Last updated on December 16th, 2020
Your boat is one of the biggest investments of your life; thus, you want to be sure it is protected. The whole of your boat gets damaged over time; however, the bottom of the hull is more susceptible to any damage being in the water.
Sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, and concrete boat ramps can scratch and ding the keel of your boat. However, you can always avoid this by installing either a keelshield or a keel guard. The installation of both tools is easy; it improves the boat’s appearance and may improve the boat’s performance.
Keelshield vs. Keelguard: Comparative Analysis
Whether you are just cruising or fishing in the nearby lake, your boat is supposed to be your companion in the water. Since the damage to your boat is irreversible, you must guard it with the right tool. As there are a lot of tools, it can be tough to choose among them.
So if you are to pick between a keelshield or a keelguard, I can help you choose the right one according to your preferences.
In this article, I will walk you through all the details about keelshield and keelguard. Keep scrolling to read on to get a better picture before you head out to purchase one of them.
Characteristics of Keelshield
The keel under your boat tends to bump into all kinds of things like wood and rocks while sailing unless some sort of protection supports it. A keelshield provides that protection to the hull, which makes the boat more durable without compromising on the speed.
Characteristically, it is easy to install with its “prep-peel-stick” method. It lasts long with its 3M marine adhesive. You can install it on most fiberglass aluminum and treated-wooden boats.
Besides, it comes in various colors and different lengths all the way up to 30’ in size to fit your personal boat-sailing needs.
Pros of KeelShield:
How does a keelshield help in the protection of your boat? Here are some upsides:
The keelshield comes with an easy to use prep-peel-stick formula. You just place it on the hull, mark out where it needs to go using a crayon that is the opposite color of your boat. Scuff where you’ll be placing it.
Besides, use some alcohol on the surface, peel off the plastic, and stick it on.
Any boat without a keelshield will get damaged, requiring costly repairs. Whereas, once you get the keelshield, it is a one-and-done process.
Compatible with Aluminum Boats:
Keelshield is compatible with many different materials, which include aluminum fiberglass as well as treated-wooden boats. There are, however, a few measures that you should consider while preparing the keelshield for installation on an aluminum hull.
Protection And Durability
Keelshield is well-built and durable and can hold up against any form of debris, which includes wood and rock. It has a powerful 3M adhesive. Moreover, It comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturers.
Cons of Keelshield
Just like everything else, keelshield too has some downsides:
Not comparable to High-end products
Despite being easily accessible and easy to use, professionals still prefer to use other high-end products instead of the keelshield. That is because they still don’t consider it to be durable and flexible enough.
Requires preparation for proper adhesion
Due to its strong built, it can be somewhat challenging to apply it to the hull. A single person can easily install it. However, it will require plenty of physical exertion.
Hard to stick on plastic
Despite working great on other materials, Keelshield can be extremely difficult to apply on plastic surfaces. It doesn’t hold up on its own and requires a separate stronger adhesive to stick.
Characteristics of Keelguard:
The keelguard protects the boat’s hull from any damage from the debris found in water, like wood, rocks, sand, and ramps. It is exceptionally well-built because of the unique blend of different polymers and urethanes.
Like a keelshield, it also has a unique shape to fit the hulls’ angle and of any boat. It comes in all different lengths up to 30 inches and multiple different colors. Its protection provides excellent support, which helps you avoid expensive professional repairs.
Pros of Keelguard
What makes a keelguard so popular? Here are some upsides:
The Keelguard is extremely easy to install. It is a do-it-yourself project. All you need to do is map out the shape on the boat, scruff, apply alcohol, peel off the Keelguard and apply. A single person can easily install it at home.
Its built possesses a combination of different polymers and urethanes, which makes it very sturdy. It also has a 3M adhesive.
The shape of keelguard is unique, which aids in the installation process and helps the Keelguard stay in place, preventing it from peeling.
Cons of Keelguard
Despite being protective, keel guards come with a few downsides:
The adhesive by itself is weak. The Keelguard does look good while the boat is standing in your backyard but as soon as you start taking it out in the water, it can come loose from the edges within the span of a year.
Tendency to Rip
Despite having a strong built, a keelguard can rip easily upon use when you try to breach the boat if it gets stuck on the way.
A keelguard can leave a residue once it gets peeled off, which is very difficult to get rid of.
Keelshield vs Keelguard: a Quick Comparison
Keelguard and keelshield are two very similar products. They both serve the same purpose: to protect the boat’s hull from the debris found in the water like Rocks, Sands, wood, and Ramps.
Besides, both of them come with the prep-peel-stick process making them incredibly easy-to-install and require only one to two people in the installation process.
They both don’t work if you have rollers attached to your hull. There are, however, a few differences that might help you decide which one will work better for you.
Keelshield is very durable and has a straight shape, but comparatively, keelguard is better in shape, which helps it stick to the curves and edges better. Moreover, the adhesive on a keelshield performs better than that of a keelguard, holding up well against damaging materials.
A keelshield comes with a lifetime warranty straight from the manufacturers and works on most surfaces, including aluminum and fiberglass. They are both, however, hard to apply on plastic and require a separate adhesive.
Keelguard can easily rip once you take the boat out for a run. They both come in different sizes all the way up to 30 inches to fit any boat. The keelguard comes in a greater variety of colors than the keelshield.
The Bottom Line
In order to provide protection to the keel of your boat, several guards are available in the market. Keelshield and keelguard are among those tools used which come in handy to install with strong, thick marine adhesive, guarding the keel of your boat against damage from concrete ramps, rocks, and sand.
This wraps our run down to the comparison between a keelshield and a keelguard. I hope this article provided you with relevant information about both kinds of keel protection tools to help you reach a decision. Thus, whether you buy a keelshield or a keelguard, the ultimate goal is to protect your boat against damage.