What are Keel Guards?

A keel is the most important part of a ship. Sometimes it is also referred to as the ‘spine’ of the ship. A keel is the base on which ships are built and is the bisector (divider) that separates the hull into two length-wise areas. Keel guards are a protection that is used to cover the keel of a ship from getting damaged.

A keelguard or a keel protector holds a very important place in the safety of the ship. The keel of a ship is generally made of fibreglass, a material that does not break or shatter easily. But when a ship encounters very rocky or rough areas in the shallow parts of the water or when it collides against rocks in the high sea areas, then the fibreglass can break or get damaged. With the help of a keel guard, this damage can be avoided and the ship can be used for a much longer period of time.

The material used to build a keel protector is composed of a special type of rubber known as polymer. This type of rubber is completely foolproof against rocks and rough areas, making keel guards a very successful technological development.

The material of keel guards also consists of very high-sticky gum that is used to stick the keel guard to the keel. While one is attaching the keel protector to a ship’s keel, care has to be taken that fingers are not placed on the adhesive. Doing so will result in the keelguard becoming ineffective in its purpose. This is why when one attaches the keelguard to the keel, the process is done by a brush than by hand. Also, before the keelguard is taped to the keel of the ship, in order to heat the adhesive, it has to be warmed in the sun for at least 10 minutes.

Keel guards are guaranteed by recognised marine engineering standards and are highly cost efficient. The adhesive that is used is of the 3M variety. The temperature of the atmosphere while a keelguard has to be attached to a keel needs to be around 60 degrees (minimum).

The technology of keel guards is so unique that it will be a part of ships and boats even in the future. Durability and reliability are the unique selling features that make a keel protector the best that there today.

You may also like to read – What are Marine Fenders?

 

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