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Old 07-01-2014   #1
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Slick Paint for sliding raft?

I'm looking for some kind of paint that I can use on my wood ramps for sliding the big outfitted raft onto a trailer. The wooden ramps have raised wood runners on both sides of each ramp - so that gives me Four 1 inch surfaces to slide the raft. I've got them sanded smooth with rounded corners and now am looking for a "slick" paint to help with the sliding. Any suggestions on a suitable slick paint just for the top of the runners? Many thanks.

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Old 07-01-2014   #2
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
I've considered using thin strips of UHMV which would be possible provided I could round off the corners of the 1 inch strips adequately as it can produce some sharp edges. I'm also experimenting with notching out some PVC pipe that would slip right over the top of the side runners (about 2.5" high). This would provide me with a perfectly rounded surface a little wider actually, and would be inexpensive. The secret for the PVC pipe would be to get that perfect 1 inch notch cut

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Old 07-01-2014   #3
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
There's a super slick enamel or poly paint that the airboat people use on their hull bottoms.
GatorGlide super slick bottom coatings
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Old 07-01-2014   #4
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Originally Posted by Yukon77 View Post
The secret for the PVC pipe would be to get that perfect 1 inch notch cut
Not really. cut the kerf about 0.5" wide and stretch the PVC over the 1" runner and it will spring clamp itself in place.
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Old 07-01-2014   #5
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,661
I have thought about the PVC idea my self. Sometime this summer I need to build a bigger deck for my trailer and have some 16" heavy water main (nearly 1/2" thick) that I've been planning on ripping into strips (maybe 2" wide, what ever looks right when I get to cutting) then lying those convex side up on my deck to act as both a smooth surface and a way of aligning the boat on the trailer. It will also give me a place to stand that is not so slippery (in between runners). For your situation that sounds pretty easy and worth a try. If you do go pvc look at the gray material (UV exposure rated) the white stuff might only last a year or two before becoming brittle.

UHMW would also be a great option, but more expensive. It's easily workable, wood working tools, router, saws etc. Way easier than aluminum.
A buddy on a recent trip had two 2'wide by 10' long strips of UHMW on his trailer. We launched his fully loaded boat with a slight push. We loaded the same mostly loaded boat back onto the trailer with two people pulling with moderate effort. In contrast, my boat on 2X6 runners had to be floated on and off. There was no pushing it off, even with a tilt bed trailer, we had to keep backing until it was almost floating. I've launched my boats as day rigs thousands of time with little effort but had never even tried to launch it fully loaded for a 4 day trip...

The only drawback to UHMW is it shrinks and expands a lot with heat. He's had his trailer rigged with it for years and has gone through several mounting permutations. He last settled on slots with washers and pan head screws. and that has held up several years. The boat rubber rarely contacts the metal fasteners. Prior to this most solutions resulted in snapped off fasteners as the material shrunk or expanded. If I recall the material was pretty expensive; several hundred bucks... for his 4x10' sheet.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 07-02-2014   #6
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 151
I have carpeted 2x12s, which I like just fine....and if I were worried about drag, I'd just wet the carpet. But if I were building something now, I really like the split PVC runner idea. The only thing I would make sure of, is that my rear rollers are a little higher than the PVC, so the raft doesn't contact blunt ends. The rollers and a winch make launching and landing a loaded boat possible.....but that's a different thread.

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