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Thread: Fitting a skid plate or bang plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default 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.

    Enjoy...

  2. #2

    Default

    Very usefull, I have an endless river skid plate kit thats been In my back bedroom for 7 mths. I feel it will be there for a good while yet but when I do need to fit them I will know were to look for advice
    Regards Retro


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default

    Looks to be a damn fine job to me, sir. I'm quite worried, though, as you obviously took far more care and paid far more attention to detail when fitting your skid plates than I did when I fitted mine!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default I think that the resin has a shelf life?

    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Very usefull, I have an endless river skid plate kit thats been In my back bedroom for 7 mths. I feel it will be there for a good while yet but when I do need to fit them I will know were to look for advice
    Regards Retro
    Not sure about this as I have binned my labels, bottles kept for other storage.

    It might be worth your checking as the kits are not cheap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Good to see a battered old warrior get a new lease on life.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thysville View Post
    Not sure about this as I have binned my labels, bottles kept for other storage.

    It might be worth your checking as the kits are not cheap.
    Thanks for the heads up , just got the kit out the price tag reads £49.99 theres no use by dates on any of the kit components. If there was it would have been members classified for £35 quid.
    Regards Retro


  7. #7
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    freckleton, lancs
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Very usefull, I have an endless river skid plate kit thats been In my back bedroom for 7 mths. I feel it will be there for a good while yet but when I do need to fit them I will know were to look for advice
    Regards Retro
    i might be wrong, but im sure that epoxy resin has a certain shelf life, so check your tins for use by dates. ive used out of date epoxy fuel tank sealants on motorbike tanks, and it goes off allarming ly quickly, under 5 minutes in one case. so it might be worth making a note of the resins use by date, and storing it somewhere cool like the shed.


    quick edit, and then after posting this, i notice that its already been said !!!!!!
    sod work, im off for a paddle.

  8. #8

    Default

    Great article and probably the best way to do it, I tend to do the same when applying skid plates.

    Just one word of warning if you are doing both ends of the boat, do one end at a time, make sure that you split the resin and hardener equally (scales are the best method for this) as it does take quite a time to do one end and you will find that the resin has started to go off when you come to do the other end if you mix it all in one go.

    Cling Film is a good alternative to Peel Ply and is easier to obtain and gives a relatively smooth finish, it also helps if you do as Thysville says and roll something over the top to make sure that the resin penetrates the Kevlar and wets out fully. You can get a wallpaper roller from most DIY stores, but I like the idea of the beer can at least you can drink the contents afterwards, you can't do the same with a roller

  9. #9
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    Default

    I need to fit skid plates to my wenonah soon so this will be handy. I will also mark this to get copied tot he main site on my next update

  10. #10
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    Default Thanks

    Hi,

    Thanks for posting - I know it takes some time and trouble to get around to it, but spongers like me really appreciate the help. Always good to learn from other people's mistakes - or in that case successes!

    Ben

  11. #11

    Default

    Just as a quick thought, don't try to put a skid plate kit on a brand new boat as usually there is some residue of the release agent from the mold still on the boat. Best to use the boat for a month or so before trying to fit the kit's, this also roughens the surface and makes a good key for the resin.

  12. #12
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    Default Back at it again...

    Bembe needed some skid plates on his canoe and although we intended spending an evening of our week camping at Biblins on the Wye while the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions were out doing their thing in the end the weather was so lovely that there were better things to do than mend canoes that could still be paddled...

    I got the job therefore of bringing his Mad River back to Worcester together with the Scouts Hayling trailer which was also badly in need of some TLC and some re-design work by my neighbour who is a very useful engineer. It is quite amazing that a big name like Hayling could build something as poorly as this trailer. The actual running gear and build quality is superb but whoever constructed it did not consider how it was going to carry the load of eight heavy canoes! Still all fixed now and a full service done too as well as some clever bits of angle iron which have been placed 'sharp side' up to protect the mudguards from scouts who like sitting on them.

    I have therefore had the canoe in my garage 'drying' for a month and when I arrived at the office this morning to find that there was no power and would not come back all day I decided to head for home and get on with skid plates.



    As you can see, this boats tail has also had quite a severe compression.



    I considered heating the hull and trying to knock the dent out but decided that this might weaken the hull more. I also considered filling the dent but also felt that this would just give it an area that might fail in the future. This canoe is not for racing so as long as it is tough that is more important than pretty.



    The job was done quite easily, a lot more resin available in this kit. I actually had the use of two as the first one purchased has leaked. I took the risk of doing both ends of the canoe in the same session and though I raced along the resin was not going off in the time I took.

    I even took the opportunity to put a small patch on the side of my We-no-nah which has now developed three small lateral cracks. I also lathered some resin on a few other bits.


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Service quality attested

    Thysville must be doing it right, as here is one very satisfied customer!
    So I will be following his methodology very closely if I have to do the job myself on another canoe.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Word of Warning

    I followed these excellant instructions yesterday as I fitted a much needed rear skid plate - thank goodness for laptops and wifi!

    I had put off doing the job during the summer months as I was worried never having undertaken such a task before than I wouldn't have enough time to get a great finish before the epoxy resin started to go off.

    So I chose yesterday with bright sunshine all day and temperature hovering around the 9C mark to give it a go. Sure ennough I had plenty of time to ply the epoxy and was pretty pleased with the result.

    I finished the job by about 12.00 and although it was still a bit tacky by 18.00 I wasn't too worried as it was definately setting.

    I couldn't resist a quick peak at 7.00 thie morning, much to my horror, a large proportion of the epoxy inch boarder around the skid plate that Endless River recommended had gone white. So instead of looking like a professional job it looks more like a dogs dinner.

    A quick phonecall to Dave confirmed that the conditions were too cold. To say I am disapointed with the finish is a little bit of a understatement, however the skid plate appears to be rock solid which is the main thing

    Be warned!

  15. #15
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    I have the Wenonah kit and got it last year but never got the chance to use it before the cold set in so I have held off until the warmer weather. Sounds like I may have made the right decision for a change

  16. #16

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    Thanks Thysville for the excellent lesson. With the info I got from this thread I have recently done my canoe too. The main difference with my method is the use of a squeegee instead of a can. I do use a can as well but I go straight to the drinking part!

    I made a video while I was doing the job. If any one has a criticism, please let me know as I do not want to give inaccurate information.
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 27th-April-2010 at 08:52 AM. Reason: embed video

  17. #17
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    Default Nice one....

    Moving pictures

    Makes it all a lot easier


  18. #18
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    Great video. just going to promote that to the front part of the site.

  19. #19

    Default Hull material

    Thought I should mention. If the canoe hull is polyethylene such as poly link 3 or triple tough. Preparation of the hull area by flaming with a blow torch or heat gun may be required. Manufacturers can provide more detail on this step. Otherwise the method will be the same as that on a royalex hull.

  20. #20
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    Excellent video Red Chilli, very informative...................reminds me I need to do the same to my Legend, as both bow and stern are showing patches of white .............I must try harder to avoid those pesky rocks

  21. #21

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    Thanks sprout, I've only used my legend once on a long weekend trip. She is already looking like a veteran. I figured prevention is better than cure. I ordered the skid plates with the canoe and they ended up throwing them in for free! Maybe because they could not provide the resin due to shipping regulations. ( sep 11 etc). I ended up using West Systems Epoxy, which reminds me, I'm going to start a new thread regarding UV deterioration of skid plates!

  22. #22
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    One of the kits I have used in the past recommended turning the canoe the correct way up once the plates were on.

    I did this on the last canoe I put plates on and was very impressed with no runs.

    Ray
    www.RayGoodwin.com

    Paddling a Venture Prospector (in CoreLite X) using Downcreek Paddles

  23. #23
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    Default

    Very useful video. Good job taking the time.

  24. #24
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    Default

    I am against any skid plate kit using Kevlar or polyester felt.

    You can get much better results using concentric layers of bias-cut S-glass, and a reliable epoxy such as West 105/205.

    Kevlar felt skid plate kits, and similar, gained control of the market in the US just because you can sop Kevlar felt wet with epoxy and slap it on, not necessarily in that order. But all felts are weaker than woven fibers, Kevlar felt is weak in compression, and Kevlar fibers drag rather than being hard and smooth wearing. Such skid plate kits produce a result that weighs a lot, slows the boat, cracks under compression stress, and doesn't drag easily. Kevlar skid plates fuzz as they wear.

    S-glass skid plates have superior resistance to compression (what you expect by way of bow or stern damage), wear smooth, are lighter, are low to the hull so they don't slow the boat, and if damaged, are easier to repair.

    The catch is that you have to apply 3 to 5 bias cut, concentric, S-glass layers, largest first and so on down to the smallest, and you have to do a little hand sanding to the patch margins after the epoxy hardens. (I have NEVER had a West epoxy batch fail to set properly.)

    By the way, epoxy has a long shelf life. At least 5 years. It is vinylester and polyester that set up spontaneously. The worst that happens with epoxy is a mild thickening and the hardener getting a red color cast. So use it for your mahogany repairs.

    I don't know how people contact people on this board, but if you want to do a PROPER skid plate job and want help, find a way to get ahold of me. You could go to cboats.net and email me at ezwater.

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