OK, this is a subject that gets lots of attention here on the site.
95% of repairs to our canoes concern the Keel area.
the other 5% are seats, yokes, endcaps, gunnels..
We have talked in length about trying to repair Coleman or Pelcian polyethylene materials with varied results. The following repairs we made this season to our Fiberglass and Royalex boats has so far worked the best ever.
we did NOT try this repair on any Coleman or Pelican boats.
A neighbor here in Sterling owns a business that sprays truck bed liners. The common name for this is Rino lining.
I had 13 canoes that I picked out of the fleet of 30 some odd boats. they were in good shape, but showed wear on the keel lines in the leading edges where they run up on shore.
We took the canoes over to Tony's shop and prepared them for the spray by taping off the area we wanted to build up with the two part rino material. we scuffed the fiberglass and royalex with scotch bright pads and then wiped them off with a light dose of MEK cleaner.
Tony then removed our tape job and put his special tape on. this special tape has a very strong and very small piece of string in it, similar to dental floss size. he covered the canoe with a cut out paper so we had no over spray where we didn't want it, and he sprayed each canoe keel line with the rino hide material. the Spray comes out very hot. 185 degrees or hotter, and sets up almost immediatly. that ment he had to quickly pull that cutting string in the tape as soon as he was done with each canoe.
this made a perfect line. One canoe at a time. It took about 4 hours to tape, and spray the 13 canoes.
This was a gamble on our part as to whether this would work.
We were not sure if the rino material would adhere to the glass and Royalex.. but we decided to take the gamble and see if if would work.
The canoes came out of the event looking great, and about 1 to 2 lbs heavier depending on how wide and deep the material was put on.
I would guess it is between 1/8 to 1/4 inch average, and is a very smooth and shinny finish.
I was concerned at first that the finish would end up like the marble effect in a truck bed, but Tony assured me that he could spray it as smooth as glass... and he did..
We did these canoes in first week of May, and now over a month later and several trips already in the canoe trail system and also down both the Moose river and the Swanson river, they show no wear at all..
that material is really tough and flexible, and has adhered to the materials perfectly so far.
This was not a cheap fix, as we paid $1,600.00 to do the 13 canoes.
If you buy a kevlar keel repair kit, you will pay between $65 and $85 per boat.
I have used the kevlar keel kits and guess what... they last about one season maybe... at least on Rental boats..lol
They will last much longer on your own canoe, as you won't beat your own boat up as much as a rental.
We have decided to do all of our boats with the Rino hide keel protectors in the future. All of our new canoes will get the treatment before entering the water for the first time.
It will cost about $110.00 per canoe, but it looks like It will give us an extra year or more life.
We will keep you posted as to how they hold up from a full season of Scout abuse and swanson river rocks etc.
I will post some pictures when I find where I put them..