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Author Topic:   Keel guard for Montauk
specktrout posted 05-05-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for specktrout   Send Email to specktrout  
After running into an oysterbar recently, I have decided to put a keel-guard on my montauk. I have reviewed the multiple posts on the forum and am concerned about installation of the guard in the area where the small ribs on the hull meet the keel. It seems some of the posts indicate that most of the keel guards are not flexible enough to mold over this area. I would like to hear from anyone who has placed one of these guards on a montauk. Was this area indeed a problem? Has anyone figured out a way to deal with the problem area? In any replies, if you would please indicate which product you have tried, it would be most helpful. Thanks-
specktrout posted 05-06-2002 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for specktrout  Send Email to specktrout     
I called Hambys today and they were not sure their guard could completely mold around the small ribs. They recommended using a dremmel tool to grind them down (NOT and option for me!) or filling the small vod with silicone to prevent water entry. Any other suggestions out there?
Chap posted 05-06-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
I just had an 8' Hambys put on my 22 Outrage.
I had them install it just under where the ribs meet.
I am not sure of you boat, but on mine anything above the ribs would be in a non-useful position anyway.
Taylor posted 05-06-2002 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I've not installed mine yet, but my plan is to trim the keel guard to a point so it just tucks up under the strakes (ribs). That seems like a neat installation. And as Chap said, anything above that does not seem to get any wear. What is worn out on my keel is all lower down.
rsgwynn1 posted 05-06-2002 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I put a KeelGuard on a 1974 bass boat. It fit o.k., but I didn't follow the instructions correctly as regards "roughing up" the GelCoat. Best bet is to have a shop install one.
Taylor posted 05-08-2002 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
OK, I've been shamed into ordering one. I'll have results in a couple of weeks, including pictures. The Keelguard website FAQ says:

Q. Will the KeelGuard go over strakes or chines?
A. Yes, the KeelGuard material is very pliable and will easily conform to all your hull's strakes and angles.

They also mention that trimming the keelguard will void the warranty... I may have to discuss that with them in view of my plan.

prj posted 05-09-2002 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
taylor, tried that on my 15' striper and found the keelguard NOT particularly pliable. would not mold to the tight bends required to transition over chine/keel merger.

this despite letting it warm in sun to increase pliability. install below the chine merger? perhaps, but wouldnt protect the keel from roller flange as i slide up to trailer at boat launch. this is where i believe most of the original damage was done by previous owner using power loading method.

good luck with that.

GRMPer posted 05-10-2002 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for GRMPer  Send Email to GRMPer     
I've been cringing everytime I beach my new whaler on even a sand, stupid or not, I ordered a Keelguard a few minutes ago for the 130sport.

I ordered the smaller version, 4ft in length.


TightPenny posted 05-10-2002 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
The Keelguard seems awful thick in the pictures shown on their site.

Doesn't it create a lot of drag?

Taylor posted 07-09-2002 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Finally got my KeelGuard installed. If no one laughs at my installation error, I'll show you the pictures.

First, here is the damage I had on my keel. It is from beaching, and its through the gelcoat and into green glass at the curviest part of the forefoot.

Keel Damage

I fixed the damage with some marine-tex to fill. Since it was going to be covered anyway, I saw no need to gelcoat.

Then I had to take off the bottom paint where the keelguard was going to go. KeelGuard does not stick to anti-fouling paint. I used PeelAway, and finished with some scotch bright to take off the end of the paint. Methyl Ketone based strippers do not work on fiberglass. This was the hardest part of the job. Here's what it looked like:

Bottom Preparation

Then I sanded the gelcoat as directed. KeelGuard sends a little scouring pad. You then prime the bottom with some sort of mystery stuff from 3M.

Since I was planning on installing from the strake down, I modified the shape the factory put on the end of the keel guard with a little work of my own.

Factory Taper
Modified Taper

Now we get the the part I messed up. You pull the center strip off the adhesive backing on the keelguard, and position it straight down the centerline of the boat. I introduced a wow at this point. You can see it later on. No laughing, you can't see it with the boat in the water.

More Positioning

The red stuff is the backing that has not been removed yet. As you remove the remainder of the backing you 'burnish' or rub hard with the provided tool the keelguard down to the hull. I think a Formica install roller would work well, here, but mine was at home.

Side View
Bow-On View

In the bow on shot, you can see the wow where the guard is not straight down the centerline of the boat. You can also see how I tucked it up under the strakes.

The bottom of my boat is still sort of messy from the peelaway errors, and I need to paint over everything, but all in all, I really like having this product on the boat. It allows me to conentrate on the fun parts of boating, like letting my kids off at inaccessable beaches.

Beach Fun

bdb posted 07-10-2002 07:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     

Thank you for the excellent report and documentation. It's wonderful that you shared your story so thoroughly with the rest of us. First Class presentation!

Harpoon Harry, with two thumbs up

jimh posted 07-10-2002 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Very nice job on the keel modification and the article!
Taylor posted 07-10-2002 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Thanks for to Jim for fixing up my URL's.

I'll post a follow up this fall to let you know how the product holds up after repeated beachings. So far, I can say that the 3M primer/adhesive is a pretty tenacious combo, it sticks really well.

I checked some of my other photos where I was figuring out the placement of the masking tape before stipping, and I think I might have introduced my error at that stage. KeelGuard recommends cutting a template and putting that on first, and also marking the centerline of the boat on the gelcoat with a few pencil marks. I rushed through those steps and I think that was my mistake.

I forgot to mention that before the priming, you are supposed to clean the goalcoat with Xylene or Tolulene. There are a few other choices but I happened to have Xylene on hand, so that's what I used. I have no idea why I had Xylene in my shop/shed.

Keelguard mentions that the back end of the installation is as important as the front, and that home installers like me tend to burn out early on the burnishing. Its easy to do, clearances get tight back, you can see that I've raised my bow up on a block of wood to do this job.

While installation is not fool proof (as you can see) its not really all that difficult either.

Taylor posted 08-09-2002 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
In another thread, I was asked where to get the keelguard. I ordered online from Megaware at

I got the 5" wide version. I had a short email exchange with Megaware and they told me that they are discontinuing the 4.5" version, the 5" is thicker and provides better protection. For my Montauk they recommended 5' or 6' long. I went 5'.

The kit includes the pastic keelguard (color and length is your choice), instructions, a special sanding pad, a little plastic burnishing tool, and the 3M primer in a cool little applicator.

In addition you should have on hand a pencil, paper large enough to make a pattern, scissors. These will help you avoid getting it on crooked, as I did. You need xylene or tolulene to clean the hull before priming.

You need a way to get your boat up high enough, and safely enough so you can get under it and work. You might need to get the forward keel roller out of the way on a trailer, depending on how far back you are going.

Stay tuned for the end of the summer stickiness report.

Samars posted 10-18-2002 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

Following up on this post, how has the keel gaurd held up?

I've been looking at this and wondered what size you ordered. I'm thinking that for my 13, only a 4 foot section is reccomended. Would you suggest longer based on your installation? It would seem a longer one would be better and it also seems that it can be cut easily if one needs to shorten it.

your thoughts? take care

flaglerdave posted 10-18-2002 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for flaglerdave  Send Email to flaglerdave     
I installed on my 15' cc as instructed. It was easy to do. The area in question ( keel and lower stake ) did start to pull up ( especially on the port side for some reason )but overall the product was fitting nice was shoot some while silicone sealant and for about three months nothing has changed. I use my whaler EVERY weekend ( north central fl.) Overall very happy with. BUT make sure there are NO keel rollers touch the product, it will come off , I promise. I still have a fwd. roller but it is lower so when I crank the boat all the way up it is no longer in contact. hope this helps you ! dc
Taylor posted 05-28-2003 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Heading into year two with my keel guard.

Late last summer I touched up my ablative bottom paint, and the black painted right over the keelguard, so it barely shows now. The paint seems to have also sealed the edges of the keelguard where I was worried that the edges might peel back. So far the thing is stuck to tbe bottom like it was born there.

The business end of the keelguard has a few little nicks were I've been trying it out on rocky beaches, but nothing big.

Taylor posted 08-29-2003 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
Another update - I'm still picking up nicks and that does not seem to be a problem. However I've noticed some delamination in the short section above the forward roller on my trailer. Where the roller pushes up, the keelguard is coming unstuck on the sides.

I'm considering two repair senarios. One involves some kind of glue to restick, the other one involves a really sharp knife to trim the keelguard shorter than the front roller. Everything else seems well stuck still.

I think that I would avoid installing a keelguard further back on the hull than where the first trailer roller hits.

dgp posted 08-29-2003 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
As a response to the original question by specktrout, yes the Hambys keel protector will mold around the small ribs where they intersect the keel at the bow. Hamby's require professional installation by a Hamby's dealer. I had mine done in Kemah, TX by Gulf Coast Composites. I can email photos if requested.
Ozark posted 08-31-2003 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ozark  Send Email to Ozark     
You guys have given me the incentive to go ahead and put my recently purchased Keelguard on my Montauk. After buying the guard,I,too backed off because of the chines obstacle and was planning to return it, even though I got it at half price ($65) at Bass Pro's outlet store.

I will either start at the chines or heat that area of the guard real well and mold it into those curves.

Ozark posted 08-31-2003 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ozark  Send Email to Ozark     
I notice the post dates for these responses are"2002". That can't be right.
Ozark posted 09-07-2003 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ozark  Send Email to Ozark     
This afternoon I undertook applying a keelguard to my 1980 Montauk, following the kit instuctions and reviewing all comments here.

I used acetone for the surface cleaning and heated the guard by sunlight(about 80 degrees today). Masking tape helped helped keep me in line,and I started just below the chines and covered 6 feet. Actually,everything went quite well,completing the job in 45 minutes. To those considering this task, don't be timid--it can be done by a novice like me.

Taylor posted 09-09-2003 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
The original post dates from 2002 - my last comment is from August 2003. Its a known bug in the BB software... interesting... I just noted that the dates are correct in reply mode.

Ozark - 45 minutes? Good work!

arnereil posted 10-18-2003 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
I put keelguard on my 13 sport. I wasn't sure about how to keep it located properly, so the keelguard is 5" wide, and I took a 6" wide piece of cardboard, marked the center and bent it in the center as well... I put the boat/trailer on the van and backed it up onto ramps (used for working on cars). Crawling underneath, i put the cardboard on the keel and slide it from front to back making a magic marker line on each side. This gave me a 1/2" buffer on each side. I then put painters tape down the outside lines and did the surface preperation. When putting the 3m magic liquid on, upside down, i luckily had goggles on as a drop came down and ate a hole into the goggles.... The trailer made a handy place to lay the keel guard as i worked from front to back installing it. It went on straight and true.

A roller would have been a nicer way to burnish the guard on, but the tool supplied worked ok..... I had bought the boat used, and it was in good shape. This should help a lot with the sandy beaches..... but, i might have been better to put a 6 footer on instead of a 4 footer, which seems pretty minimal.

alkar posted 03-12-2004 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I took my boat down to an experienced Line-X dealer and had them apply a Line-X keel guard. Since it is sprayed on, there are no problems with fitting/matching the contours. The shape of the guard can be adjusted so it is wider and thicker as it moves aft. That's helpful, because the "footprint" of the keel on the beach is larger at the aft-most point of contact with the beach. The material is slick too. I have noticed NO difference in performance, and the producted is guaranteed to adhere. According to Line-X, the same product is applied to the exterior of nuclear submarines.

The stuff is extremely durable.

Here's the best news. The applied price of the Line-X is less than the purchase price of the althernative keel-guards.

I am very excited about the quality of this product. As near as I can tell, the only down-side is the difficulty (impossibility?) in removing the stuff if that ever became desirable.

dgp posted 03-12-2004 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
How thick is the sprayed-on Line-X protection. My Hamby's is about 1/2" thick at the Vee.
alkar posted 03-12-2004 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
I don't know how thick it is at the V, but I'm guessing it's about 1/4" - maybe 5/16". It tapers down to pnly about 1/8" at the edges.

I have the same material in my truck bed. It's not very thick there either, but it's been plenty to protect the bed from four years of extrordinary abuse.

If you have an application that requires additional thickness they can just apply more of the material.

mojipa posted 05-01-2006 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for mojipa  Send Email to mojipa     

Just wondering if you still like the Line X spray on keel guard for your boat. I am considering it for my Montauk.


The Judge posted 05-02-2006 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Judge  Send Email to The Judge     
Just bought an almond color 6' x 5" on E-Bay for $99.95. My keel hit my boat lift and scraped off some gel. Tired of fixing that crap on all my boats...messy laying on your back.
bsmotril posted 05-03-2006 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Has anyone use Rhino lining or another brand truck bed liner just as a keel gaurd? Will it stay attached to the hull under normal operation and the occasional grounding? If so, that might be an alternative to the plastic strip type gaurds. BillS
highanddry posted 05-04-2006 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I installed a Keel Guard on my Nantucket 190. I ran it from just below the lower strake back along the bottom, proably about six feet. I modified the forward taper. No way it would have gone over the strakes. I am satisfied that it affords increased protection for the forward and forward lower areas of my hull. It actually is not very noticeable, I used whit and it matched my hull very nice. It was a slightly offwite but still maybe a bit more white than BW white. Looks good and I would hate to be the sap sucker that has to try and get it off. I also used the 3M marine sealant 5200 to seal both ends.
Also, there was absolutely NO change top speed, planning speed or any other such malarky. J
goinboatn posted 05-09-2006 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for goinboatn  Send Email to goinboatn     
I own a line-x in bradenton,fl so i do have some info on the product. Rhino will not work cause it is a cold product, soft, and does not have the adhesion of a hot spray. Line-X displays 115% elasticity without any adhesion loss. Line-X dries in 3-6 seconds so it provides a even uniform application that is both firm and flexible.
We have coated the entire pentagon, 50,000 ceramic vest for the special forces, nuclear subs & the list goes on.
check out this link

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