Do Aluminum Boats Need a Keel Guard | Answered

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to owning and operating a boat, from the type of boat you have to the kind of water you’re going to be fishing in. One question that often comes up is whether or not aluminum boats need keel guards. It is always good to have a keel guard on your boat, even some aluminum boats with low-riding keels.

Let us first understand why keel is the most important structural element of your aluminum boat.

The keel is a very important part of any boat, as it helps to stabilize the craft and keep it from flipping over. The keel runs along the bottom of the boat. It helps to distribute the weight of the boat evenly, which prevents it from tipping over. The keel forms the most integral structural feature of the boat.

There are several different types of keels that are found on boats. There are three primary types of keels: fin, bulb, and dagger.

The fin keel is the most common type of keel. It is found on most sailboats and powerboats. The fin keel is made up of a single piece of metal that runs the length of the boat. It is attached to the boat at the bottom and extends out from the hull. The fin keel is very stable and provides good tracking.

How do Keels get damaged?

There are a few ways that your keel can become damaged. One of the most common ways is by running your boat onto a concrete ramp. If you launch your aluminum boat from a concrete ramp, the force of the boat hitting the concrete can damage your keel.

Another way your keel can become damaged is by hitting submerged objects such as rocks or logs. If you hit something with your boat while it is moving, the force of the object can cause damage to your keel. Another way your keel can become damaged is if you drop the boat off of a trailer too quickly.

Having a damaged keel severely impacts the performance of your boat, and it can even make the boat unsafe to use. It will also leave you with expenses for repair costs. The best thing moving forward is having a simple keel guard attached to your aluminum boats.

What are keel guards made of?

Keel guards are made of complex polymers and urethanes. The basic physical property that a keel guard is to have high abrasion resistance, to be waterproof, and resistant to chemical corrosion. There are several other design factors to take into account when designing a keel guard including bendability, length and thickness, and proper grooves and notches for the keel to run through.

Keel guards come in several different designs, so it is important to get the right design to match your boat. Often times a keel guard will come in a one-piece design, but there are some keel guards that can be purchased in a two-piece design. There are also keel guards that come with straps length, while other keel guards may come with their own straps.

How Do Keel Guards Protect Your Aluminum Boats?

Keel guards provide several different levels of protection to your aluminum boat:

1. Protection from Corrosion – The keel is the most important structural element of your boat, and it’s the part that is most susceptible to corrosion. Corrosion can occur when moisture and air come into contact with the metals that make up the keel of your boat.

Moisture can get trapped in between seams or joints, and air can get trapped under your boat. This makes it difficult to stop corrosion from happening. Keel guards let you easily access your boat without having to move the keel guard, so you can perform preventative measures against corrosion.

2. Protection from Hitting Submerged Objects – Many boats will run into submerged objects such as rocks or logs without knowing, which will damage the keel. The keel guards protect your aluminum boat’s keel from damage.

3. Protection From Concrete Launch Ramps – Launching a boat from a concrete launch ramp can cause the side of the boat to hit the concrete launch ramp, which can cause damage. Keel guards protect your aluminum boats from this type of damage.

Keel guard also comes with UV inhibitors to maintain the integrity of your aluminum boat’s keel.

How can I tell if my aluminum boat needs a keel guard?

If you are unsure whether or not your aluminum boat needs a keel guard, the best thing to do is to ask an expert. You can also ask your local boat dealer, or you can perform a simple test on your boat to see if it needs a keel guard.

Do keel guards affect performance?

No, keel guards do not affect the performance of your aluminum boat. Modern keel guards are designed to keep drag resistance into account, so you can expect to get the same performance out of your boat with a keel guard as without. So you can be rest assured that your aluminum boat will perform equally as well, but it will have the added benefit of being protected against corrosion and other damage.

Can I Apply the Keel Guard Over Boat Bottom Paint or Anti-Fouling Paint?

If, your aluminum boat has anti-fouling paint or is bottom painted make sure to have it removed before applying the keel guard. Once you are done with the application of the keel guard you can reapply the antifoul or bottom paint.

How long does a keel guard last?

A keel guard will last for several years if it is applied properly. The moment you notice the keel guard starting to wear down is the right time for reapplication of a new keel guard.


Keel guards can protect your aluminum boat from corrosion, damage due to submerged objects, and the damage caused by running on a concrete ramp. A keel guard will also come with UV inhibitors which will maintain the integrity of your boat’s keel. The best thing moving forward is having a simple keel guard attached to your aluminum boats.