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Keel strip thoughts.


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I am planning out my next boat, and I was wondering if anybody had opinions on this Keel strips.

I have the option of:

[li]1. No keel strip

[li]2. Glass keel strip

[li]3. Kevlar keel strip.

I am leaning to get a keel strip as I would like to protect the boat.

Weight aside is there an advantage of a Kevlar keel strip over a glass one or a glass keel strip over a Kevlar one.

Thanks -Jason

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Hi Jason,

Both Bob and I have the new "truck bed material" keel strip, he on his Tempest, I on my RomanyLV. They are great and cheaper than glass (which I have on my ExplorerLV) and look wonderful. I had the RomanyLV in some rocks etc two weeks ago, and the new strip came through like a trooper.

Carl Ladd at Osprey does them. It takes about a week altogether, but it's worth it.

You can take a look at both of ours on Saturday.

Deb M

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How about graphite?

John Leonard put one on one of my old Gulfstreams and it held up great for SLIDING over rocks. Dave, do you still have that boat?

I have seen the TRUCK applications and they can be a bit grabby for my taste. Slippery is better in my opinion.


Bob Burnett

Sr. Sea Kayak Instructor/Guide

Seattle Raft & Kayak

Seattle WA


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As to a keel strip...yes is the answer.

Material...I have a glass strip on my carb/kev Avocet & est. the weight gain to be about 2#. My understanding is that when a Kevlar (arimid) strip wears down (I know a coach who can wear a srip down to the glass in about 2 yrs.) it can be difficult to repair.

I know nothing about truck bedliners but I would go with the tried & true glass

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...graphite powder mixed with epoxy and applied over a fiberglass keel strip. Using graphite/epoxy on the hull is not uncommon with small boat builders and it apparently does make the hull slip over obstacles easier. The downsides are that it's really messy to work with (especially if you have to sand it) and it will cause the boat to get very hot if it's left in the sun with the hull upward. Of course, the latter is not a significant consideration with just a keel strip.

It's important to make the distinction between graphite and carbon fiber. A carbon fiber keel strip would be a waste of money (and carbon fiber) as it has considerably lower abrasion resistance than fiberglass.

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