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Attaching A Skid Plate

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Nachako, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Nachako

    Nachako Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi I know this is not a wood canoe question .
    I order to preserve my stripper I am rebuilding a small river fiberglass canoe
    Can I attach a skid plate to a fiberglass stem and stern
    All the ones I see are for composite canoes Roledex ?
    I have the West system Epoxy .
    Also has anyone use Graphite powder on the bottom of there hull .
    How well does it work.
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Yes, you can apply the Kevlar felt skid plate material the same way you would apply a piece of fiberglass cloth or mat. The stuff is kind of ugly (if it matters) so if that is a concern, you can always wait until the boat has had some use and then apply fairly small Kevlar pieces only to the areas which actually show wear. Be aware that you can't sand the completed skid plate smooth - it will just get fuzzy if you try. Some folks use peel ply or plastic (like saran wrap) over the stuff once it is saturated in order to leave a smoother finish when it hardens.

    Graphite powder is low friction, but a straight graphite/epoxy resin mixture is actually softer then plain resin. It may slide off of rocks a little easier, but it also may scratch deeper in the process of sliding off, when compared to plain resin filler coats or fiberglass gelcoat. Some people combine the graphite with some cabosil or similar filler in order to harden up the finished product. Do not expect t to go on perfectly smoothly. Epoxy is not paint and doesn't go on as smoothly as paint does. Left as is, the graphite bottom will be glossy black and a bit lumpy. If you can tolerate the black dust (which is pretty nasty) graphite bottoms which have then been sanded smooth to about 220-320 grit have a gorgeous satin charcoal color and make a pretty elegant finish (at least until you take it out on the river and grind down a few rock gardens).
  3. OP

    Nachako Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Todd

    That was a big help
    Living in the Rockies I am planning on more than a few rock gardens

  4. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Another option instead of Kevlar, is 100% Polyester felt (Sweat shirt material) It adds thickness like Kevlar, but it is sandable, and comes in a variety of colors.
    Use the same method as applying a Kevlar skid pad.

    I've used this on a couple of composite builds. It's quite durable.

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