Skid plates?

There is a Dagger Reflection canoe that I currently have my eye on, but it doesn’t have skid plates installed. So this has prompted a few questions:

  1. Are skid plates that important? I’d imagine so, especially on the rocky rivers around here. Just wanted a few PNet opinions.

  2. Dagger no longer makes canoes, so I doubt I can find Dagger skid plates. Are skid plate kits factory/model specific, or will any old kit do? (EX: OT skid plates, MR plates, etc.)

  3. How involved a process is it to install them? We are just talking about kevlar and epoxy aren’t we?

    Thanks for the help,


The OT skid plate kits may have an
edge, but cost more. Some kits use a urethane resin rather than epoxy.

I would suggest waiting a bit before going for the skid plates. You may find that not much is happening to the ends of the boat. The time to do something is when the vinyl wears off, exposing the rather UV-vulnerable ABS underneath.

The skid plate procedure is easy because, when wet out with resin, the Kevlar felt drapes beautifully over the boat ends. Kevlar felt is not that structurally wonderful a material, but it has that convenient factor of holding together (a glass felt would not) when wet with uncured resin.

I am one of a few fanatics who prefers to make skid plates from 3 to 5 concentric layers of bias-cut S-glass. (One can mix in a layer or two of Kevlar if desired.) This requires more time and care, because the layers have to be applied and wet out one by one, but the result is thin, smooth, and has great compression strength. A layered skid plate might need a repair after an extreme hit, but repair is much more possible than it is on a commercial Kevlar felt skid plate that has cracked or broken loose at an edge. Glass skid plates skid over rocks more easily than Kevlar felt, and they wear smooth.

So, paddle for a while, and then ask knowledgeable people about what is the best skid plate kit around.

Pretty much agree
with g2d(a rare occurance ;-)). My dagger ran rocky whitewater maybe 300 miles, ends not too badly worn. As my and my sons skills and desires increased, I bought my swift and am running rocky ww twice a week, roughly 20 miles a week. We are scraping quite often, but sides and bottom are getting pretty banged up, and plates make a loud bang every now and then. Try that Dagger w/o plates for awhile, it’s such a sleek, sporty boat and you sounded like you were staying fairly mild in your exploits. Swift makes a large kevlar set, piragis(think they’re wenonah plates) has a sleeker set as well as the other sets you’ve seen.

I never would’ve ordered canoe with skid plates but as I bought one off the showroom floor I didn’t really have a choice.

They’re GREAT! I no longer have to worry about grounding the bow onto the gravelly bank. I just barge in like an ice-breaker with an Alred E. Newmann look on my face (i.e. What? Me worry?)

No offense to Mike and others
But the outer skin material on the Legend and the Reflection is really thin. If you are paddling where you are coming in contact with the bottom regularly like we do down here in TX and paddle several times a month, it pays to think ahead and protect your investment, no matter what kind of skid you install. I have seen my own Legend as well as OT’s, Mad Rivers and others have their outer skins torn or worn beyond easy repair in one outing. These were not UV damaged hulls either, but brand new right off the showroom floor. “They’re not makin’ 'em like they used to”, so they do sometimes need you to be a little proacitve in protecting them.

I’m not sure if it makes a lot of difference, but the canoe was made in 1996.