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  There's a much easier way w/ Royalex
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Aug-31-13 9:16 AM (EST)
 

-- Last Updated: Aug-31-13 5:00 PM EST --

My Royalex boats have a few "traction strips" attached to the hull. Either a Bell or Cooke's kneeling pad, even the small size, simply won't slip - ever - even when the boat has a few inches of water in the bilge. I have three lengthwise strips attached within each outer 1/3 of the hull (no need for any in the middle in my case because I never put my knees there while applying power strokes). I arranged them lengthwise with the idea that water trapped under the pad can find its way out eventually, but putting them in crosswise would work too, and thinking about it, might allow water to exit even more easily as long as they were not installed across the middle of the hull.

Edit: I had to do this to my Kevlar Bell canoe also. The bare hull was not as slippery as Royalex, but much too slippery for me when applying full power. Again, three strips stuck to each side and the problem was solved.

This seems a lot easier than installing gunwale-to-gunwale pads, and compared to such installations that I've seen so far, it certainly makes the boat several pounds lighter. It also makes it easy to keep the kneeling pad clean, both for on-the-go cleaning (just pick it up and whack it with your hand or sponge it off, and drop it back in the boat) and because you can move it out of the way at times when it's otherwise bound to end up getting muddy. It makes the hull itself easier to clean too. Finally, you have your choice of pads this way. When I know I'll be barefoot I prefer a pad that goes under the seat so dirt and grit won't chew up the tops of my feet, but other times I prefer a smaller pad. Either way, it takes two seconds to switch pad styles.

Oh, and regarding the comment farther up the thread about loose pads, I tie them in. In normal conditions it's tied in with a short enough line that it won't be flopping far outside the boat in a capsize, and in whitewater I use a bigger pad and anchor it to the hull with a grommet at all four corners so it stays completely within the boat (it's still the traction strips that keep it from slipping. Anchor lines wouldn't keep it perfectly motionless once the Royalex gets wet).


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