Old FG Canoe Keel Guard Replacement

Hello, I recently acquired an old Hemlock Fiberglass canoe that is missing the aluminum keel guard. Does anyone have a suggestion for where to find a replacement or alternative keel guard?

One thought I have is using rubber U-channel available at McMaster Carr. Has anyone done anything like that?

I can see why you might want to try the rubber edge protector as it will easily form to the shape and could be glued easily. My fear with rubber is it would want to grip/grab rather than glide over an obstruction.

In your photo it looks like the keel runs the full length and is quite tall. It could be the angle of the photo. Do you have another photo that shows it down the length.

Sorry I don’t have a source for the part you are looking for. It could be made but wouldn’t be easy from aluminum.

Good point about rubber gripping as opposed to gliding over obsticles.

Yes, the keel runs the length of the boar and is 1" tall.

I like the rubber molding idea except that I wouldn’t expect it to be durable so ask yourself what you’d do when you hit a rock and knock a little chunk off. If you do go that route I recommend that you lightly sand and thoroughly seal the surface first (paint would be fine).

I think a thin strip of fiberglass cloth would be a good solution. If you go to uscomposites.com or sweetcomposites.com you can fine one inch wide cloth sold by the yard. S-glass is tougher than E- glass. Dynel is the top choice for adding thin but effective sid plates to canoes and sweet composites sells Dynel sleeves that might be perfect for your application. You’d still need resin to wet the cloth and I suggest you talk to them first.

There are ready made products like KeelEezy (sp?) but I don’t know how well it would conform to your keel plus it would be pretty expensive.

Looks alike a canoe made in two halves and spliced together. Maybe the worst keel I have seen.

Have you had a chance to paddle it?

I would think it will track great but might be a bear to turn.

How rough of service will you be giving it?

How wide is the keel flange? I’m wondering if just an aluminum edge would work if it could be attached to the keel edge.

It would probably be expensive, but any competent sheet metal shop could fabricate a copper, brass, or aluminum U-channel that could be used. The channel would have to be notched and welded or soldered to align with the curved parts.

Have you thought of trimming it down? Then add a keel strip in fiberglass or similar material to keep it together? Just a thought.

1 Like