I just bought a royalex boat that's in great condition except for a loose Kevlar skid plate. The last four inches are completely detached and its coming loose about another 6 inches back from there. I'd really like to stick them back down, but I'm not sure what to use or how to do it. Any advice would be appreciated.
I’d remove it…
and replace it. Probably contaminated.
Pick up a West G-Flex resin kit and a yard of 6 oz S-Glass cloth. West System will have all the application data available for a repair on your type of material using their G-Flex.
Cut the S-Glass on the bias (from corner to diagonal corner) so it will conform better to your hull. Use mask tape to outline the shape of your skid plate lay in the cloth and resin to suit. Let the cloth lay over the defining mask tape by an inch. Apply plastic wrap or peel ply over the surface to compact it and yield a smoother finish. When the lamination is cured to a “green” point (feels hard but a thumbnail can make an imprint) you can remove the surface wrap. At this time you will remove any masking skirts and carefully start to lift the original mask tape that defined your skid plate shape. Your lamination should overlap this tape slightly. Lift one small area at a time being careful to lift only the tape, not the skid plate. You’ll be able to feel when the tape comes free. As you lift the tape take a razor knife or a large size Exacto knife (fresh blade) and trim along the inner edge of the mask tape thus freeing it. Try to maintain this cut at an angle as you go along leaving you a nice laminate edge. Go slowly and carefully.
Once the mask tape is completely removed let the skid plate cure out for 24 hours (or whatever West suggests). You can now finish smoothing out the edges with a scraper and then dress the skid plate with sandpaper to get the finish desired.
You’ll want to paint the new skid plate to protect the epoxy resin from UV exposure. Some resins need a number of days before painting. Go with West’s recommendation and use a high quality spray paint.
Please note there are a number of different ways to do this - this is simply my preferred method. Others will have their own preferences that work equally as well. I don’t care for Kevlar plates, I like S-Glass. And don’t let these procedures intimidate you as they always sound more difficult than the reality. Skid plates are a great way to learn how to work with resin, cloth and do general repairs.
For the very detailed instructions. I’ll start looking for materials. A couple additional questions though… What’s the best way to remove the old skid plates? I probsbly know the answer, but what about spray on truck bed liner ?
My approach to getting the old plate off
I did this twice and it worked pretty well for me.
I took a vise grip on the loose end, clamped down tight and tugged, pulled back on it, like peeling off tape, and most of it came off. The few pieces that were left I carefully chiseled off. At that point I had the original hull revealed and could begin the prep work to get another plate on.
These days I use Dynel rather than Kevlar for the skid plate.