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  Keel Eazy Problems?????
  Posted by: bowler1 on Aug-28-13 6:46 AM (EST)
   Category: unassigned 

I have now installed this on three different boats. Seems like a nice product, but I have had some problems with my latest installation.

I installed some on my surfing boat recently and it is not staying on well after only a couple of uses.

It is peeling up from the sides on the center of the boat.

Obviously any boat that you use in the surf zone is going to have contact with sand when launching. specifically you will often need to pivot the boat in order to keep it pointed toward the water when launching as the water often wants to spin you sideways. This is particularly true when you get surfed all the way in to shore and have to re-launch.

I think this is pretty normal use for a boat that is used in the surf zone.

This seems to be causing the strip to peel up in several places on the bottom---assuming this is why it is peeling up, but I don't know.

Anyone else had this problem?

thanks
Matt

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Messages in this Topic

 

  cleaning.
  Posted by: mintjulep on Aug-28-13 7:33 AM (EST)
Adhesive failure is often due to poor preparation of the surface.

 
 
  I haven't used it
  Posted by: pblanc on Aug-28-13 7:50 AM (EST)
but I have heard reports from those who have used it on whitewater boats that it breaks off too easily when the boat scrapes over rocky ledges or boofs rocks.
 
 
  Obviously the solution
  Posted by: LeeG on Aug-28-13 9:45 AM (EST)
Is to coat the entire bottom with it
 
 
  WW boaters care?
  Posted by: Marshall on Aug-29-13 1:49 PM (EST)
PB, you've heard of whitewater boaters using KeelEazy? Really? I wouldn't think that after a day of whitewater abuse that the ww boater would care anymore. (maybe just a NE thing where there can be more rock than water molecules)

Matt,

Scrub the released area with a rubbing alcohol soaked Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge. Paper towel excess alcohol. Reapply KeelEazy. Warm with heat gun and use a roller to work it onto/into hull.

Still a problem, contact Chris at KeelEazy. Perhaps he can shed some light on it.

See you on the water,
Marshall
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
www.the-river-connection.com
hudsonriverpaddler.org
 
 
  Yes
  Posted by: pblanc on Aug-29-13 3:10 PM (EST)
There was this thread on cboats dot net with some early test results:
https://cboats.net/cforum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7965363&hilit=KeelEazy

I think there might have been a follow-up thread on the same forum but I couldn't find it with a quick search. I remember reading something elsewhere as well, but I don't recall the venue at the moment.

I do know a number of open boaters who have been quite happy with the product for non-whitewater use.
 
 
  Try sealing the edges with G-Flex
  Posted by: trilliumlake on Aug-28-13 2:35 PM (EST)
I wasn't real impressed with the adhesive that comes on the Keel-Eazy strips. Try sealing the edges with a bead of G-Flex. That stuff will stick to anything, even polypro (with proper surface prep) and is tough as nails. Dries to a high-gloss finish, too.

I've actually been planning to do a keel strip with G-Flex & fiberglass tape. You can color G-Flex with gelcoat colorants, too. A buddy of mine did his in black; I'll do mine in white.

I also recently repaired a crack in my fiberglass blade with G-Flex & fiberglass tape, and rebuilt the top edge as well.

 
 
  bowler, is the surface flat where the
  Posted by: ezwater on Aug-28-13 6:17 PM (EST)
strip lies, or is there a "peak" on the centerline of the boat?

The keeleasy would not have enough flexibility in the crossways dimension to deal with a peaked hull center.
 
 
  Heat application?
  Posted by: Kocho on Aug-28-13 7:45 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Aug-28-13 7:48 PM EST --

The strip is supposed to be thermoformed to conform to the surface, including edges and ridges. So, the glue should not be fighting the strip tension, just keep it in place as if the surface was flat.

If enough heat was applied, then it is just the glue failing (possibly due to dirty surface or just too much force from the sand). Wen I applied a strip on my kayak, I cut away about 2mm from each side of the strip where there was no glue - I did not think it would stay in place with the sides glueless as they were, so I trimmed it along its length. As a result, I do have a bit of extra glue around the edge of the strip, which is a bit unsightly, but I think is stronger and does not allow debree or water to lift the strip edges. I did apply heat to it and mine stays in place, but admittedly, I have not subjected it to any mechanical forces other than gentle paddling in summer waters...

 
 
  Agree with Kocho
  Posted by: chodups on Aug-28-13 8:02 PM (EST)
 
 
  it's called KEELeasy
  Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-05-13 1:43 PM (EST)
Sort of sounds like it goes over the keel, which is not flat.
 
 
  It probably came off
  Posted by: Yakfisher on Aug-29-13 12:03 AM (EST)
because the glue doesn't go all the way to the edge of it. If sand gets under the edge it comes off.
 
 
  so far it's worked for me
  Posted by: RavenWing on Aug-29-13 4:15 PM (EST)
on fiberglass & plastic hulls.

I always install on a warm day - 75 degrees and up, letting the hull warm in full sun.

Hull has to be immaculate. Rubbing alchohol. And smooth (superfine auto grade sandpaper if needed)
Then clean again w. rubbing alcohol.

while applying heat (1000w or better)I keep working the entire strip pushing from the center of the strip out to the edge w. my fingers. This might spread the adhesive more to the edges. Also of course, work the strip longitudinally with fingers, too, or a credit card, down the length of the Keel Eazy.
 
 
  Improper fix, but holding
  Posted by: booztalkin on Aug-30-13 12:28 AM (EST)
I had some keel easy peeling off my stern. The gooey adhesive was sticking to the hull, but the keel easy was pulling away anyway.

I'm pretty sure the proper fix would have involved replacing the keel easy, or at least peeling it back and cleaning the adhesive off the hull, then resticking the keel easy with an appropriate adhesive. But, I planned to paddle the same day and decided to try a quick and dirty fix. I did clean what I could get to with alcohol, then I appliedd a small amount of SikaBond Universal and taped, tied, and wedged the keel easy against the hull. That was about noon, and I paddled the boat at about 5pm. The product instruction says "tacky in two hours, full bond in 5-8 days." I've paddled the boat at least ten times since and the keel easy is still sticking. It's a little early to declare victory, but so far so good.

I found SikaBond Universal at the Lowes one day when I was looking for something to stick wiring inside my cockpit. It comes in a caulking tube. I stood and read product descriptions of caulking and adhesive products for about an hour. Surprisingly, very few of the construction adhesives claim to stand up under prolonged immersion and to be waterproof, as SikaBond Universal does.

It probably wasn't the "right way" to fix it, but it was quick. Usually fast and easy is not compatible with effective and long lasting, but I'm hoping for a rare exception on this one.

~~Chip

 
 
  Heat and patience
  Posted by: Marshall on Aug-31-13 4:31 PM (EST)
Using a heat gun on 500w setting I just applied it to the bow of an Epic 18 which has quite the plumb bow and with heat, roller and patience you can manually thermoform it to the shape. The real trick was the stern that has the part-o-the-hull rudder with flip down skeg. Same process but then cut the tape occluding the skeg, away and carefully made even rounding to the slot with the tip of the razor knife.

Fun with melted vinyl.

See you on the water,
Marshall
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
www.the-river-connection.com
hudsonriverpaddler.org
 
 
  Update.....
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-02-13 8:18 AM (EST)
I went back and reapplied heat to the keel strip in the spots where it was peeling off. This seemed to help...for about one use.

The keel strip is now peeling off so badly in so many places that it needs to come off and be replaced or I need to just go without.

I think I have a total of about 6 days on the water with the keel strip. For $80 for the material I certainly would have hoped it would last longer than that.

I did follow the instructions that were on their Youtube video. Perhaps the hull needs a better scrubbing prior to application, but the video said just to use a cloth.

I may try again, but am not sure that I want to gamble $80 on it.

It is possible that this product just is not suitable for the lateral stresses that will be placed on it when launching and landing in the surf zone. There is really no way to launch and land repeatedly in the surf without subjecting the boat to lateral or torsional friction as you have to straighten the boat out as the surf pushes you off axis when launching, or when getting violently side surfed all the way to the beach.

I have emailed the company, but they never emailed back. I find that a bit annoying.

It is a neat product and a neat idea, but if it is not going to last under real conditions and given that it is about $80 for a $15 strip of tape, I am not sure that I am sold, especially given the lack of response from the company.

Maybe I am wrong but that I my impression at this point.



Matt
 
 
  Rec'Repair
  Posted by: usantigoon on Sep-02-13 8:29 AM (EST)
Seems to offer an alternative. I might use it as soon as I see problems developing with the current KealEazy bow skid late I have on my kayak...more expensive and way thicker !!!
http://www.recrepair.com/skid_plates.html
 
 
  This stuff is expensive!
  Posted by: Kocho on Sep-02-13 5:32 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-02-13 5:34 PM EST --

Comes to about $30-$40 per foot for the 4"x25" skid plates at $150 a pair... The 1.5" width comes to about $1 per inch! Ouch! KeelEazy is what, $4 per foot for a 2" width?

 
 
  Opinion and innuendo, not so much facts
  Posted by: booztalkin on Sep-02-13 4:52 PM (EST)
The guy who runs that KeelEazy operation is Chris Mitchell. I think he is sort of a one-man operation. I suspect he will get back to you, eventually. There's no reason I think that other than he is a small operation and he could be traveling or something.

What I have read about KeelEazy is that the adhesive doesn't go all the way to the sides of the strips, and that they expect the glue to squeeze out to the edge during application. Maybe that can be done in a perfect manner, or maybe there is always going to be some voids along the edge. I expect there are voids in your application, and that is all that sand and water need to start working the edges. Like you say, lateral forces on the beach... pretty soon your KE is hanging off. I've never applied it, so this is just based on my reading about it.

Seems to me you have to make sure the edges are really nailed down, and it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of material extending beyond the edge of the KE that could be feathered to prevent sand from grabbing at the edges when the boat is pushed sideways. I expect that if you are going to go to that length, you'd be just as well off epoxying fiberglass tape onto the hull instead of KE.

~~Chip
 
 
  well...
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-02-13 7:54 PM (EST)
I had to rip it off tonight. It was just way too far gone to salvage. I was able to keep the end parts on though for the timebeing.

When I inspected the tape I found that some parts were cemented down quite securely and other parts were not.

In the spots where it was not, it seemed that the adhesive had separated from the tape itself, rather than from the boat. The adhesive was intact on the boat and the tape had ripped free from it.

I will concede that it is possible that maybe I overheated it...??? I am not sure.

My heat gun only has two settings--high and low. I used high.

While I have not gotten a response back from the company, I did get one back from the dealer and they said they would send me a new length of tape (the kayak academy).

I will give it a try again I guess. Hopefully this time it will work out better.

Which heat setting would be more appropriate for my heat gun....high or low????

Matt
 
 
  Adhesive separating from tape
  Posted by: booztalkin on Sep-03-13 9:43 AM (EST)
That's the same thing I observed where my KeelEazy was peeling away. The adhesive layer was stuck firmly (perhaps gooeyly) to the boat, but the tape was coming up. My KE was applied by a boat-building professional (Sterling Daniels), so there is a good probability he knew what he was doing and applied it properly.

Not that it means anything, but Chris Mitchell, the KE guy, was hanging around Sterling's shop when I picked the boat up after it was repaired and the KE installed. Seems like Sterling would have had the opportunity to learn installation technique from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

~~Chip
 
 
  So what I am understanding is...
  Posted by: havekayakwillpaddle on Sep-03-13 9:27 AM (EST)
it may not be the best material to use for protection on a Thermoformed kayak that rages in the surf?

 
 
  No thanks...
  Posted by: OCD_Yakker on Sep-03-13 11:40 AM (EST)
I used KE on my Valley Rapier 20 and the stuff peeled right off no matter how much I cleaned the hull first. Chris M sent me out another batch for free and that stuff came right off too.

I am surprised that your's lasted as long as it did, Matt... I will be going with real keel strips in the future, especially on surf/rock hopping boats.
 
 
  KeelEazy
  Posted by: falcon on Sep-05-13 1:24 PM (EST)
Hi Everyone,
This is Chris from KeelEazy and I wanted to update you on our latest development in the KeelEazy product line. We have started shipping Keeleazy with the adhesive running the full width of the strip which seems to work better around the tight corners. However, when the adhesive shows on the side it can attract more sand.
Cleaning is the key to a successful application as some of you sugggested. We use and recommend Isopropyl Alcohol 80-90%. Of course, you can use Acetone on gel-coat. No sanding necessary. We use a heat gun at about 500 watts. The procedure we have the best result with is to tact one end, pull straight to the other end, apply pressure down the center of the strip, then starting from the middle, use the heat gun to to warm the tape and following with an insulated leather glove applying pressure evenly along the strip. On the ends we warm the tape and smooth tape outwardly from the center.
Too much heat will burn the PVC and might be a reason that the adhesive separates from the PVC.
We have found that some Marine paints have additives that don't adhere well (like wax). We offer free sample of the material for boaters to apply to their boats prior to purchasing a full length.
We only guarantee the installation on boats that we do the install on as it is impossible to for us to be sure the procedure was followed. The same is true with fiberglass products. I have Keeleazy on all my boats and regularly have them in surf and sand. As a matter of fact, that is the reason I spent two years prior to launching the product test many different types of material. I hope this sheds some light on Keeleazy and it's application.

Cheers,

Chris
 
 
  KeelEazy
  Posted by: usantigoon on Sep-05-13 3:59 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-05-13 4:04 PM EST --

@Chris... Thanks for the detailed explanation, please Chris add these heating suggestions to your instructions or FAQ, the 500W seems to be very important.. Thanks again, I did had some minor issues with the sharp curves my Tarpon 120 bow is having, I do have some wrinkles on the sides which I cannot seem to remove with the heat gun at 500W..

 
 
  good man
  Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-05-13 4:38 PM (EST)
Thank you for responding in person in this forum. Not every manufacturer has the integrity to do something like that.
 
 
  Keeleazy
  Posted by: falcon on Sep-05-13 6:11 PM (EST)
You are welcome. As someone mentioned previously Keeleazy is currently a one and a half man show and we try to do the best we can. By the end of October we should have two more full timers on board to offer better customer service. I will be on the road more to be attending events and training Keeleazy installers.

Cheers

Chris
 
 
  trying again
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-07-13 7:11 AM (EST)
Kayak Academy (where I ordered my Keeleazy from) is sending me a new roll free of charge.

I am going to try again and see how it works this time.

I used your Youtube video as a guide for my installation and followed the same procedure.

In doing the installation again I will be sure to clean the hull very thoroughly.

I also may get a new heat gun so that I can ensure it is a 500W or has that setting. My current one only has high and low. I used High.

I think that the adhesive going all the way to the edge would likely solve this problem.

I will try again and will follow the installation instructions explicitly and then will report my results here.

Matt
 
 
  Heat guns
  Posted by: usantigoon on Sep-07-13 8:40 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-07-13 8:43 AM EST --

Be careful, as an example my Milwaukee heat gun has a high and low setting as well and the manual claims that the low setting is around 570 F air temp and the high can go as high as 1000F, the latter might be way too high.....The heat gun is rated for 11 amp, hence I assume the high setting load is over the 1000 watt capacity...

 
 
  The distance is important too
  Posted by: Kocho on Sep-07-13 9:24 PM (EST)
I have a fully adjustable heat gun and it makes a huge difference how far way I hold it and for how long in one spot. Unfortunately, the only way to tell how much is enough is not easy to figure out. I have very limited experience working with the heat gun to shape plastic material, but my observation is that the material will visibly relax and become pliable at one point, then you should immediately remove the heat, shape the material, and wait for it to cool, so that it holds the new shape after you let go. If you heat further, the material deforms too much and might lose it's strength or even begin to burn.


I think with KeelEazy you can probably feel the same with the tape and rely on the adhesive to hopefully hold long enough while you are pressing down and cooling off the strip, so it remains shaped per the surface it is being installed on. But because it is somewhat soft to begin with and there is strong adhesive, it is hard to determine how much the adhesive holds and how much the thermoforming is contributing to the shape. The only places that this is obvious is at curves, where if you do not put enough heat the corners will lift and be wavy (but I don't think it will be obvious if you apply too much heat)...
 
 
  well...
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-08-13 8:53 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-08-13 8:57 AM EST --

I did some research. I think that the 500 refers to the temperature of the heat gun and not the wattage. I just went back and referred to the installation video on Youtube.

From what I looked at online, it appears that most heatguns have two settings at 750 and 1000.

I found one that has a 500 degree setting. I am going to order it and try that when I re-install. There should be no reason this time that any issues with the tape staying in place will be a factor of installation error. The procedure is pretty straightforward as you can see on the Youtube video.

I do think that having the glue go all the way to the edge would be helpful.

When is that going to be available and from where?

Matt

 
 
  adhesive
  Posted by: falcon on Sep-10-13 11:08 AM (EST)
It is available now and Kayak Academy has it in stock.
 
 
  the stuff with adhesive to the edges???
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-12-13 8:44 AM (EST)
you mean the stuff with adhesive all the way to the edges?

Matt
 
 
  Has worked well here
  Posted by: eel on Sep-12-13 10:17 AM (EST)
After several friends had very good luck with this product, I installed it on an old, used boat with a V keel I bought for solo tripping on the Maine coast this year. To say the boat got unmercifully dragged around upon landings and launchings and shoved up on rocky areas to avoid the tides is an understatment.

Installation was easy and the material has held up amazingly well. It is true that the material is softer and thus will get cut/gouged more than a FG keel strip if hit by sharp, jagged rocks. For pebble beaches and the routine somewhat smoothed tidal rocks it has worked very well and its durability has been great. Aside from a small area where the stern has sharp angles, it has adhered without problems as well.

All in all, I have been very pleased with its performance and the protection it has provided.

 
 
  Keeleazy
  Posted by: JimZ on Sep-13-13 12:30 AM (EST)
I have had no problems on the install on four of my boats. I will install it on the others. I have installed it on QCC and Tempest. I did shred a 3 foot bow piece on one 7 day trip to Georgian Bay. The gelcoat survived without a mark. Needless to say Georgian Bay is full of hidden rocks in the bay and river rapids. I use my Milwaukee heat gun that has a 10 position rheostat. It works well at 7 through 10 settings. I use my left hand with a leather glove to form and press down the hot material. The glue usually comes out of the sides after rubbing the hot piece of material. When the material gets really hot the grain starts to disappear and it gets shiny. I stop heating it and press very carefully. I also clean the area a couple of times with denatured alcohol prior to the install. I usually apply it in 3 pieces since the bow takes the most abuse. Overall i think it is a pretty good product.

JimZ
 
 
  update....
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-14-13 8:10 PM (EST)
I got the replacement Keel Eazy strip from Kayak Academy--they replaced it for me for free. I thought that was pretty dang good of them.

The strips they sent has the adhesive all the way to the edge. I think this is a better set up by far

I purchased a new heat gun that will go down to 500 degrees and installed. I used it today and it seems to be holding up better than the last strip (which was peeling after the first use).

So I will have to see and will keep you updated, but I think the updated product is an improvement.

As to the company...I would have liked it if they took the time to answer my two emails I sent to them, but they did not. Yes they responded to this post, but I am criticizing their product publicly.

I also question why they would change the design of the product to extend the glue all the way to the edge unless I was not the only one to have had problems with it. Seems logical; however, the posts above imply that the peeling is due to improper installation.

Keel Eazy was not willing to answer my emails or to stand behind their product and provide me a replacement...bad business. Fortunately one of their dealers (Kayak Academy) answered my email immediately and sent me a free 18 feet of it as a replacement, no questions asked. Thanks.

One man operation or not, I would run my business differently....and I do with all the stuff I sell on ebay. I usually give the benefit of the doubt to the customer and sometimes take hit in the name of good business.

I guess the last thing I would say is that if the installation is so critical to the product working then perhaps it should not have been marketed to individual consumers as a "do it yourself" product and limited only to professional installation.

Frankly though I don't buy that. There is nothing complicated about the installation of this stuff. And if the 500 degree heat setting (versus the 750 on my old heat gun) is critical then it should be stated. Incidentally, the vast majority of inexpensive heat guns that have only two settings will not go down to 500 degrees. I found one after a good bit of searching. Otherwise you need a Dewalt or other high dollar model that provides more temperature adjustment.

Even if the poor performance of the original installation were due to user error, had they responded to my emails and sent me a replacement I would be praising them here publicly as I have done with many other products. Would have been a good investment and good customer relations.

sorry if this sounds harsh, but just being candid...the customer is always right and I feel I am in this case.

But to be fair the replacement provided by Kayak Academy seems to be holding up so far. I will post an update in a while. Most likely I think it will be positive. I think that the problem was the design of the product with the adhesive not extending all the way to the edges. now that it is modified I think the product will perform much better than it did for me and for some of the other posters above.

Matt
 
 
  Harbor Freight el-cheapo Heat Gun
  Posted by: Kocho on Sep-14-13 9:55 PM (EST)
I got one of these and it has been very good so far. Fully adjustable from warm to about 650 degree, plenty of attachments to direct the hot air depending on the situation, plus some scraping tools (presumably for paint stripping, but work well for smoothing out kayak hull fuzz and scratches). Only negative - not a high-volume blower, weaker than most good hair driers (in terms of volume of air flowing through) even on the High setting of the fan (which is independent of the temperature adjustment).
 
 
  mine was an el cheapo too
  Posted by: bowler1 on Sep-15-13 7:44 AM (EST)
got it from Home Depot online. Was one of the cheaper ones they had. I think it will be worth the money as I plan to continue to use this product if it holds up.
 
 
  KeelEazy
  Posted by: falconsails on Nov-24-13 10:20 AM (EST)
I am not sure if dwell time has been addressed here, but I thought I would let you know some experience I have with various pressure sensitive tapes.

Dwell time and dwell conditions is a very important variable for any tape. I use tapes in constructing kayak sails and kayak sail rigging for Falcon Sails. If some tape is at risk of not holding as well as necessary I will make sure I leave it on as much time as is convenient and necessary.

We have all seen how masking tape comes off very easily the day it is applied, but progressively sticks more every day. 2 years later its a nasty tape removal project.

I am sure the KeelEasy will peel off a lot easier the day you put it on, than it will a month later.

If I where putting some KeelEasy on my boat, I would put it on and make sure it sits for a few days, and even a few weeks would be better. If you do not paddle in the winter, I think you should put it on early in the no paddle season, and keep the boat in a heated area if convenient for the dwell time.

PS - It looks like a KeelEasy person uses the long in name Falcon. It has nothing to do with Falcon Sails.
 
 
  Keeleazy
  Posted by: Jonason on Jan-28-14 5:22 PM (EST)
It is nice idea but I have also had problems. It shrinks up in length and leaves exposed tape glue and fabric. I put some on my keel, sand got in that caused an 11' piece to come loose and now I am replacing it. I installed as per instructions using a proper heat gun. Every piece I have used has shrunk down. It did protect my keel when it was dropped a short distance.
 
 
  Keeleazy
  Posted by: Jonason on Jan-28-14 5:32 PM (EST)
I have had problems with shrinkage which expose the glue, also my keel strip got sand into it causing the whole mid section on one side to come loose so I am replacing an 11' section. It did protect my keel in a minor dropping.
 
 
  keeleazy contact
  Posted by: insane1 on Apr-20-14 11:08 AM (EST)
chris,

Is there a better way to get in touch with you for questions? You have no contact numer and site is outdated. Thanks!
 
 
  getting in touch
  Posted by: falcon on May-11-14 3:58 PM (EST)
The best way to get in touch with me personally is paddlepro@gmail.com as my POP account chris@keeleazy.com has been problematic.

Chris Mitchell
aka Falcon
 

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