Keel Repair/Strengthening

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Maverick777
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Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Maverick777 »

Hi All,

Other than KeelEazy by Reed ChillCheater are their any other products that work just as well please?

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Jonny_W
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Jonny_W »

For a plastic boat : I’m only aware of keelEazy. There may be others ....

For a conposite boat : KeelEazy or a strip of fibreglass tape and/or gel coat. Or whatever type of composite you have. There may be others ....

Nismosteve
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Nismosteve »

I tried Keelezy. It was not so easy and peeled off on a plastic boat. Not the product fault. I bought a Dewalt digital heat gun to apply it. Then realised I'd used aerospace 303 on my Kayak. End of story. TBH. Probably not needed on a plastic boat.
Aeromodelling epoxies and Kevlar tape are pretty bomb proof. They won't work on a plastic boat though.

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Jim
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Jim »

What kind of boat is it (PE, composite, Skin on frame) and what are you trying to achieve (repair a hole, stiffen the spine of the kayak, add abrasion resistance, add impact resistance)?

I've never used Keeleazy, is it primarily for abrasion resistance?

Maverick777
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Maverick777 »

It was for the bottom end of a Perception Freedom SOT Kayak. To repair a botched repair, where I suspect the kayak has been dragged, rather than carried.
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PlymouthDamo
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by PlymouthDamo »

My suggestion:

1. Ask around to find a local car body repair shop that does plastic welding to repair bumpers.

2. Phone and check they'd be happy to do a bodge repair. Tell them there'll be no come-back if it doesn't work.

3. Phone the boat manufacturer and ask them exactly what plastic it's made from. Try and persuade them to sell/give you a suitably-sized off-cut in the right colour.

4. Take the boat and off-cut (or name of the plastic used) to the body shop and ask them to do their best.

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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Chris Bolton »

It's really just the end you want to fix, then, not the whole keel? The best approach depends on what's under that patch. If it's a hole, I'd fill it with either epoxy putty (the kind you buy as two parts of a stick and mix together before use) or if I had polythene welding gear it could be welded with polythene rods. Resin doesn't stick brilliantly to polythene, although the patch that's on proves that it does stick. Do a search for 'flaming' polythene, you wave a flame over the surface before applying resin, not to melt it or heat it up but to oxidise the polythene which changes the chemical structure and enables the resin to get a grip.
Wear on the bow and stern is a common problem on open canoes, and the usual repair called a 'skid plate'. It's basically what's on your boat but usually using kevlar fabric and a special epoxy called g-flex, which if more flexible than normal epoxy and allows the repair to flex with the boat next time it gets hit. I wouldn't buy a complete skid plate kit, it would be much bigger than you need. Even the smallest pack of g-flex is expensive, but you can save what you don't use.

East Coast Fibreglass is a good place to buy repair materials.

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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Beryl »

The Perception freedom is 23kg with a decent hand hold built in. I carried mine rather than dragged it for short distances. If you don’t intend to drag it yourself, does it need a reinforcement?

If you just want something to protect the repair at little cost then try the white plastic used for guttering/plumbing. With gentle heat and a pair of thick gloves it can be moulded to cover that repair. It can be secured with either waterproof double-sided tape/araldite/whatever. Worth a punt before the expensive options is my thought
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mrcharly
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by mrcharly »

I'd quite like to protect my Nelo 510 in a few places (bow, under heels). Was thinking of using Helicopter tape.

Does anyone have experience of using this on a plastic (rotomold) boat? Does it stick?

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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by adventureagent »

mrcharly wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:44 am
I'd quite like to protect my Nelo 510 in a few places (bow, under heels). Was thinking of using Helicopter tape.

Does anyone have experience of using this on a plastic (rotomold) boat? Does it stick?
I know a friend of mine used G-flex around a portion of his plastic kayak's cockpit rim. It stuck on those coumpound curves for years, 'til he sold it. I doubt 'copter tape would stand up to abrasion as well as G-flex. But I don't have experience or knowledge of using it for abrasion. I've seen tons of Kevlar skid plates and they stand up well to the rocks of Georgian Bay. I'd contact the mfg of G-flex on the question.
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Jim
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Jim »

For Maverick777, my suggestion is similar to PlymouthDamo's, but I would say find a plastic fabrication shop rather than a car body repairer. AFAIK most of the plastic used in car bodies is polypropoylene not polyethylene, so they might be able to have a go, or not. But if you can find a plastic fabricator who welds PE on a daily basis, you should be able to get a decent repair, unless the PE is too oxidised to weld well, and they will have the experience to advise on that. My local fabricator makes PE pressure tanks with all the pipe stubs welded to them, I know this because my former colleague did a load of design verification for them a few years ago - they are therefore capable of welding PE well beyond the requirements to patch up a kayak! Only problem recently has been getting hold of them because they have been flat out making screens and such to enable their customers to get back to work in a covid secure way, I suspect it is the same for all platics fabricators all over the country just now!

For mrcharly, no direct experience of helicopter tape on PE boats, but if the surface you want to stick it to is flat and smooth, it should work well. Some racers use it on composite boats to protect against paddle strike and it holds up pretty well. The tape itself is very tough (you probably know it was developed to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades from sand and grit in desert environments) and the adhesive seems pretty good, BUT if you have scratches and indentations that would allow water to seep under the adhesive I would expect problems.

G-flex (or any epoxy) on it's own will not provide much abrasion resistance, but it is the right kind of resin (with correct surface prep) to use on a PE boat, and if you use it with kevlar tape or felt, or possibly some hard wearing fillers powders (I'm thinking some of the metallic ones might be suitable) it should work pretty well.

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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by PlymouthDamo »

Jim wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:29 am
...AFAIK most of the plastic used in car bodies is polypropoylene not polyethylene, so they might be able to have a go, or not.
I'm sure that's right, but the commercial plastic welding kits that my mate uses for bumper repair come with quite a comprehensive kit of different plastic filaments - presumably because they're multi-purpose tools used in all sorts of applications. I got him to repair my old sit-on-top and he did have a filament for that type of plastic, although I've forgotten what sort it was. However, the manufacturer had sent me a load of off-cuts for free, so we were able to trim them down narrow enough to go down the feed tube.

If you're lucky, you might be able to persuade one of the boys in the shop to do it for a tenner. My mate did mine for free. Ultimately, it's going to depend on what body repair or plastic fabricators you've got locally and how amenable they are to doing this sort of thing for cash.

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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by mrcharly »

Jim wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:29 am
For Maverick777, my suggestion is similar to PlymouthDamo's, but I would say find a plastic fabrication shop rather than a car body repairer. AFAIK most of the plastic used in car bodies is polypropoylene not polyethylene, so they might be able to have a go, or not. But if you can find a plastic fabricator who welds PE on a daily basis, you should be able to get a decent repair, unless the PE is too oxidised to weld well, and they will have the experience to advise on that. My local fabricator makes PE pressure tanks with all the pipe stubs welded to them, I know this because my former colleague did a load of design verification for them a few years ago - they are therefore capable of welding PE well beyond the requirements to patch up a kayak! Only problem recently has been getting hold of them because they have been flat out making screens and such to enable their customers to get back to work in a covid secure way, I suspect it is the same for all platics fabricators all over the country just now!

For mrcharly, no direct experience of helicopter tape on PE boats, but if the surface you want to stick it to is flat and smooth, it should work well. Some racers use it on composite boats to protect against paddle strike and it holds up pretty well. The tape itself is very tough (you probably know it was developed to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades from sand and grit in desert environments) and the adhesive seems pretty good, BUT if you have scratches and indentations that would allow water to seep under the adhesive I would expect problems.

G-flex (or any epoxy) on it's own will not provide much abrasion resistance, but it is the right kind of resin (with correct surface prep) to use on a PE boat, and if you use it with kevlar tape or felt, or possibly some hard wearing fillers powders (I'm thinking some of the metallic ones might be suitable) it should work pretty well.
Thanks - there were a few abrasion marks, but I've rubbed those out (using a hard smooth bit of plastic, buffing hard and fast - the surface is now shiny again).

I'll give the tape a go and see what happens.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Keel Repair/Strengthening

Post by Robert Craig »

Off topic, but maybe a contribution. I've used KeelEasy several times, and it has both good and less good features. It's easy to apply, looks good, and stays stuck. If I change my mind, I can remove it without damage to the kayak. Downsides are that it is quite thick: so it spoils the lines of the kayak, particularly the sharp entry at the bow; and it's quite soft: so if I dunt a rock I penetrate the strip and damage the boat. It protect well agaist abrasion.

It's not as good or as durable as a "proper" Kevar/resin keel strip. But I've not found anywhere local to me to do this, and transporting a sea kayak is a challenge.

There are in the Almanac clear instructions on how to do a neat "proper" keel strip. But I've not yet tried.

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