Protective Tape (Keel Easy)

Wondering what everyone’s using for protective tape for the bow and stern for rocky shoreline launching and landings?

Just saw “keel easy” online, but they want $25.95 to ship a piece of tape. Other options?

I’ve used Keel Eazy a number of times. It is spendy at $4 per foot. After it is applied you need to keep an eye on it. Occasionally an edge will come loose and need to be reattached, particularly for the first few outings. This is a relatively quick job.

I have also made an epoxy strip, cheaper, but more labor intensive:
This can be patched easily when compromised.

Lastly, you can do a full on fiberglass keel strip which I haven’t attempted, but is documented hither and yon on the Internet.

$25 is a lot for shipping.

$4/foot USPS First Class Parcel will ship up to a pound of the stuff cheaply.

See you on the water,

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I have Keel Eazy on the bow and stern. Bought four feet from Marshall. Not only is his shipping very reasonable, but he runs a small business dealing only in kayaks and related gear. Much better to do business with versus some anonymous online or boxy type store.


I was just about to ask who Marshall was… then I looked up!
PM’ing Marshall!
(I love this site and these ppl).

I’ve used Keel Easy for years on one of my boats, and it did start peeling at the front tip of the piece, but it was after 5+ years of use, and needed to be replaced anyway because I wore through it at the bow. Ran it up one too many boat ramps and rocky beaches. I’ve heard that the latest version of it is supposed to stick better – I’ll find out, because I put a new one on the boat last fall.

If you clean the hull really good with rubbing alcohol, and use a heat gun to shape it when you apply it, it should last a long time. Just my observation.

@Photecs Before you buy Keel Easy, let us know (or talk with @Marshall) about the material of the boat you are attaching it to. For example, if the boat is rotomolded plastic, it could be hit or miss on whether the tape adheres.

Yes, they are both rotomold. How is the best way to apply?
CD Kestrel 120 and a Dagger Stratos 14.5.

Gorilla tape works fine. Do 3 layers, lasts a whole season, and is inexpensive compared to special purpose strips.

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Land parallel to the shore, not perpendicular to it.

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The KeelEazy web site gives instructions and DIY videos. I have never applied it to a rotomolded kayak, only composites and ABS. However, the web site claims it works fine for poly boats, but use alcohol not acetone for hull surface preparation.

My wife and I moved about 18 months ago and where we now live we typically launch from an oyster shell beach that is fairly abrasive. So last year I put a good amount of gorilla tape on the bows and sterns of each of our fiberglass kayaks. Over the winter I took a close look and noticed that the only scratches occurred in about a 12” area of each gorilla tape length. (By the way the tape was looking pretty nasty at that point.)

So I just bought 8’ of KeelEazy and applied 2’ of it to each bow and to each stern. It went on - with a heat gun - quite easily and so far I’m quite pleased with it. KeelEazy used to be available in two versions, one for poly and one for fiberglass but I think they have reformulated the adhesives and now recommend a single product for both.

Kfbrady: how would you rate the effectiveness of gorilla tape vs KeelEasy?
Even replacing it each spring, or even twice a year?

I think the Gorilla tape is certainly better than nothing but it’s nowhere near as protective as KeelEazy. Plus, the Gorilla tape leaves a mess and you need a strong solvent to clean off the residue. The Gorilla tape did show me where the most damage occurs and while I balked at spending $80+ per boat for a full application of KeelEazy I thought just putting 8’ of it (2’ on each bow and stern) was $40 well spent.

I have used keelezy; it works for a while but can’t go around sharp corners. I made this one out of fibreglass and epoxy with a red pigment. It’s formed directly on the boat but use a good release agent. I first wrapped the bow in Saran to keep things clean. The advantage of this method is a perfect fit and can take a beating.

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Following the Installation instructions and video on the KeelEazy website, and using a heat gun and a leather glove, I had no problems getting the tape to fit very well around the curves at the bow and stern of two kayaks. It all went on perfectly.

It fits a lot better than the Gorilla tape I had on before which is almost impossible to put on without a wrinkle or two.

The simple thing to do on a fiberglass or kevlar boat whether it is a canoe or kayak is to add a couple of layers of fiberglass tape with epoxy.


Same experience on my kevlar boat, but I didn’t have a heat gun so used my hair dryer set on high. No problem working the tape around the curves.

We used some tape that was meant for factory floors as marking tape for aisles. It’s very heavy duty and came in the right width. We’ve had it on for a couple seasons and it has stayed on well for the most part. Just a little loosening on the most curved part. My husband also used the heat gun and glove method. It was way cheaper than the tapes meant for kayaks and came in a 100’ roll so we have plenty to spare and can redo the job if it ever needs it. We have Stellar kayaks and paddle on the Maine coast which is mostly rocky, some gritty sand, barnacles and seaweed or any mix of those things.

What’s the tape called?