Keel Strip = More Speed???

I figured that might catch your eye.

I was talking to someone today about putting a keel strip on my boat. He told me that some very good paddlers can notice a slight difference in the boat’s handling with one applied…generally making the boat stiffer tracking.

He then told me that a 5-star paddler he paddles with has had keel strips applied to all his boats because he feels it makes the boat FASTER. I would have thought the opposite, but his reasoning is that the keel strip makes the boat track stiffer and therefore allows more of your paddle stroke’s energy to be transmitted into forward speed.

I guess I could see it making the boat track ever so slightly better. I would think that it would add more drag though and make the boat slower rather than faster (despite the argument for better efficiency).

What do you think???


I can’t tell the difference
I’ve installed keel strips on both my composite boats. I’ve used 3" fibreglass reinforcing tape

and epoxy resin with black pigment. It’s really very thin but has served as a sacrificial strip for two years now. I just got back from a long trip on rocky Georgian Bay and the strip is wearing thin so will have to be touched up this winter in addition to filling some larger scratches in the white gelcoat.

I’m sure these strips have a very subtle impact on hull performance but I don’t think it’s enough to notice.(Not to me anyway)



makes no sense
a protruding strip increases drag a very tiny amount. Tracking is more a function of the entire hull shape.

if you can feel a pea under your bed mattress.


can you say ‘tiny, tiny’?


Is the consensus they are good to have?
I am about to add one to my Explorer for a five day trip on the Maine Coast. Doing it shouldn’t be a problem as I have done plenty of glass work, but didn’t know if there is a negative reason for putting one on?

Hope it was not the same guy who
did the repairs last time : )

Keel strips, the newest thing for speed and handling … thats my newest company.

time to touch up
the strip on my explorer. I don’t want to think what my hull would have looked like without it. :slight_smile:

good grunge layer and EZ to touch up…or not. It takes a buttload of abuse before you wear thru.


keel strips theyre so retro
you can do more and better without them inmyho

more and better??
I’m curious…how?


exterior wood strips
on the keel used to be common. some low end fg boats even today incorporate this feature( a protruding keel) evolution showed they detracted from performance by increasing drag and decreasing manuverability. i am only assuming that protrusions on the keel, even slight ones, would have a similar effect (more drag and reduced manuverability) unless faired into the hull shape

I would agree.
I think your comments make more sense to me than the opinions of the person I mentioned in my original post. The only reason I gave his comments any consideration was due to the source–the guy is a top notch paddler.

I had already decided against a keel strip due to the possiblility of adding more drag, and adding more weight to an already heavy boat.

I just wanted to throw this comment out there and see if perhaps it was a commonly shared opinion. I guess not.



tiny is tiny
I guess.

anyone REALLY paddling conditions that grind on the hull and might require a keel strip for longevity and protection, probably wouldn’t notice the inneffeciencies of the ‘added’ drag and loss of maneuverability, me thinks.