Keel Eazy Keel Strip (by the foot)
Keel Eazy Keel Strip (by the foot)
If you have a glass kayak, we recommend adding KeelEazy. KeelEazy is a self-adhesive (peel and stick) 1/32" thick ABS plastic strip that provides an abrasion resistant sacrificial surface between your kayak and the beach. Compared to fiberglass keel strips, KeelEazy is more abrasion resistant, easier to install, has beautiful clean edges that induce less drag and it adds less weight. The 2″ wide KeelEazy weighs only .6 ounces per foot. We put Keel Easy on all our fiberglass rental kayaks, and it has more than paid for itself in saved time and money on repairs.
With a heat gun, you can install KeelEazy on both ends of the keel in less than an hour. KeelEazy is $4/foot which works out to only $40 to apply 5' on each end of a kayak. You could cover the full length of the kayak, but we don't recommend it. Most of the wear and tear is on the ends yet the middle of the boat is the hardest part to apply a keel strip and make it look good. Also in the middle of the hull scratches are distributed all over the width of the boat whereas at the ends it is definitely the keel that gets the wear. Five feet of KeelEazy at each end will give you the most bang for the buck, and if you do gouge your kayak on cement or sharp rocks, replacing the keel strip on one end is quicker, easier, and cheaper than redoing a whole boat.
If you drag your boat over sand and pea gravel, fiberglass keel strips wear out just as fast as the original gel coat bottoms of composite kayaks. KeelEazy is much more abrasion resistant than fiberglass and gel coat for this kind of wear. However, nothing is tear resistant enough to drag a kayak over pavement (for that we sell wheels) or plow into sharp rocks.
We used to sell two versions of Keelezy. Now we sell the standard version. That works for both ABS plastic and Composite fiberglass.
Some examples of
- thermo-form (ABS) kayaks
- kayaks made by Eddyline, Delta, and Hurricane
- polyethylene (PE) roto-molded kayaks
- 14'-18' kayaks that cost $1600 - $2200
- composite kayaks
Tips for installing KeelEazy
By warming it with a heat gun on low while pulling on it, the KeelEazy will stretch and bend nicely around the compound curves at the bow and stern of most sea kayaks without wrinkles. However, for kayaks with really tight bends in the bow or stern we recommend trimming the KeelEazy strip down to about 1" width locally like an "hourglass" waist to prevent wrinkles (You can also trim the KeelEazy after using the kayak if wrinkles appear, but it's easier to trim before applying it). For skeg kayaks, after applying KeelEazy over the skeg box simply trim out the opening for the skeg with a utility knife.
For Tiderace kayaks:
If your Tiderace Kayak has such a severe bend in the stern that it's impossible for the "hourglass" cut, mentioned above, to keep the KeelEazy from wrinkling, you can try a "bowtie" cut, locally cutting out triangle sections from the KeelEazy, one triangle on each side of the keel with the tips of the triangles located right at the most severe part of the bend. Measure twice, cut once. Make sure the KeelEazy is centered on the keel and both triangle cuts extend the same distance into the KeelEazy.
Preping your kayak for KeelEazy installation
Fiberglass kayaks should be prepped with acetone. Roto-molded polyethylene kayaks and thermo-formed kayaks should be prepped with alcohol only.
A razor blade, X-acto knife or new utility knife blade is necessary to separate the blue backing strip from the gray adhesive.
If needed, KeelEazy can be removed with a heat gun and cleaning up with alcohol and a plastic scraper blade. On composite kayaks (i.e. fiberglass and gelcoat) you can also use acetone, Coleman stove fuel, and "Goo Gone" to remove the last of the adhesive.