Skid Plate Installation

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Riverken
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Skid Plate Installation

Post by Riverken » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:00 pm

The instructions for installing kevlar skid plates on a royalex boat are confusing to me. After waiting a long time on hold to Harmony I gave up trying to ask them.

The instructions say that immediately after putting the wet skid plates on the hull and smoothing out all the wrinkles and bubbles, flip the canoe over and allow the resin to cure for 24 hours. You should not let the wet skid plates com in contact with anything while curing.


It's the part about flipping the canoe over while the skid plates are wet that I don't understand. Now that the boat is right side up, won't gravity tend to pull the skid plates away from the boat? And, once canoe is right side up, how do you keep the wet skid plates from contacting whatever it is resting on, unless the support is right in the middle of the boat, which is not how you would ordinarily want to support it.

Why not just leave the boat upside down until the resin cures, so that gravity is your friend?

When I installed skid plates years ago the instructions said to lay saran wrap over the wet kevlar so that you could smooth out the bubbles and wrinkles without contacting the resin. They don't say that any more. Has something changed? I thought that was a convenient way to do it.

Also, the kevlar strips are quite large, since they are meant for tandem boats. They are really too long for a ten foot canoe. Can you cut them down with a scizzors?

I guess you want to know where I got a new royalex boat. A friend decided to get out of boating and sold me his Paradigm that he had used twice, on class 2. He gave me a good price, too. Life is sweet.

ezwater
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by ezwater » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:03 pm

I have a 17 year old Royalex ww boat and have never put skid plates on it. You may never need them. Wear may be more under your solo pedestal than at the ends of the boat.

Riverken
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by Riverken » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:31 pm

Trust me. I need them. My average boat life is about 4 years. Although my Option probably will outlast me, and will be a legacy in my will.

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sbroam
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by sbroam » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:17 pm

Don't flip the boat over - I have no idea why it says that. I've done more than a few skid plates and have never done anything but leave the boats upside down till cured. You can cut Kevlar felt with sharp scissors, though don't use any that are "special"... If you significantly trim them, you could end up with quite a bit more resin than you need - more resin is not better, it'll make them brittle.

If it's not too late - return the kit. Instead use what I think of as the "Peter Blanc Recipe" - dynel fabric and g/Flex (both available from Sweet Composites and, in quantity at least, cheaper than the Kevlar approach). If it is too late, don't worry about it and run with what you have.

chuck naill
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by chuck naill » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:47 pm

I've used plain old fiberglass cloth and resin that works as good as those commercial kits and for lots less money. I need to repair some sections on a Kevlar grunch that's on the '85 Sunbright Sunburst and I plan to use fiberglass cloth.

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hazardharry
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by hazardharry » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:06 am

fiskars will cit it but only a tiny bit at a time. any pre stretching is good because it grow as you burnish it on. p blanc method works well too.
if its a flowin' i'm a goin' if its frozen i'm a dozin'

clt_capt
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by clt_capt » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:46 am

Yes you can cut the kevlar to the size/shape you want. A BRAND NEW pair of Fiskars will do the job - clean, but slow.

Once you cut the shape you want, put it on the boat dry - use a marker to outline where they will go on the boat - give yourself a bit of wiggle room (1/4 inch on each side is plenty). Remove the dry kevlar. Now outline the marker with black vinyl electrical tape. Put enough overlapping layers to build out 2 - 3 inches from your outline (The tape will be easy to remove after)

I would suggest 2 Mil polyethelene plastic sheet (drop Cloth) instead of saran wrap.

scuff the area inside the marker with a scotchbrite pad or sandpaper.

Mix your epoxy, wet out the kevlar on a flat board covered with plastic. Paint a small amount of resin inside the marker lines, Now put the wet kevlar on the boat, careful not to overlap the electrical tape. work out the obvious bubbles as well as you can. A bondo squeegee is probably best. try to remove as much excess resin (so it is not dripping off) as possible

Cover with plastic, pull it tight and gently work out any bubbles, while keeping the resin from flowing beyond the electrical tape.

Try to remove the electrical tape after the resin has gelled, but before it has fully set. Leave the plastic until the resin has cured. It will easily peel off.

Sweet Composites usually carries Kevlar felt and west epoxy - lots cheaper than the kits.

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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by JimW » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:03 pm

Don't flip, that would be a bad idea!

Never tried kevlar felt, but I bought kevlar shears for about £20 which deal with kevlar cloth and carbon/kevlar cloth just fine - most composites suppliers should have them.

Wear at least a pair of nitrile gloves when working with epoxy (contact can cause sensitization, usually depends on amount of contact but some people get it quicker than others), if you are messy wear heavy duty rubber gloves (marigolds / washing up type) over the top of nitrile. I use barrier cream (and up arms), nitrile and industrial marigolds for most work, if I am doing something intricate (like smoothing out bubbles) I will take the heavy duty off and just use nitrile. Nitrile last longer than latex in thinners, but still don't last long so best to wear marigolds for cleaning up your tools.

I've started using peel ply over repairs, I can smooth the edges down well and then tape it down tight to make sure the patch is smooth when it cures. But there are a couple of things to understand, first the resin soaks through the peel ply (so will not create a barrier like saran wrap (cling film in UK)), second when you peel it off you will get a fine texture the same as the peel ply fabric - the bonus is that the waxy amine coating will have been peeled away so you can bond directly to this surface if making a multi-stage repair (no sanding required). If your resin to fibre ratio is good you might not get very much resin seep through the peel ply, so if you are using to allow later bonding it is worth rolling a little more resin to make sure the peel ply is properly wetted out - the waxy stuff will rise to the surface, you just want to ensure that the surface is on the waste side of the peel ply.
My polo kayak has about 30% hull repairs, all with peel ply texture - I don't think it will affect my top speed significantly :)

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hazardharry
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by hazardharry » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:04 pm

oh buy the way kevlar felt fibers can get into your eyes and will be there only couple days if your lucky.
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Jim Michaud
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by Jim Michaud » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:50 am

I really like sbroam's idea of using dynel and g-flex. Every canoe that I ever had with Kevlar skid plates ended up with the stern skid plate shattering. Sometimes the bow skid plate would also break apart.

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sbroam
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Re: Skid Plate Installation

Post by sbroam » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:27 am

Credit where it's due, it's Peter Blanc's idea! I had thrown a question out here about skid plates and he offered up detailed thoughts and instructions. I've adopted them very closely and have done about a dozen boats now and it's worked well.

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