Keel repair on wood-

Any ideas out there for repair of a wooden kayak keel? The fiberglass on the keel is "worn away’ on the stern.

Is there a quick fix until I want to take time to refinish the bottom of the boat and then fix it right at that time?

wooden kayak repairs
Here’s three links from the Chesapeake Light Craft site that should answer your question. You can buy all the stuff you need for the repair at their online store too if you don’t have ready access to epoxy and 'glass. - Michael

quick fix=a good fix
but any fix worth doing will be quick enough. Regarding the aforementioned rub strip on the CLC website. That was something I did because the demo boats were worn through. It surprised me that it got turned into a “kit” because it really isn’t optimum (for the customers dollar or in function) It’s a detail of construction that anyone who uses kayaks a lot would notice and address as one or two layers of 6oz glass on the stern of a s&g kayak where the two 4mm panels come to a sharp v will not hold up very long.

Here’s a quick fix,mask the worn area, sand it down a bit more to make a 3/8" wide shelf and apply epoxy putty. Turn kayak over and smooth with alcohol or let the mess cure and sand it in.

A perfectly acceptable fix is to apply a 1’ length of 3/8" half oval brass. You can get it from Jamestown Distributors. It’s cheeep.

Not knowing exactly what kind of kayak you have or how it’s made on the inside it’s hard to say whther you need to apply some glass cloth over the worn area before putting on an ablative strip.

The method used on the A.Hawk kit is smart because it uses the materials in the kit to make a thick layer at that spot. Essentially it’s an epoxy putty that is cabosil rich and not woodflour rich.

I made a pirogh for a relative out of glassed 1/4" ply and noticed someone had dragged it across oyster beds and a concrete driveway,it was worn through about 4layers of 9oz tape. The quick fix that I came up with was a three layers of 1" polypropelene tie down webbing glued over the stern. It was messy but a worthwhile quick fix. If I had some 1" half oval metal I would have put that on.

There’s all kinds of fixes,the epoxy putty would probably be the quickest,brass strip the longest lasting,a smoothed in layer of 80/20 cabosil/wood flour would blend in the best but require a bit of practice to not make a mess.

when doing over is it possible to get the graphite and mix in with the epoxy to make the slurry or can this only be applied to the bare wood/6oz glass tape?

My tern is double glassed on the keel (bit heavier but given where I put in/ take out a neccessity)but the graphite seems like a better bet.

Hey ghostship…
Thanks for the Rapid fix site on CLC…The sheerwater footbrace I installed in the A.T. came out over the weekend (so much for gorilla glue…lol)and the thought of working with system 3 epoxy in a enclosed area like the footwell wasn’t making my day.

The Rapid Fix…may be just the stuff!

keel area
a lot of folks like slippery graphite but if you used a thick graphite/epoxy mix on the stern wear strip it would be like a pencil lead…soft and leaving a gray mark everywhere. For that area put something that can take high wear, a tough ablative or hard material in exactly the spot that gets wear. If you search around you can find a photograph of a CLC Arctic Hawk where the ends have molded cabosil/wood flour goop. It can be formed into place while soft and look very nice.

I read about dynel and tried a couple strips of it for those CLC boats but honestly you end up wrapping more material around the wear area than actually gets on the wear area.

Think about it this way,you decided to put 12oz over the botto of the hull,when you pick up the bow and pull the kayak 15’ there’s 100X the wear in one little area about 3/8"x6". Putting 1200oz of glass on the wear spot isn’t practical but it’s a clue that something other than more layers of cloth is needed.

I’ve got a tin of graphite I bought 5yrs ago,haven’t used it after experimenting with it. Sure it’ll make a very slippery surface for rudders, centerboards, skeg/centerboard boxes and bottoms of hulls but it’s soft which is part of the reason it’s so slippery.

Here’s a picture of the AH wear strip…
on the boat I built:

The wear strip only extends from the tips of bow and stern to about 2 1/2 feet along the bottom of the keel, but these are the areas that get the most keel wear (beach landings, etc.). Two layers of 4 oz. glass cloth is applied on the bottom of the hull (on the outside of these wear strips), so there’s plenty of protection for the wood.

By the way, my AH is already collecting some nice memories in the form of scratches. She’s looking more and more like a happy boat every day! And I’m still looking like a happy paddler! (as always, regardless of which boat I’m paddling). :slight_smile:



Thanks for the pics, beautiful AH :slight_smile:


Thank you very much for your input. I follow your posts on a few forums, and I greatly appreciate how you share your knowledge and have helped me stay afloat!

That’s a beauty, including the rubstrip. What material did you use for this? Looks like a mix of epoxy, cabosil and woodflour. Or is it something else?


80/20 cabosil/wood flour

a picture is worth 1000words