Keel strip repair

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Keel strip repair

Post by Alv »

This is really not specific to Pakboats, but some of you may find it useful. Keel strip repair does not need to be hard, but there are some basic issues. First, both the keel strip and the adhesive must be compatible with the boat skin. If they are not, you will not get a good bond.

Assuming that compatibility is ok, and you just need to repair the keel strip. You just need to restore abrasion resistance, and all you need to do is apply film. You need reinforced fabric only if the fabric in the boat bottom is damaged. If you can use film, you have the advantage that film can stretch a little, and when it does it will easily conform to the boat's shape. (There will be no wrinkles!)

You want the repair as strong as possible? Assuming that you are just repairing an abrasion, a reinforced keel strip will not help, and in addition to making wrinkles more likely, it has the disadvantage that it looks like another keel strip is needed as soon as you have abraded to the keel strip's reinforcement. The keel strip is just a sacrifical wear strip and unreinforced film is the way to go.

It is important to apply the keel strip before all the coating is worn off. This is partly to make sure the original fabric is undamaged. The other reason is that so long as some of the original coating is still there, you will get a better bond for the new keel strip. There is no such thing as applying the keel strip too early. That is why some new boats come outfitted with keel strips.

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