fabric. I put some on my keel, sand got in that caused an 11’ piece to come loose and now I am replacing it. I installed as per instructions using a proper heat gun. Every piece I have used has shrunk down. It did protect my keel when it was dropped a short distance.