The following instructions must be followed regardless of what the craft is made of.
Please Note: KeelShield will adhere to crafts made
of fiberglass, urethane, treated wood and all metals. (Anti-fouling
paint must be removed before installation.) It will not work on pontoon
boats, boats whose trailers have weight bearing rollers or bunks that
the KeelShield will rest on. It will not work for Boats or Personal
Watercraft that pull up on a Jet Dock or on Sea Doo personal watercraft
that has the 4-Tec hull or the Yamaha with the VX hull design. It will
not work on certain models of Alumacraft, Lund, G3 Angler Series and
Crestliner boats. Our 12” width is for flat bottomed boats only.
Please call if you have questions.
Items Needed for installation :
- Isopropyl alcohol
- a roll of paper towels
- your crafts Hull Temperature being at least 70° F. Not just 70° F air temperature outside, warmer the better.
helpful: A friend for an extra set of hands, a wax pen or crayon and
painters tape or masking tape. We also recommend sealing the edges of
your KeelShield after you install it with a marine grade sealant that
is for below the waterline. If your boat is docked and in the water
24/7 you must use a sealant that is for below the waterline.
Placement of the KeelShield®
Where do I start?
To begin with, your boat hull
and KeelShield needs to be 70° F or warmer, if not you will have
adhesion problems in the future. Your KeelShield may be placed over
existing damage, as long as there are no gouges or scratches more than
¼” deep and your keel is not leaking. If you have extensive damage or
your keel is leaking you will need to make some kind of repair before
you install your KeelShield. If you make repairs yourself, be sure to
follow the manufacturer’s instructions on curing before you install
Step 1. Take your
KeelShield out of the package and lay it flat. Find your resting
waterline. The leading edge of your KeelShield needs to start 6”- 9”
above your resting waterline. Once you have found this point, mark it
with a grease pen, pencil or crayon. (This is where a friend will come
in handy) Hold or tape your KeelShield to your hull, with the leading
edge placed at the point where you marked, and trace around your
KeelShield with a wax pen, pencil or crayon. Take some painters tape
or masking tape and tape this area off. This is the area you will be
preparing for the adhesive.
Personal Watercraft: Your KeelShield needs
to begin ¼” below your towing hook on the bow and run the entire length
of your hull, ending ¼” in front of your intake grate. If you have
steps / chines / strakes that cross your hull horizontally, you can
begin your KeelShield behind them but you still need to run the entire
length of your hull. If you do not run the length of your hull you
will have adhesive problems. You must seal the edges with a marine
sealant after installation. It will not work on Sea Doo’s with the
*** For all installations:
The minimum hull & KeelShield temperature is 70 F or higher, NO
EXCEPTIONS. Your KeelShield will NOT stick properly and you will have
adhesion problems if you install it, when it is lower than 70 F. ***
Note: The following steps must be done with great
care. If any step is left undone or done improperly, the adhesive will
not bond and you will have failure. If the bottom of your craft is
painted, it is crucial there is no peeling paint. If your boat has
anti-fouling paint on the bottom you must remove it where the
KeelShield will be installed,the adhesive will not stick to that paint.
Step 2. Preparing the
part of your hull you have traced around is the most important step in
installing your KeelShield. Do not use Acetone, Lacquer Thinner or any
other cleaner or solvent to clean for your KeelShield installation ALL
of these leave a film when they evaporate that will interfere with the
adhesive and cause failure. Isopropyl alcohol (found at your grocery
store or pharmacy) is the only cleaner that when it evaporates does not
leave a film. Take your isopropyl alcohol and some paper towels and
wipe the area you have traced/taped around thoroughly, do this until
your paper towel does not remove dirt and comes away clean. Take the
scuff pad that is provided and gently scuff the area you have traced
around. If you have loose paint in this area you need to remove the
loose paint with fine grit sand paper. You do not have to apply strong
pressure; all you want to do is remove the gloss from this area. Now
once again take your isopropyl alcohol and do a thorough wash of this
area just as you did before the scuffing.
Adhesive Activator Instructions
Step 3. * Be sure you are in a well ventilated
area - Put the latex glove on and tear of the top of the activator wipe
pouch. Do not unfold the activator wipe right away – the activator
will evaporate quickly. With your gloved hand, wipe the area where
your KeelShield is to be installed with a thin coat of activator -
Unfold it as you use it. Let dry 5 minutes. If the activator goes
beyond the area where your KeelShield® will be placed, after
installation, clean the excess with paper towels and isopropyl alcohol.
* Important * Your hull is now ready for
your KeelShield. DO NOT touch your hull with your hands. You will
leave oils on your hull that will interfere with the 3M adhesive
For a moment, look at your
KeelShield. You will notice that 7th rise (ridge) is the center of the
product. It may help you on the next step to take your wax pen, crayon
or a piece of tape and mark the 7th rise.
Step 4. (If
you taped off the area remove the tape now.) Take your KeelShield and
peel back about 1 foot of the middle strip of the release liner on the
back of the product. This will expose the 3M adhesive. DON’T touch
the adhesive with your hands or you will leave oil on it and will not
stick! Carefully, line the center of your KeelShield up with the
center of your hull and gently press on with your hand. (You want to
be sure that you line up with the center of your boat since once the
adhesive touches your hull it cannot be moved.) Once you have
pressed that first foot on, pull about 1 to 2 feet of the middle
release liner off and continue to gently press on with your hand until
you have the entire center length of your KeelShield attached to your
Now that you have the middle of your KeelShield attached to the center
of your hull, let’s finish the installation. Do one side at a time.
Pick one side and pull off about 1 foot of the release liner, exposing
the 3M adhesive. Take your hand and start in the center and roll your
hand to the outer edge, pressing your KeelShield on. By starting in
the middle where the KeelShield is already attached, you are removing
air bubbles at the same time you are adhering it to your hull. Once
you have the first foot done, continue with the same side pulling off 1
to 2 feet of the release liner as you press from the middle to the
outer edge. Once you complete one side go ahead and do the same
process for the other side. Some of you may run into chines, steps or
strakes that your KeelShield needs to go over. If you can’t get your
KeelShield to mold around them with your hand you can use the handle of
a screwdriver. Take the handle and use it to apply pressure so
KeelShield molds around the chines, steps or strakes.
Step 6.Now that your
KeelShield is attached to your hull, take the squeegee applicator that
is provided and use the felt edge to apply pressure in the grooves and
also to the rises . Pay special attention to all edges. This
adhesive system is pressure sensitive so the key for the best bond is
pressure. Now that you are done with the applicator, take your
isopropyl alcohol and wipe all of the marks from your wax pen, pencil
or crayon off of your hull and your KeelShield. We recommend that you
now apply a thin bead of sealant to the edges of your KeelShield
sealing it to your hull.
Step 7. There is NO
down time and you can use your boat as soon as you complete the
installation process. But, if you choose to follow our recommendation
and seal the edges with a marine sealant, you will need to follow the
instructions found on the sealant for cure time before you use your
Trailered Boats: Make sure your rollers move freely.
Trailered boats: Make sure your rollers move
freely. KeelShield can not rest on weight bearing rollers or bunks.
The friction caused when your boat is transported will eventually cause
the KeelShield to delaminate.
Click here to get KeelShield now!