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Thread: Teflon on river boat

  1. #1
    New member
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    Apr 2006

    Default Teflon on river boat

    Is having teflon strips on the bottom of your river boat worth it? What do you gain? How do you retrofit a boat without drilling holes?

  2. #2
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    UHMW (think that is what it is called) was an expensive option on my boat but i think it was worth every penny of it. my boat has very think hull 3/8 in center and 1/4 on sides of bottom and it is bolted on. I have not heard of any one having luck getting it attached without bolting it on.
    Gain? well i have slid it across 10 yards or more of gravel and have slammed unseen rocks without damage.

  3. #3
    Member Xerophobic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Calgary Alberta


    What do you mean when you say "strips"? UHMW as stated can be invaluable when applied correctly and when a boat is to be used in a rough/shallow enviroment. It has been successfully glued on by a US based company but we have no data to show how easily it is repaired and how it lasts in impact situations over time.
    For us bolting it on is still the best way to affix it.


    (pic is a 16' Tomcat, larger version of AK's boat)
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    Skinny water addict

  4. #4
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Campbell, CA


    Teflon would not work very well due to its low abrasion resistance. As stated in the prior posts UHMW (ultra high molecular weight polypropylene) is the stuff you want! I have strips on the bottom of my drift boat and it works great!!


  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default past threads

    there are several older threads about attaching UHMW to boats. There has been some work done to try and use adhesives, but to date not much if any data shows it will work. The expansion/contraction rate on UHMW is tremendous as compared to aluminum. I am skeptical that any type of adhesive would be permanent.
    OZAK is attaching UHMW to his new boat and is not bolting it. It involves drilling the UHMW and welding special fittings to the boat. I'll let him describe the process further.
    Xerophobic, is that picture Photoshopped? WoW! Tell us a bit more, like how you got around that log jam in the first place and/or how you got back up. What kind of power do you have on that Tomcat? Sure looks like those boys are about to get showered. Now that would be a picture.

  6. #6
    Member OzAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Fairbanks Alaska

    Default UHMW and welders

    Well looks like Rat set me up but I don't mind helping IF I can do someone some good. If I was living in the States or even Canada where the temperature extremes aren't quite as vile as they can be here in Interior Alaska (not that it doesn't get cold other places, but when's the last time anyone other than a far northerner saw -50 or even -60 as we did here earlier this year?) I would consider glueing this stuff on. Long term though, mechanical fasteners whatever they may be, are the permanent solution with UHMW. This method is simple, and to give credit where credit is due it comes from some guys in the Palmer/Wasilla area that have had some good success with it over the past 10 years or so.

    The first and most important criteria here is that your boat really needs to have a minimum bottom thickness of no less than .090 or .100, .125 is reallt better because you will be welding directly to the bottom of the boat with a MIG welder with aluminum wire.

    The plastic is cut and prepped (edges beveled, holes located and pilot drilled) and the final holes are bored in the pattern of your choice along the edges typically 6-8" apart, can be straight pattern or two row staggered, your choice. Sealant can be used around the holes in the UHMW and along the edges to keep water from getting in behind the UH.
    Take your best guess for a sealant, I havn't decided yet what to use, but know that you are not trying to glue the UH on so much as you are just sealing up the gaps and edges.

    The final holes are cut in with a special cutter I made on a Bridgeport and it pilots in a .500 (1/2") center hole, first cutter bores a 1" hole all the way through the plastic, then the bigger outer cutter 1.750 (1 3/4") cuts a square bottom hole about .125" (1/8") in depth. A .125" aluminum dimpled washer made from 5052-H32 is used in each hole by centering it in the hole and rosette welding it to the bottom of the boat until the dimple is filled and then grinding if needed. A dimpled washer is basically a countersunk washer, but the "countersink" is pressed in so no metal is removed and effectively makes the washer twice as thick as it started. This dimple fits down into the 1" hole and has room to allow the plastic to move under expansion & contraction while the top flange of the washer keeps the sheet in place. The sheet is strapped into its final location and the welder is unfurled to weld the washers to the hull down through the 9/16 hole with the aluminum wire. With everything flush (after grinding) sealant can be applied over the washer and that's it. Not easy for everyone equipment-wise but for me it works. Take care, Oz


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