OK, I have my first nice canoe - 17’ wenonah royalex sundowner with all wood trim. Gorgeous boat. Got it used but it was barely used. Guy I bought it from included a skid plate kit, which I will install next spring when it warms up again. My question is - has anyone ever tried to tint the epoxy to color match their boat? If so, what tinting agent would I use?
Don’t Add Skid Plates Yet
Sorry, I can’t help with the color matching part of the equation, but I always wait until the vinyl layer is worn through to add skid plates. No matter how good a job you do, your boat is better paddling and looking without them. No use in putting those things on until you have to. WW
Here’s (yet another) great article at Atlantic Kayak Tours’ excellent website:
Somewhere in there they elaborate on coloring the gelcoat.
They’re adding keelstrips to a fiberglass kayak hull, but if you’ve already got the kit for adhering the strips to Royalex, tinting the gel topcoat should pose no problems.
Search for more info
Try searching the archives. There was good info on this subject here within the last couple months.
As a result of that thread, I picked up a tube of artist’s acrylic paint at Michaels. Cost about six bucks. I’ve been using it with West System epoxy and it did not interfere with the cure of the epoxy, and the epoxy looked and acted like I expect epoxy to look and act. Unknown is what affect the addition of the pigment may have had on the strength of the epoxy. I was adding about a half teaspoon of tint to a cup of resin.
I attached skid plates to my project boat with the tinted epoxy mix. I have only paddled the boat once since completing, and the skid plate behaved the way it was supposed to.
If you are using the dark mustard colored, kevlar material for your skid plate, be aware the color of the material affects the result. In my case, I was using a bright blue tint, and the skid plate looks dark green. That is, blue on yellow produces green. So if you are going to try to exactly match the color of your hull, you will probably need to do some experimenting to see the results of the color combinations.
But tints do not provide adequate UV protection. If that concerns you, you will probably want to put some paint on the skid plates, and if you are going to paint, why worry about tinting your resin?
Good luck with your skid plates. It sounds like you got a nice boat. Enjoy!
Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD
Many people hate skid plates
Many paddlers hate skid plates for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is not failure to provide protection. The pro argument for skid plates is that if you put them on properly, you don’t have to worry about wear for the life of the boat. I think you’d wear the bottom out before you’d wear out kevlar skid plates.
The con argument is that they add weight, make a rippling noise while moving through the water, theoretically add paddling resistance and don’t look nice.
My Encore had a wear spot on the stern, and I just added a kevlar skid plate on top of that spot. The bow was not worn through, and I put a dynel patch over the bow’s wear zone. Dynel is supposed to have high abrasion resistance, and it applied very flat and thin. If I paint over it, it will blend into the hull very well. I’ll be curious to see how long it takes to wear a hole through the dynel.
I mention this because if you want protection, but don’t want kevlar, you could put on a layer of dynel, and then monitor it. If it wears through, add some additional patches at the wear spot. This approach would offer a degree of protection without disrupting the water flow and attaractive appearance of your canoe. But I really have no idea how it will hold up in use.
Royelx spray paint…
You should be able to get Royalex spray paint from Mad River Canoe. Does anyone know if Wenonah sells it?
I also agree that you should wait till your canoe needs the skids plates. It may take years (depending on it’s use) before you wear through the vinyl skin.
S-glass is better than Dynel. Stronger,
and wears smooth. MUCH stronger.
If the skid plate kit includes THIN
Kevlar felt, then it may be suitable for a nice boat like a Sundowner. But any amount of reasonable care should keep the Sundowner stems in good condition for a few years. After, that, I would use bias-cut S-glass and epoxy. S-glass wears smooth (no fuzz), lies flat, and (unlike Kevlar) is very suitable as an outside layer.
I remind everyone again… The popularity of Kevlar felt skid plate kits is based on the ability of Kevlar felt to hold together when sopped with resin, and to be applied and shaped around the stems easily. It is NOT because Kevlar felt is equal to other materials, especially S-glass cloth, cut on the bias, and laid on with epoxy.
About that bias
What’s “cut on the bias”? For that matter, I’m not sure what s-glass is and where to get it. I don’t recall seeing a product on the shelf labeled s-glass.
Hi guys ,
I have a kevlar kayak, can i use glass as the skid strip on top of the kevlar?
Color could be close
depending on how good you are mixing it. I made the mistake of buying the kit and the color additive and then waiting about a year before installing it. I didn't mix the color up well enough before adding it and got a few dark streaks in the finished product.
It is a different shade than the boat (Old Town green), but looks better than the brown the natural color of the kit would have been.
Whoever sells the kits should have the color additive as well.
Mike is right, it's pretty toxic smelling stuff. Do it outside and follow the instructions. If they tell you it will set up in 10 minutes, believe them.
Any rocks I bounced off of didn't even mention the dark streaks, so if they don't mind neither do I.
You may already have a layer of glass
over your Kevlar. Very few builders use Kevlar as an outer layer. Most put one or two layers of E-glass or S-glass on the outside, for hull stiffness and to avoid fuzzing. When wet with resin, glass is clear as…well, glass, so the Kevlar shows through.
But you certainly can add E-glass or S-glass over Kevlar.
BOOZ---- Bias cut means cutting so the fibers lie at a 45 degree angle to the line of the stem. This allows the patch to conform much more easily to the contours of the stem. You can go to johnrsweet.com for S-glass. Six ounce should be about right. It behaves just like E-glass except it is stiffer, tougher, and harder.
What’s all the fuss about
color match anyway? It’s on the bottom, under water, who cares?
Skid Plate color
Old Town Canoe offers a skid plate pigment for their kevlar skid plates. The color may be a little off but they do offer green. The pigment costs about $8.00.
What is S-Glass and E-glass
learn something new every day
E-Glass is the standard fiberglass reinforcement material. S-Glass looks and handles exactly the same but is made from a higher-strength fiber which gives about 40% higher tensile strength, 20% higher modulus, and greater abrasion resistance. All have an aerospace-grade silane finish that is compatible with polyester, vinylester, and epoxy resins. This finish is superior to Volan and many other silane finishes in that it has longer shelf life and is less affected by moisture