Wear and Tear Pad Review

Stick-on stainless protects gelcoat from boat line chafe.


Over time, chafing from lines can actually wear away gelcoat. Likewise, chips will appear where hatches or ports bang. While eliminating chafe is the best course of action, in some cases, a protective patch can be a viable solution.

Wear and Tear Pad Review

Faced with a chafe problem on his own boat, sailor Andrew Grogono developed the Wear and Tear Pad, an ultra-thin (.002 inches) piece of 301 stainless steel backed by an all-weather double-sided tape. To use, just peel off the backing paper and stick the patch on the hull at the point of friction or impact (making sure the hull is clean and dry, first).

We put two 2 x 6-inch Wear and Tear Pads on a tight 90-degree bend on the gunwale of our 23-foot test powerboat where fender lines rub. The first, which was not adequately pre-molded to fit the curve, pulled up, but the second, which was pre-bent to fit the radius before applying, is holding tight after six weeks in the weather. How long the adhesive will stand up will be answered in the months to follow. Grogono says his have held up for two years. The Wear and Tear Pad can be removed with a heat gun, but it is not meant to be reused. The patches come in two sizes 2 x 6 inches ($25) and 2 x 9 inches ($32). The price includes $5 for shipping.

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Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at darrellnicholson.com.