Friday was the day I got around to starting the keelstrip project. In order to keep from having to buy a new skin for my new boat, I bought a keelstrip kit from Longhaul Folding Kayaks. Spoke on the phone with the company’s owner, Mark Eckhart, who not only manufactures folding kayaks, but has a keen interest in superannuated folders long out of production. For a very reasonable price, he sent me a 17’ keelstrip, neoprene cement, a brush, 50 grit sandpaper, rags (for the application of toluene), protective gloves, and printed instructions.
Abrasion of the fabric along the keel is such that I will have to debride some of the loose strings. I also marked the guidelines wrong and will have to re-center and tape the strip, then re-mark the hull. Additionally, because the floor of my garage is not particle-free, I’m going to to have to find another place to clean off the strip’s application surface. Which means that aside from the hull-sanding, I’ll have to start over. Means I’m going to get another toluene headache, although I’m sure working in the open air helped lessen the toxic effects of the fumes on my neurobiological substrate.