Saturday, January 17, 2015

Skid strips installed

With the hull painted, my next step was to install the skid strips on the bottoms of the skegs.  I ordered UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) plastic from US Plastic Corp.  I got two 1 1/2" wide10-foot lengths cut at the 7 foot mark for shipping.  I ripped them in the table saw to 1 1/4" wide, cut them to final length, rounded the ends, and routed a roundover on the edges.

I then drilled and countersunk screw holes in the plastic to match up with the prepared spacing on the skegs.  I drilled into the skegs in the places where I had previously overdrilled and filled with thickened epoxy.  I first put a tape flag on my drill bit so I would not go too deep and drilled pilot holes for the screws.

I then countersunk the skeg a bit, because I found when driving the screws in  I would auger up a little epoxy and then the skid strip wouldn't lie flat on the skeg.  On the second skeg I used a bit bigger drill and things went better.  You need to use a larger pilot drill than you would if driving the screw into wood.

The Weldon countersink shown here works great for any kind of counter sinking -- much superior to the other style that is star-shaped on the end and always tend to chatter.

 Here's the little countersink in the skeg.

Before screwing down the skid strip I prebent the most severe curve, holding it in place with a couple small clamps.

Screwing the strip on then went smoothly.

I continued to drive in all the screws. 

Here's a closer shot of the front end.

And an overall view.  I think it looks nice.


  1. Dave, This looks so nice. I'll bet this will allow the boat to slid off rocks or a cement ramp remarkably well. One question: I've heard this material moves a lot with temperature changes. Were you concerned at all the linear expansion and contraction of the runners?


    1. Hi, Brent - regarding the runners changing dimension - I really didn't consider that. I have some material left over, and it might be interesting to measure it and then do so again after putting it in the freezer and next to the wood stove.

      I guess there's potential for it to heat up on the trailer on a hot summer day, but when in the water I wouldn't expect a range much greater than 40 degrees to 75 degrees or so in the course of a year. So I'm thinking there may not be an issue.

      Thanks - Dave

  2. Dave,
    How thick is the UHMW that you used? How thick does it have to be to countersink? Thanks, Tad

    1. Tad - I was thinking it was 1/4", but I just measured a scrap to be sure and found it was .265, which is 17/64 (1/64 thicker than 1/4"). It's thick enough to countersink fine. -- Dave