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Kevlar Skid Plates

When the bow and stern of your canoe shows wear from scraping over shoals and shallows, extend its life by applying Kevlar skid plates. Your Royalex canoe is a vinyl-ABS-foam sandwich; it's time for skids plates when lighter colored ABS material or foam core shows. The NWC Skid Plates will also protect Polyethylene canoes like the Old Town Discovery series. Polyethylene hulls require additional surface preparation. Likewise, exposed fabric on the bow or stern of a Kevlar, fiberglass or high-tech composite hull means it's time. Narrower Kevlar felts are ideally suited for the fine entry lines of today's high-tech lightweight canoes.

Paddlers often feel it's criminal to destroy the performance of their canoe by adding skid plates, fearing the drag. A marathon canoe racer might feel the difference. The fact is, hull shape and wetted surface area determine your canoe's glide and efficiency. As for weight, you add less than a pound to your canoe with our Solo/Composite Skid Plate Kit. You won't feel the difference car-toppping or porataging that.


Right-size Canoe Skid Plates

Resurrect that threadbare, exposed core, water in the end tanks excuse for a canoe, or prevent your like-new canoe from becoming one. Degree of degradation, canoe shape and hull material vary from canoe to canoe, so why settle for a one size fits all solution when your canoe needs skid plates. NorthWest canoe offers three canoe skid plate kits.

How much area do you need to cover? A proven boulder basher with a broad entry showing a lot of skin damage requires the largest Kevlar felt we offer. The LiveryTough Skid Plate Kit contains a felt 44-inches long by 7-inches wide, tapering to 2 inches where it meets the waterline. On a Magic, Prism or any other composite solo canoe (fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber) the LiveryTough felt will look like a horse blanket on an Italian Greyhound.

We right-size the felts in the Solo/Composite Skid Plate Kit for fine entry lines of contemporary solo and tandem canoes. The sleek 32 x 3 inch Kevlar felt covers typical wear areas on these fine entry canoes. For a wider nosed Royalex solo or composite tandem, especially one you load up and take canoe-tripping, use our Tandemi/Universal Skid Plate Kit. This is our most poplar Skid Plate Kit, which offers a 38-inch long, 5-inch wide felt.

Resin systems vary too. Epoxy works great on stiff hull materials – wood, gel coat, any resin finish canoe. You get a pint of marine epoxy in our Solo/Composite Skid Plate Kit. Epoxy applied to a more flexible Royalex or polyethylene hull, well it’s a little like fingernail polish on a balloon. A flexy foundation makes the bond less stable, a skid plate more prone to crack or delaminate.

While nail polish on a balloon isn’t a good idea, rubber baby buggy bumpers have held up for generations. Urethane resin cures to the consistency of a no-spark plastic hammer. With elasticity properties similar to Royalex or polyethylene, it makes sense to include this resin system in the Tandem/Universal and LiveryTough kits. The two urethane based kits provide exceptional toughness to any hull material, any canoe.


How To Install Kevlar Skid Plates

  1. Turn your Royalex® canoe upside-down on sawhorses and stage your work area before mixing resin and hardener.

  2. Surface preparation is critical. Trim away loose delaminating outer skin. Clean off dirt, grease, oil and surface crud with detergent (like Dawn or Simple Green) and water.

  3. Lay the dry felts on the canoe and trace the outline. As a general rule position your plates ten-to-twelve inches below the gunwale, tip an inch or two above the waterline [felts saturated with resin will gain 10-15%, primarily in length].

  4. Set the dry felt aside. Sand inside the lines. Use a clean rag and wipe the sanded area with acetone.

  5. When installing on polyethylene canoes [Old Town calls the material PolyLink3; Mad River, TripleTough;Wenonah, TPR], you must flame the surface. Adjust the blue cone to 1” and rapidly sweep your torch back and forth across the area receiving the skid plate. This open flame step is critical. You want to BLUSH the surface, not cook your canoe.

  6. Mask the prepped area to catch the inevitable drips.

  7. Pour ALL of one hardener can (B) and one resin can (A) together and stir for two minutes. It’s pre measured. You have plenty of resin to saturate one felt.

  8. GET THE CATALYZED RESIN OUT OF THE CUP. You have 15-20 minutes of working time. Pour a line of resin onto your work surface (this is where the trash bag comes in), lay a felt in the pool of catalyzed resin, pour the other half on top of the felt. Work the felt with gloved hands like bread dough orby dabbing as you would pick up liquid with a paper towel. The felt must be thoroughly saturated “wetted-out” with catalyzed resin.

  9. Place the wet skid plate on the prepared surface and smooth it out with your hand, working from the center towards the edges to evict any trapped air bubbles.

  10. Clean off runs and drips with a putty knife, or rag and acetone while the resin is still gooey.

  11. Starting at step 6, repeat for the opposite end of the canoe.

  12. Pull the masking tape in about 1 hour.



View / Download:
Installation Instructions - Tandem / Universal Skid Plate Kit
Installation Instructions - Solo / Composite Skid Plate Kit


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