Rub Strips for a Canoe

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Russ Kaiser, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Russ Kaiser
    Joined: Jul 2009
    Posts: 119
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    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I just purchased (used) a 17' Indian River canoe. I am planning on making a center seat and a rowing rig for it.

    North Star Description

    These are lightly built fiberglass shells and I'm a bit concerned about preserving the bottom since I will be launching and retrieving solo. I am not trying to prevent scratches, they're going to happen, I'm trying to prevent the type of gouges that will hurt the integrity of the hull.

    This model has no keel strip and I am thinking about epoxying three rub strips to the bottom; one down the entire center length and two shorter strips parallel to the first along the beamier portion of the bottom.

    I'm looking for suggestions about material and application method.

    I would like to do this without perforating the hull if at all possible. Since these are fairly inexpensive canoes, I think it's safe to assume it's made with polyester resin. Would gluing something on with Epoxy hold?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    If its made of Polyester, Epoxy will hold if you are prepared to rough up the surface.

    Hell, if its polyester, you can use PolyEster.

    In fact, you can build the rub strips from Polyester, and glue them to the hull with Epoxy .

    Personally , I think you are being overcautious.

    No rub strip can be guaranteed to be in the same place as the Rock that will fracture a hull, and I can assure you that all the rough rocks that you encounter will hit the hull between the rubbing strips.

    These hulls are so easy to repair and recoat, that I would just take as much care as you can on launch and retrieval, and keep up the maintenance.

    Maybe you should invent a launching trolley to get the boats from your trailer to the water rather than muck up the look of the boat before it even gets in the water.
  3. Russ Kaiser
    Joined: Jul 2009
    Posts: 119
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 35
    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    At the lake where I primarily row now, the parking lot runs up flush to the top of a retaining wall that is usually about 18 inches above the water. The top of the wall is trimmed in stainless steel sheet. When I launch now, I slide my boat over that wall perpendicular to the water's edge until the stern floats and then I lift the bow and walk the boat the rest of the way over the wall and lower it into the water. My current boat is aluminum with a keel so sliding it across the wall doesn't hurt anything.

    I thought if I did something to protect the bottom, I could launch the canoe the same way. The other possibility is to carry along an old piece of indoor outdoor carpet or Astroturf and throw that down as a cushion. I probably will do both if I can find the right material to make the strips out of.

  4. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Watson is right. You may be exercising unnecessary caution. Use the carpet that you mentioned and forget the strips.

    The strips will make the boat more difficult to turn, they will add a measureable amount of wetted surface. The canoe will not go fast enough to present a serious collision hazard.
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