need advice on installing skid plates

I’ve scratched the gel coat on my Bell angler which is Royalex and want to install skid plates to prevent any more damage. I have never done this before, I’ve read some of the previous threads on how to install these. My question is how well do they work and can you match hull color somehow?

they work very well
which is why you so often see them. matching hull colour is a pain but can be done if you choose to chase down the pigment to colour the resin. not sure if this can only be done with certain resins though.

get a kit with the kevlar felts and epoxy resin and outline the felts on the ends of your boat. then rough up the surface with coarse sandpaper. the bond with royalex is not chemical but mechanical= needs a coarse surface to hold on to.

best bet is to ask a good local paddling retailer because the description is long and tedious, but it is not that hard to do.

Way back many moons ago…
when I got my first brand new OT disco, the first thing that I wanted to do was put on a skid plate, since I thought that was the mark of an experienced paddler.

When I went to buy one at an outfitting store, the old timer working there advised me that it would be a complete waste of money to put a skid plate on the front of a canoe until it was to the point that it needed repair.

He was absolutely right.

My son in law now has that canoe, and it still doesn’t have and doesn’t need a skid plate, even though there are plenty of story telling scars on the bow.

Every year we race our delicate lightweight Jensen in the New River canoe race, and every year we get a couple of good scrapes on the bow from bouncing off some sharp rocks, some of which scrape right into the kevlar fabric. the week after the race, I take a little two part epoxy, (about $2.98) at the local home store and touch up the scratches.

I know this does not answer your question, but I wouldn’t add a skid plate until your bow is completely shot.



Disco is ABS
The Discovery’s ABS is a different animal than Royalex, not only is it less likely to need a skid plate, but it’s also harder to put one on.

That said, I agree with JackL, I wouldn’t bother with the skid plate just for some scratches (but might touch up the vinyl with paint). Personally, I’d wait until the stems are beaten up enough to justify the new material.


Ask Mike McCrea …skid plate master
I think he has a “how to” page on the net, but I would not worry about a color match. Just go pick up some auto touch-up paint that matches your canoe and touch them up once and awile, they get beat up anyway.

skid plate
Well here it is! I have done it twice, and the second time was better. Buy a kit (2-part resin and kevlar felt.) I like to cut the felt down in size, the whole kit weighs a lot. Mark the area on the hull ans clean it well. Mask off the area outside the plate with tape. Soak the felt in resin (tricky to get the right amount,) and place it on the boat, again on the other end. Smooth it out, and look out for runs. when the resin has set, I like to sand the edges to fair them to the hull. The masking tape will help by prtecting the boat from the sander. I then look at my utility shelf for some old spraypaint that would look good on a boat. Relax and go paddling.

Put it into a glass case shrine. ;^)

– Last Updated: Nov-28-04 9:30 PM EST –

And do not paddle it ever again if a little scratch bothers you so. But didn't you buy it to use it?

It is silly to put skid plates on a canoe until absolutely necessary. It degrades the handling and performance.

When your canoe looks like this is when you think about skid plates.

But if you must do it now here are clear instructions with pictures as well.

Happy Paddl'n!