After asking my wife what she though (as she works for a major industrial machine making company) she found an interesting idea on the inernet about using UHMW for the bearing on the back roller of a drift boat trailer. I work in an industrial food proceesing environment and our maintenance manager designed the UHMW roller bearings for my boat. He says that UHMW has very strong load-bearing capabilities. Cool thing about it is that I can take it off now and replace the UHMW inserts pretty easily (hopefully not in the next 10 years!).
I was looking for something just a bit more agressive in texture than just textured paint, but something smooth enough that would be able to be washed down. I found it! The price point of this truck bed-liner was perfect, too. $30!
and I still have about 1/2 left to use somewhere else!
I called the manufacturers of the Herculiner and they said absolutely sand and primer the area with bare aluminum. I am curious, too as to how it will hold up. So far, so good. Just keep the studded boots out of the boat!
Thanks everyone. It's gonna be nice to get her out and fish. Hopefully I don't hit every rock in the river.