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Cliff Jacobson: NO to skid plates!

My strip canoes get dynel wear strips when new. No reason to wait until they wear to the wood core. I put a lot of hard miles on my canoes and I've had single days that would easily or i shoukd say, have worn through multiple layers of e glass. On my most used canoe I have replaced the dynel wear strips on the bow twice and it needs it again. No real reason to wait on any boat. If I were to buy a new tripping canoe, which isn't likely, I would put the wear strips on before the first significant trip.

Finally! Bought it new and had the dealer install the strips before I picked it up. I got a Covid shot for the same reason. A couple of pounds and a couple of gurgles seems like a fair trade to me.
I'm firmly in the no exterior skid plate camp.
Ugly, slows the boat down, can't sand Kevlar, not sure they even protect the place that get's the most wear.
Internal skid plates are another matter. I usually order them on my composite canoes. Not so much for wear, but for impact protection.
I did a BWCAW trip with a bow paddler that would never warn me about rocks under the surface when approaching a portage take out. Just let me smack into them. Nice to know the bow is going to take the impact.
I think opinions differ on the kevla skit plates ... as with so many other things.
Some people like it, others don't.
So what the heck!
I have also fitted these skid plates to my canoe. Even made from this terribly rough and thick Kevlar Felt that frays at the edges.
But I must have done something wrong. After the epoxy had hardened, everything was quite smooth, even and uniform.
Even the color matched the color of my canoe perfectly.


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I make skids plates with 100% Polyester fleece. ( Sweat Shirt material )

It's sandable, I can get it in just about any color.

It's not as abrasion resistant, as Kevlar, but the thickness, will give your stems, a much longer life, than without ! I use the Polyester cloth on my composites.
I learned this trick, from Al Gustofson, former owner of North West canoe, in St Paul Mn.


For my Strippers, that I don't like to cover with Kevlar.
I just add extra layers of Bias strips, of cloth, E-glass, or S-glass, to the stems. It adds a little thickness, and abrasion resistance. Without being ugly.
Here is a hull with two bias strips, and an extra layer on the football.


Here it is finished. Bias strips and extra layer over the football, are invisible.


I’m considering putting these EZ Keel skids on a couple of flat waterboats. https://www.keeleazy.com/
They look like a good alternative for someone sitting on the skid plate fence.

If you do it, write a review after a season or so. My intuition is that a mostly-PVC keel strip would be too soft to survive long term with boats dragged around on rocky rivers, but if it works, it sure looks easy. It might be good for UV protection on a royalex boat that's worn down to the outermost ABS layer but hasn't taken any major hits.