|Everything you need for a traditional keep strip, which costs about $40 per boat.|
|Josh Tatro laying out and marking where the keep strip will go.|
|Masking off the area.|
|Applying layers of gel coat over fiberglass tape.|
|Sanding and cleaning up the edges between layers of gel coat.|
So when we heard about KeelEazy, a peel-and-stick PVC keel strip, we were intrigued. It costs $4 per foot (for the 2-inch width), is available in black and white (as well as other colors if you buy 100 feet of it), and sticks to fiberglass, plastic and metal. It's also supposed to be easy to remove and replace if necessary.
So we did a side-by-side test. We applied a traditional keep strip to one boat, and KeelEazy to the other. The materials were certainly minimalist.
|Heat gun, alcohol, glove, scissors....action.|
|Clean the keel with alcohol.|
|Round the ends of the KeelEazy strip.|
|Attach and start peeling off the backing.|
|Keep pulling and peeling.|
|Cut around the skeg opening. And you're done!|
It's been about a month since we applied both keel strips. We also applied a strip to a plastic boat in the Geneva Kayak Center rental fleet to see how that fares. So far, the KeelEazy has stayed on. It's non-marking, slides easily across other boats during rescues, and seems to be durable.We'll report back toward the end of the season, but we're optimistic that for a little more money, kayakers have the option of saving time, effort and weight.
|KeelEazy and traditional keel strips, side by side.|