Skid Plate Install and that Bow Dent

The trip on the Machias with the bow-person from heck left my Appy scraped and scarred. I was doing some fiberglass work and wound up with the typical excess resin, which I used to cover the bare ABS with a piece of glass. That was months ago. Maybe time to finish it up? I was planning on adding another layer of glass.

My question is, what do I do with a dent in the bow?

I feel like the skid plate starts where it does now, next to the dent, I am inviting struck objects to get at the leading edge of the glass I just added. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe epoxy (West 105) is strong enough and there’s nothing for me to worry about. But I’m feeling I should fill in the dent and run the glass up the bow a little higher.

The dent has been there two years, and I can feel it on the inside of the hull. You hear that sometimes these dents pop out of royalex when/if the hull gets hot enough. How stable is that dent at this point? If I fill it, do I have to worry about the dent changing shape and popping out the filler? And, if filling is the way to go, any suggestions on what to fill it with. Thickened epoxy seems a logical choice, but is there something better or lighter?

I will appreciate any advice you masters of skid-plating care to offer.


I’d remove the skid plate and then
fashion a cover and reinforcement for the whole zone using bias cut FG and epoxy.

Skid plates are a convenience product. As you imply, they complicate repairs, they do not effect them.


– Last Updated: Oct-08-14 10:02 PM EST –

I would forget it. It is a badge of honor. Where it with pride. You will add unnecessary weight and accomplish little trying to fill it etc. IMHO.

Machias is a great river. It has left its mark.

Edit - I feel compelled to acknowledge that the Machias has left its mark on one of my canoes as well - and I can't blame on my bow partner. I was paddling solo with a load.

It doesn’t look like a big dent
I doubt it is going to change on its on. I have read that a few people have had success filling the hull with very hot water, but frankly I would be afraid to try it.

I would either leave it, or if you find it disagreeable, fill it in with thickened epoxy and then cover it with cloth (either fiberglass or Dynel). Colloidal silica powder will thicken the epoxy nicely, make it more sag resistant, and it is a very good gap filler.

I like using G Flex epoxy for this type of thing simply because it can be mixed up by eye in very small batches so there is no waste. It is often necessary to use multiple applications of small amounts of epoxy to build the area up enough so that it can be sanded fair and flush with the adjacent hull.

I have filled in voids of this size in about a half dozen Royalex canoes that had abrasive wear through the solid ABS into the foam core this way and it has worked well.

Let it Be
No, don’t sing the Beatles song but rather leave the dent untouched.

Perfect is the enemy of good. According to your report the boat stills handles fine. Will you create a larger issue by trying to effect a repair?

Reasons to do nothing:

  1. It is the easiest option.
  2. Any future degradation will be easily visible and can be dealt with when the problem clearly requires intervention. At this point it looks like only a cosmetic blem.
  3. Your canoe will be lighter.
  4. Your bow partner can be reminded of his prowess.

How about gluing a cast iron ram in
that dent, like the one on the Merrimac/Virginia?

Or install a pogo stick and end dead
stick pitoning forever.

dents inflicting structural weakness, dents causing drag, ugly dents…cover with cloth then see if you can get the suit of the showering girl.

Filling dents adds weight, reduces flexibility maybe eventually causing cracks.

I regress…covering the dent, artfully but not filling it solves the problem. But frankly, a PITA unless Mr. Dent gets you down.

Utube has tutorials suggesting hot and cold ways removing dents from plastic bumpers. I have a pro hair dryer use effectively several times/year and a heat gun, used once. Buddy sez use the heat gun instead the propane torch on locktite nd frozen bolt/nuts

Tho I would dither over aging the composite with heat, curiosity may nag to cover the dent’s perimeter with several layers of Al foil with the top dent ridge exposed, heating the ridge only. A custom tool of hardwood shape for mating and pressing the dent ridge would enhance the experience of not getting the dent out by trying to.

pogo-stick ends
This sounds like something that needs to be invented and patented. Who’d of thought we’d find Brilliance on p-net. I mean, seriously, who’d need a stupid skid plate if we just had pogo-stick ends on our boats?

Awesome. I can’t stop chuckling and shaking my head over this idea. Oh, and thanks all, for the other posts, too.


Reverse all the outfitting so the dent
is in the stern.

On glassing ends, you know what I mean about bias cut? It will conform to convex, complex surfaces much better.

Two birds, one stone

– Last Updated: Oct-09-14 7:29 AM EST –

Fix the dent and get a skid plate at the same time. I had a similar dent in a Penobscot. I first heated the thing carefully from the outside using a heat gun while pushing/pounding from the inside with a blunt piece of 2X3. That reduced the depth of the dent. Then I filled it with thickened epoxy and sanded that fair. Finally I put on a dynel skid plate large enough to cover the epoxy filler. An identical skid plate went on the stern for esthetics and red paint camouflaged everything.


Good, but note that Dynel is not for
pitoning. It excels at resisting scrapes and scratches. For impact, glass is better.