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Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project

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Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project
Guys and Dani,
My Mad River Duck Hunter is 30-40 years old and has had many encounters with rocks in the rivers of North Carolina. I decided to put skid plates on her to afford some protection for future encounters with said rocks.

Skid plates are strips of Kevlar felt applied with epoxy. Nova Canoe and Old Town sell kits for this project. I chose to just buy the Kevlar strips and epoxy through separate vendors and save a significant amount of money.

Kevlar must be in short supply as I had to wait almost two months for the appropriate strips to come available.

It?s a simple project. I?ll run you through it.

First, you layout the Kevlar felt on the bow and stern, with the narrow end 10? below the gunnel. Run masking tape along the Kevlar, allowing ?? gap for the epoxy to hold properly.


Here is a close up:

The felt strip is removed and the area to be covered is sanded lightly. Then a light coat of epoxy is applied and the Kevlar placed on that epoxy. You need newspaper or a light plastic drop cloth taped to protect the boat. I didn?t take a picture with the protection covering.


A heavy coat of epoxy is then applied to the Kevlar strip letting it soak in. Any excess is squeezed off with your gloved hand. Tape is removed as the epoxy begins to set. The finished product looks like this:


I should be ready to do battle with the rocky rivers of Carolina.


If you look closely, you will see a shiny part of the canoe bottom. I had some serious gouges in the Royalex so I spread epoxy over the most significant spots. Later, that will be sanded and I will paint the whole canoe. Mad River doesn?t offer the exact paint anymore, so I will have to choose a different color or shade. I?ve always used Petit Dull Dead Grass for my boats but I?d prefer to stick with a dull olive or dull green as on the canoe historically. If you have any suggestions where to find this, let me know.

Thanks for reading,
Larry
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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
Follow up on the paint color of the Mad River Duck Hunter. After talking to someone at Mad River canoes I learned that this canoe was not painted. The color was actually in the Royalex! His advice to me was to find a suitable color in a paint that adheres to vinyl and it will adhere to Royalex. Interesting. Guess I will be changing the color.

I know that Krylon spray paint works for spot painting Royalex but I will want to roll and tip it. Any advice on type of paint whose properties adhere to vinyl?

Larry
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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
Another possible solution Larry would be to purchase and use a primer that will make a bond between the Royalex and paint. Then you can use any paint you want. They make adhesion promoters for painting automotive bumpers that would work.

Spray painting Krylon I don?t think you would be happy with as it is very thin and doesn?t provide much protection.

Mark
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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
I have been painting two of my Royalex canoes with either Krylon Fusion or Rustoleum rattle can paint for a long time. The paint does adhere, but any areas that see abrasion get rubbed off in the course of a season and need touch up the next year.

I don't know anyone who has found a method to reliably paint Royalex. I've applied S-glass/epoxy skid plates with 3-5 layers of 6-ox glass cloth that are otherwise identical to the Kevlar felts Larry applied. Even on those, where the paint is sticking to epoxy, the paint is scratched off every year.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
Mark,
I think you hit the nail on the head: first paint with a primer that bonds to plastic. Then use any paint I choose.

The same principle holds with painting aluminum. If you don't use a proper etching primer, your paint will peel off the first time you hit the gas on your motor.

Trust me, I know that experience. Years ago I did a beautiful job painting a 16' aluminum boat, but failed to use a proper primer. One trip to the lake and I had a boat with half new color and half old color. My response was the only thing I could do without shooting myself: I fell down laughing.

And I learned from the experience!

Larry
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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
Good morning, Larry~


Neat project!


Question: How did you wet out the Kevlar? Brush (bristle or foam) ? foam roller? squeegee?


Sometimes I wet out difficult-to-saturate layups on the flat (on my bench) on a piece of plastic. I do it wrong side up, then flip it over as I transfer it to the boat.


Also, I'm wondering if this would be a good job for using peel-ply over the patch, to help smooth the finish and remove any excess resin.


Good luck with your paint quest!


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Canoe Kevlar Skid Plate Project In reply to
Steve,
I used (following the example of the canoe companies who have videos on the subject) a bristle brush to saturate the kevlar. Your idea of doing this on a piece of plastic and then squeezing out the excess may be a better way to do it.

I am pleased with the finished product.

Enjoy Tuckerton and all your projects.
Larry