Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double #28: Apply Keel Rub Strip

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 07-17-2020 02:37 AM 1340 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: Sanding the Boat Part 28 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double series Part 29: Spray Deck Frames »

Change of Plans
Well, the kayak build has moved back out to the garage. I’d planned to install hip braces today, but I needed to make progress on the guest bedroom, so I applied the keel rub strip instead.

I found West System epoxy at a local marine supply today! I used this on my first two boat builds from plans back in the 90’s and it’s good epoxy. Due to COVID-19 supply chain issues, my kit didn’t come with dispensing pumps. I was able to purchase pumps for the new epoxy. That makes life easier for mixing up smaller batches since you just do one pump of each.

Dynel Cloth
Dynel feels like heavy t-shirt material and soaks up a lot of epoxy.

The objective is to soak a lot of epoxy into the cloth to build up a tough protective strip on the keel. I cut the strips ahead of time and soaked the first layer in a flat container.

After applying the first layer, I quickly laid the second strip on to soak up the extra epoxy before it dripped off. This worked well.

I cut the cloth on the bias for the tight turns of the bow area. It laid down nice without any wrinkles.

I thought about trimming a neat line in the cloth with a razor at the green cure stage, but decided to remove the tape and just feather it a bit with a sander after it cures since I’m painting the entire hull green anyways.

I applied more epoxy after this photo to soak the cloth even more. The cloth literally swells as you add more epoxy; it’s a lot different than working with fiberglass. I had to come back later to squeegee some drips, but I now have a nice, thick rub strip consisting of two layers of Dynel heavily soaked in epoxy.

The kayak is protected well from keel scrapes.

Fitting out the cockpit.

-- Mark, Minnesota

2 comments so far

View htl's profile


5624 posts in 2620 days

#1 posted 07-17-2020 04:41 AM

Heavy duty I think,
Having never worked in this type project before but I have had a couple a boats and lived on the rivers of Alabama for 8 years so know you got to protect those parts that will be hitting the shore quite often..

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View DustyMark's profile


523 posts in 3531 days

#2 posted 07-17-2020 06:54 AM

We found some ducks in flooded timber last season and had to “make a run for it” to cross a lot of the dead falls. With a flat bottom Royalex canoe that was no big deal. This will make that a lot less cringe-worthy on a plywood boat with a keel!

-- Mark, Minnesota

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