SKUK/NDK Quality issues

I haven’t seen any posts about SKUK/NDK quality issues on pnet in awhile, so I wanted to relate that I have a well used 8 year old Explorer whose rear and day hatches are still air tight and the hatch covers alternately bulge and suck in depending on the temps. I realize I should have drilled the tiny hole to let out the pressure so the deck wouldn’t crack at the bulkhead seam (which it did and I will fix someday) but I just enjoy looking at those hatchcovers breathing in and out and knowing that the insides of my boat are dry. Same is true for the front bulkhead, but the hatch cover doesn’t show it.

My real problem is that I drag my boat around a lot and have flat spots on the keel line at the bow and just behind the skeg box on the stern that are beginning to look a bit thin. I still don’t see glass fiber or any color change in those areas, but I want to build them back up before I wear through the hull. Should I simply thicken some gelcoat and build the areas up (would need to add about 1/4 inch plus of material) or should I install mini skid plates with cloth and resin and gelcoat? Or should I epoxy putty the areas to build them up then finish with gel? Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice. Too much coffee tonight I think- sorry.----------------

Keel Strip
Do a search on google how to install one.

SeaKayakerMagazine had a writeup some time ago, authored by Brian Day.

Keel Strip is a protective strip of FG and epoxy, and gel coat placed right at the spots that get rubbed a lot.

You can get gelcoat paste…
…that’s perfect for building up thick layers. I’ve only seen it in clear, so you’ll need to buy some tint, too.

Rockpool keel strip
Someone posted a video of Rockpool’s EZ keel strip, it might be what you’re looking for. I’ll let others advise additionally on this, but here’s the video:

It is too bad you have mislabeled your
subject line. What you are describing has nothing to do with ANY manufacturers quality. Bill

stop dragging your boat

Marine Tex it!
Sorry to hear about your quality issues. I’m sure Nigel is working on a titanium boat that will not wear from dragging it around. :slight_smile:

I’d forget about gelcoat and keel strips and just build it up with Marine tex epoxy putty. I it really hard epoxy that come in white so it will not show too much. I’d do all the sanding I needed to blend it in after 2 or three hours. If you wait overnight, you’ll have a very hard time sanding the Marine Tex.

It is a wear area so you’ll have to do it again in a couple of years or a dozen years depending on the dragging.

Worn away 1/4 inch?
You’ve worn away a 1/4 inch of material and haven’t gotten to glass?

That’s a quality problem right there.

I’ve repaired damage there in my

– Last Updated: Mar-02-11 9:32 AM EST –

NDK Explorer LV, after a drop on a concrete boat ramp.

The thickness of the gel coat at the spots the OPer is talking about is quite different from the thickness of the gel coat on the rest of the boat. But at a quarter of an inch, he is getting damned near the fiberglass, or the diolene strip along the keel if he has that layup. The bit that would be dragged is a pretty fine edge on this boat. That may be the reason it is built up a bit more. Certainly it has allowed the OPer latitude for some imperfect habits.

I also got a crack on the side once from beaching it in a bad spot for lunch, and the gel coat was 1/8" or less there.

To the OPer - the bulkheads will still be bone dry if you drill that little hole. We added it to my boat within a year of getting it. It's been a while now and it is still bone dry.

The little holes
My Pilgrim Expedition did not come with them, so I drilled tiny ones in the front BH and the stern BH (I left the slanted one undrilled). I put them in the middle of the BHs.

After paddling or rolling, the hatch compartments consistently remain dry. But one time in surf I failed to get the boat up on shore quickly enough. Successive waves dumped water into the cockpit and rolled the boat around when I tried to empty it, filling it even more.

A day later, I noticed that there was water in the front hatch compartment, about a cup or two. So SOME water will be forced through if the cockpit is really flooded.

another explanation
Water can get inside due to the pumping action on hatches.

My Explorer has spent plenty of time rolling around in surf without me being attached… our holes are about 2/3 of the way up, a quite small diameter. I wonder if the placement has anything to do with it?

Possibly part of the hatch cover was not down tight. I check for this every time I paddle, but it could have gotten bumped up in the man-handling.

I’m still glad I drilled the holes.

Rockpool Keel Strip
Are you refering to KeelEazy protective strip? Check out for more info pics and specs.

Rockpool Keel Strip
Are you refering to KeelEazy protective strip? Check out for more info pics and specs.