The carbon/kevlar layup of my Ruahine Swallow multisport kayak is very thin, and while I’ve managed to keep it off the rocks so far, it felt like I would be pushing my luck to continue to paddle it down through Class II and Class III rapids without adding a little extra protection.
A keel strip was the obvious solution. But then I read about using a rubberized truck bed coating such as Arma Coatings. Searching Paddling.net for more information on the topic, I came across a useful thread. Rather than get a commercial application, I decided to purchase a product called Durabak 18 on eBay from a company called Newlinesafety.com. The folks at Newlinesafety were very helpful in helping me chose the right product (smooth rather than textured) for this application and even warned their product would create a small amount of drag.
With that warning in mind, I decided to apply a very narrow strip in my initial application. I figure I can always go back and widen the band of Durabak as my kayak hull begins to show more wear.
Durabak can be purchased in quart sized containers. My cost, including shipping, was about $50.00. The company warns that once opened and exposed to air, the product hardens rapidly. I resealed it the best I could. If I don’t get any further use out of that quart, the cost will likely be more than $1.00 per square inch. But it was easy to apply — and if it creates some good karma as I rock’n roll my way down the river, it will have been worth it.