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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:20 am 
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A kayaking buddy of mine just got involved with Keel Eazy. They are looking at developing a skid plate kit for whitewater canoes, and being the only whitewater canoer they know, they asked me to test their prototypes out. They plan on trying several different configurations.

Disclaimer: My only association with them is that I am testing these strips out. If it works they will set up my boats with the configuration I like best for free for letting them use my boats as guinea pigs. If I want more later I have to pay like everyone else!

You can read about Keel Eazy at http://www.keeleazy.com . Basically it is PVC strips that have a heat activated adhesive on one side. The glue sticks to fiberglass, kevlar, ABS, polyethylene, and, at least initially, royalex. The idea is that it provides abrasion protection to the hull material.

I went to their shop today and they put it on my Probe and Caption. The installation took less than 20 minutes per boat, and they were ready to paddle immediately (although I wasn't!). The heat used to prep the glue was similar to what you would use to activate vynabond type glues.

They put 3" wide strips on the bows, and 4" wide ones on the sterns. The Probe had regular strips installed, and the Caption had padded strips (basically these had 2" strips glued on under the 4 or 3" strips). They are also working on a third option where a rubber strip is substituted for the 2" strip to offer additional padding.

Here are my initial impressions:

1. It offers no additional structural support.

2. It is easy to install.

3. It seems pretty firmly attached the boat.

4. The "padded" strips seem like they will offer additional impact protection over the unpadded strips.

5. They had some test strips on PE whitewater kayaks. The boats had been used since they put them on and they didn't look like they were going anywhere anytime soon.

Time will tell how these things fair. I'll post the results good or bad. What impressed me is that they seem willing to develop something that will work.

Here are some pics of the strips on my boats: [url]
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... dd2cb1a8ab[/url] .

I can think of a ton of applications for this if it sticks to royalex in a usable way, but to me the most interesting thing is that it sticks to PE. I think I may have talked them into seeing if it bonds to PE well enough to act as a base so that you can glue in D-rings to outfit C1, and put straps in boats like the L'edge.

Kyle


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 Post subject: Keel Eazy strips
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Kyle,
I hope this product works well. I have a Nitro with really worn chines, and this looks like a great repair option.
Keez


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Hey Kyle

Are they located in Bellingham?

Can you give a rough idea of prices -- say, for the amount of work they did on your boat?

I have this old Bulldog. . .

Thanks
Rick

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Their store with prices is at
http://www.keeleazy.com/rapidcart/index.html

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http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Rick,

They are in Bellingham.

In my opinion the canoe kit they currently offer is far too short to protect most whitewater canoes and if you decide to buy some to test it out yourself I would talk to them about getting the strips 48" long and 4" wide (the ones on my boats are 44" long).

Using the prices on their site it would cost $48 for one 48" long 4" wide padded strip (48" of 2" strip plus 48" of 4" strip), or $32 for the unpadded one (48" of 4" strip). For 3" wide skid plates it would cost $40 for the padded strips, and $24 for unpadded. I don't know what they would charge to make a kit in these lengths if you wanted the cotton rag, razor blade, and alcohol for application. I also don't know what they would charge to install it if you didn't want to do so yourself.

You can call them at (360) 778-3944 or email them at info@keeleazy.com. Remember though that this is something they are testing on royalex. Nobody knows for sure (although they have a pretty god idea) if it will stay on in whitewater conditions or how well it will protect the hull.

Keez,

If the royalex has gone soft you would still want to a typical repair to it. The strips have about the same rigidity as raft repair material, but if you use glass or kevlar for repairs this would be a good way to protect the repair when it is done.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:04 am 
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Thanks, Kyle

Are you suggesting that the installation should be done by the guyz in the shop, or is it a do-it-yourself project?

Thx.
Rick

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:11 am 
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Not at all. If you are handy enough to glue a patch with vynabond then you are more than qualified to put the strips on your boat.

Kyle


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:30 am 
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So here are some early test results.

Test one - Pavement Boat Drag: Failed

At Thursday's pool session I dragged my Probe from my car to the door of the pool over dry pavement. The distance was about 50 yards. This was done more to test the company owner's claim that he had been dragging his kevlar kayak from the water to his car over barnacle covered rocks for two years without damage rather than how it would hold up on the river. The drag burned through a large section of the Keel Eazy and took a small patch of the vinyl layer off the royalex.

Test two - Accidental Boat Drop: Passed

On Saturday I ran the lower Chilliwack River at low water. After some mild rock bumping the strips still looked new (except for the portion damaged in the drag test). At the takeout I was hauling my boat up the rock embankment when I slipped and dropped the boat. It went down the embankment over a bunch of sharp rocks and pitoning off some more sharp rocks at the bottom before launching into the river. When we got the boat back the section of the bow that hit the rock hard at the bottom (the impact was severe enough to dislodge the hose from the pump) had a couple of minor scratches in the Keel Eazy strips. A section of the boat without the strips was scratched down to the ABS, and would not have taken a hit like the bow did. Without the strips the bow would have certainly been damaged.

At this point time will tell whether they will hold up. I'll post more results as I get them. The pics in the earlier link have been updated.

Kyle


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:02 pm 
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hey kyle,

did you're boat make it through coquihalla canyon or did you get it back before then? :wink:

'cause if this stuff can get a canoe through there, it is amazing!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:22 pm 
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I would love to run the Coquihalla sometime. With all the old road debris it would be a good test.

Heather was on it fast. She got it into shore within 150 yards. If it wasn't for the drop I wouldn't even have bothered mentioning the trip as a test. I'll get it out on the Chilli Canyon sometime soon as well.

Is the canyon the class III+/IV section?

Kyle[/list]


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Is this material anything like Rec'Repair?

http://www.recrepair.com/

I have used this stuff for small repairs on tandem Royalex canoes and it has bonded well and done a nice job. I carry a piece of it when we go tripping as a part of the emergency repair kit also. It is expensive but versatile stuff. They also make skid plate kits that are too expensive for what they are but that is just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:19 pm 
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whoops. it's been a while since i've been up there. i was thinking the canyon on the coquihalla was on the chilliwack. i think the canyon on the chilli is 3+ish..

i guess the coq canyon is runnable, i'd just seen the tunnel rapids at higher water and they are monsters. that was also many years and rivers ago so maybe they'd look smaller now.....yeah right!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:19 pm 
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It is not like those strips at all.

These are more like raft patches that come with adhesive on one side. They don't get rigid.

Opps: I run the Chilliwack Canyon in the L'edge. That section just seems like a good way to destroy a decent boat!

Kyle


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