Keel protection strip

Spray bedliner and test subjects.

I’ve been thinking that all the oyster beds, rocks, sand, launch ramps and trailer events are going to take a bit of a toll on the hulls, especially the vaka (it’s already sustained some gouging from earlier in life…), so I’ve been debating how to best protect the rather sharp keel edge of the hulls.  The traditional method would be to lay a couple fiberglass tapes in either epoxy or polysester resin, and then fair and paint.  There is also the “kayak style” keel strip, which is the same thing, only using a thickened resin, capped with gelcoat, and not faired in.  This is usually done in a contrasting color to show damage and wear.  While researching keel protection, I also found one guy who suggested… SPRAY ON TRUCK BEDLINER COATING!

Well now… this sounded interesting, as I know how thick and durable the professional coatings are (the military uses them to bomb-proof concrete block walls in the Middle East!), so I grabbed a can I just happened to have around, and sprayed some on a wood block, along with a former lunch container, to see what would happen.

Sprayed with 5 coats of spray-on bedliner coating...

My initial impression is that the coating is too thin to be used by itself (not true of the professional coatings).  I’m going to let it cure for a couple of days, and then start abusing it with various tools to see how tough it is… but my guess for now is that if I use it, it’ll be on top of a fiberglass tape job.  Which doesn’t sound all that bad!

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One Response to Keel protection strip

  1. Mike says:

    Followup note: Epic Fail! The plastic lunch container was far stronger and more abrasion resistant than the spray on bedliner. I could scrape the stuff off with my fingernails.

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