Boat repair advice

Hi guys, we have an old wooden boat (you may have seen photos of it elsewhere on the forums).
It had a stainless steel strip on the keel which unfortunately was ripped off in a launching incident on Cup Weekend.
We have repaired the timber keel and now need to fit a new metal strip, size of which is approx 4m long, 20mm wide and 4mm thick. The original stainless steel strip is stuffed and we can’t screw into the same places anyway so a new strip is in order.
We have been considering using aluminium instead as it would be much easier to drill and countersink.


  1. Where would I go for a strip of aluminium of those dimensions?
  2. Should I use brass or stainless screws and will either or both of these screw types react with the aluminium? (The original stainless strip was fixed with brass screws but over a period of somewhere between 30 and 50 years many of them had actually corroded away!).

We intend laying a bed of two-pack epoxy marine adhesive from Bote-Cote, then screwing the strip own with some more of the epoxy in the screw holes.

Any ideas appreciated.

Rather unusual finding a request about wooden boat repairs on a packrafting website, but…!

Sometimes you may just get lucky.

Having just made a wooden dinghy myself, I wanted to protect the keel with some form of metal strip.

In Australia there seemed very limited choice. Searching the net, it seems that there is some stainless strip available in the US, which looked to be perfect, but not available in Oz - search under something like “rubbing strip, stainless steel”.
the most suitable I could find came from the local hardward chain . They had either curved aluminium strip at 25mm wide, or flat strip in a few thicknesses at 20mm or 12mm. It is freely available in lots of our hardware shops. I am going to use this, with some stainless screws, although I don’t understand the potential metal reactions with aluminium, so if some other screw type is going to work better, I’d love to know.

Having spent most of my free time this last weekend re-designing and fitting a spray deck to one of my rafts, the keel rubbing strip still hasn’t been fitted to the dinghy!

Also consider looking at some of the wooden boat forums, of which i am sure that there are many!


Boat repair firms are available everywhere and on the internet. You will have to buy parts to replace broken ones. You will also pay for the labor charges from skilled boat repair men.