Skid plate

are skid plates really needed?

I just picked up a 2nd canoe(16ft mad river canoe) and it has skids and I am wanting to get my other canoe up to snuf with all the right stuff. so are skids needed? where is a good place to get them if they are?


Sometimes they’re nice to have but not really needed. What are you going to use the canoe for? And how bad are the stems beat up?

Not horrible
They are not horrible, but the red is gone and it is now a light brown. Like it has worn off the color. the canoe doesn’t seem very only though and the bottom doesn’t seem too beat up. just where it has run up on shore time after time. I will be running mainly creeks and rivers class II and down. sometimes I will take a fishing trip on the lake though.


No they are not needed,
unless you are wearing that part of the canoe down by abuse, or if it is a used boat and has alrerady been abused to that point.

If you treat your canoe right there is no need for them.



The condition is…
it is a used canoe, and the coloring is gone from that section front and rear.


When to put on skid plates
Here’s another opinion, for what it is worth! Kevlar skid plates do a good job, but they certainly make your canoe slower and a little heavier. When you start to wear through, go ahead and put on the 'plates. Until that happens, just keep paddling, happy that you don’t need them yet. Color fades on some of those old Mad Dogs (especially when they were stored upside down outside) but the layups were good and strong. When you need skidplates, you need them; but when you don’t, you don’t!

be carefull before removing
I run my canoes until I the ABS is showing trough (white) then I install the skid plates. If you are running any rapids I would leave them on, low grade rapids (CL I) are many times harder on your canoe that the higher grade ones. This been a used canoe, it might already been worn though the vinyl at the bow and the stern. If you remove them you will now wear through the ABS and also expose it to the sun light which makes it brittle. I run long extended trips on rocky rivers, after two year of use I had to install plates. For cosmetic reason I paint the plates ever so often. The next plates I install I will add color to the epoxy.

The color of the ABS when the vinyl
wears through seems to vary. On my MR Synergy, MR Guide, and OT Tripper, the color was a greenish white.

There is no >other< color under the vinyl, so when wear exposes a second color, it’s probably the ABS.

The problem is that the ABS layers are the main strength of the hull, and ABS is very susceptible to sun. UV is very slow to affect vinyl, but fairly quick to degrade ABS. Thus a season in the sun may “cook” the strength out of the outer layer of ABS in the stems.

What I have done is either repeated applications of 303, or repeated spray-painting.

Skid pads are a more permanent solution. I use layers of glass and resin rather than Kevlar felt.

I don’t plan on removing the old skids on my other canoe. I would buy a skid kit for my dagger. the color(red) has worn down from use, and I was wanting to keep it from becoming a trouble spot.


Another idea
JB Weld has worked well for me in covering up areas where the vinyl has worn. I use a thin stick (actually coffee stirrers) to spread it nice and thin and smooth.

To me, there’s something very satisfying about using the stuff. It stays put and is tough as nails too. I think the quicker drying “Four Hour” stuff works better. I use a little acetone to make sure the areas is clean first.

… just another idea to consider. Good luck.

Royalex right?

If the stems look beat up and are getting into the center of the royalex, you’ll want to think about adding them for your use. Another option is to get some of the two-part royalex fixing stuff and cover the surface with a coat. Then smooth and paint over the two-part stuff.

If you’re not worried about speed, slap some on. They do add a couple of pounds to your canoe.

Bedliner for Worn Royalex
I agree JB Weld is excellent for small gouges, but an alternative to re-cover a larger worn area is “brush-on bedliner”, like is used to coat beds of pickup trucks. The stuff is unbelievably tough and adheres to Royalex very well, if the surface is cleaned, roughened, and rubbed down with Xylene first. Most paint/brush/roll-on bedliner comes with rubber granules mixed in to provide slip resistance, a feature you don’t want on the bottom of your canoe. However, Durabak makes theirs with a smooth option (without rubber granules) which works very well. Expensive by the gallon, but you can put a sacraficial coat on the worn areas of your canoe again and again or coat the wear areas on several canoes. You can use it as a preventative or a cure for wear areas. Put on multiple coats to provide the thickness you want/need. Use masking tape if you want the job to look neat. But put rocks in the can after you use a little of it so there won’t be enough air in the can to spoil the mixture you want to save for later. It is primarily a special polyurethane that cures quickly when exposed to air. Google Durabak and you’ll find several sources.

Paint over?

– Last Updated: Apr-17-07 11:15 AM EST –

I actually use the brush on stuff on my jeeps all the time. It comes in black... or the stuff I have does. I ususally paint over it... any recomendations for paint?


Bedliner Colors
Brush/roll-on bedliner from Durabak comes in a variety of colors. Just make sure you get the “smooth” and not the “textured” option. Myself, I just used the black on my green tandem and my red solo boats. I masked off the areas I covered for neatness and the contrast looks nice I think. Of course you can always paint over it with Krylon Fusion or some good quality auto acrylic paint.