Submitted: 06-27-2012 by pikabike
While ClearGuard is an automotive product, its toughness and durable, waterproof adhesive make it perfect for several paddling-related applications:
The good news:
- To protect small areas of your boat hauling vehicle where paint or clearcoat would be rubbed down from painter lines contacting them. (But if you want to cover the entire width of your hood's front edge, leave that to a pro detailer.)
- To avoid gelcoat abrasion on pronounced deck edges where straps wrap around.
- Last but definitely not least, to protect high-wear areas under your heels on the kayak floor.
I put some ClearGuard in one kayak for this purpose but unfortunately (with the new boat) I could only estimate where my heels were likely to be. It turned out that they sit more inboard than I had estimated, as revealed by some smooth circles there. I recently bought more ClearGuard and added it over the now-obvious heel contact locations.
The ClearGuard I originally installed stayed put nice and flat. Whatever the face material and adhesive are, they stand up to use in a sea kayak. It is unobtrusive and poses no problems with anything. Just apply carefully in the first place.
The bad news:
ClearGuard is hard to buy. I think that 3M must want it installed by professional detailers; it is mostly used to protect hoods and fenders against rock chips. Therefore, I told prospective vendors that I was NOT applying it in that fashion (which requires a fair amount of skill to look good) but using it just to protect high-wear areas on a fiberglass kayak and at strap contact points on my truck. The first time I bought it I found a detailing shop that let me buy some scrap pieces. The second time, I contacted the distributor for my region and bought a 10' x 6" strip for $30. That was the minimum amount required (which I didn't mind because the stuff is so useful). Your results may vary, so ask nicely and be prepared to shell out some dough.
I highly recommend this product for the 3rd purpose above.