• Fitting a skid plate or bang plate

    I have owned a Pyranha Traveller 15 in Royalite since about 1998. I bought it at a time when I was starting to get bored with my kk and wanted something that I could travel in a more leisurely manner with and carry more picnic food/camping gear and also take my dog with me.

    In the initial years as I learnt to paddle in straighter lines it suffered very little damage even on white water as being light and manoeuvrable I was able to use my kk experience to throw it around reasonably well.

    However in the last few years I have tried ever more demanding waters and this resulted in September with me severely rattling the tail on a river in Scotland and subsequent inspection showed the start of several splits. It did not stop the canoe from being gaffer-taped up and used for another two days but I was being careful.

    On my return to the south I purchased a We-No-Nah Prospector 15 which is a better boat for my type of paddling (and yes I have split the tail on that one too) but the Pyranha is a lovely boat and will last for years yet for myself and friends/family so it deserved a skid plate and some TLC.

    I needed the We-No-Nah mended in a hurry so I rather learnt on that and also did not have the time to play with the camera. Some people will, I know, have different ideas about how I did my repair but as I could not find any ready advice I have written this in the hope that it might help others. Any further comments on the repair would be appreciated as the way I am going, I might have to do another repair job one day and I know someone else who might be asking me to have a go at their boat…

    As I said the Pyranha had a split – well several really.

    I was advised by Dave Crooks at Endless River – guess whose Skid Plate kit I used?? – to drill the ends of the splits to stop them running further as the hull flexed in future use.

    I used a small grinder to explore the cracks.

    I then ground off the very flaky pieces of outer plastic shell but tried to avoid getting into the foam base or taking too much of the unstuck plastic flaps off. I decided that dabbing some resin under the flaps would help stick them down.

    I placed the patch over the canoe end and marked around it – I know, green felt pen on a green boat…

    But so what, I could see it! The line is just below the finger. I then sanded the hull within the lined area and on it using some non-clogging 3M sandpaper. I gave it a good rub all over making sure that I did up and down strokes, across strokes and round in circles movements for good measure – in fact everything that you would not want to do to wood – in order to make sure that I had a good surface to key the resin on to. I wiped down the hull with cloth and then used ‘vanilla’ flavoured nail polish remover from Boots – plenty left if you want some – as that was the only type of Acetone that I could find in town to finish with.

    I also cut some darts into the edge of the material so that it would fold a little easier around the curve of the stem. This had worked well on the We-No-Nah but was probably not necessary on this boat as the hull is not so finely proportioned.

    It may assist if you have some help in doing the job if only for moral support!!

    I had seen a few other boats with resin runs and so I decided to mask mine off with tape.

    And plastic bags from the local supermarket

    I then decided not to follow the instructions about using cardboard to wet out the patch. I had heard from several sources that an Endless River kit would not have enough resin – vehemently denied by Dave and Carolyn – but I was not taking the risk. I wet my patch on top of the boat working on the principle that any run off would only go on the place I wanted it anyway.

    After wetting the one side of the patch and slipping some gel in the flaps of loose plastic, I flipped the patch and wetted out the other side keeping a close watch on the time as the resin is curing once the hardener is mixed in. I then applied three longitudinal layers of cling film (this is something that there is plenty of!) and using a beer can started rolling out some air bubbles and making sure that the patch was smooth. In the photo you can see that one side is yellowier (unrolled) and the other side looks greener. A small fibre glassing roller (the sort with discs) would have been better on the wetted patch before the cling film but I could not find one for sale.

    At this stage in future I will remove the masking tape and bags as it might be easier than after the resin has hardened.

    I then wrapped the end of the canoe in cling film giving it tight laminations and went off to clean the equipment and drink the beer!

    I did not turn my boat over as suggested in the instructions but without the masking tape and bags I would do.

    I am quite pleased with the finished result. It has not been on the water yet but the We-No-Nah has been scraped down rock several times and is standing up to the job well.

    Next time I will be more careful when I stir the resin and hardener as I feel I put too many air bubbles in the mix. Otherwise I am very happy with my result.

    I am sure there is more to be said but the instructions in the bucket from Endless River (plus nearly everything you need and there was sufficient resin) cover most things like perhaps wanting your patch higher up the stem of the front of the canoe (I have only patched my sterns so one kit did both boats) and the usual Health and Safety advice.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Fitting a skid plate or bang plate started by Thysville View original post