Here is a detailed step by step video and photo tutorial on how to repair thermo-formed kayaks. This repair was completed in less than 1 hour with materials easily available at any hardware store or even Walmart.
Here's what you will need:
1. Devcon Plastic Welder: This is the adhesive that is used to seam and bulkhead Eddylines. You can get this from Eddyline or find it at most hardware stores and even...Walmart.
2. Fiberglass Cloth: 2-3" wide Fiberglass cloth can be purchased from Eddyline or found at Marine stores. The Eddyline stuff is especially nice because the sides of the cloth are closed stitching and won't fray.
3. Carboard Working Surface
4. Piece of Rubber to Spread Adhesive.
5. Hobby Pigment: Used for coloring Devcon Plastic Welder adhesive for the exterior repair. Krylon Fusion Acrylic Spray Paint can also be used by spraying small amount on glue.
6. Rubbing Compound for final sanding. 400, 800 and 1200 Wet Sand Paper for finishing.
6. Masking Tape: Keeps it all clean and your work within the "lines"
Clean repair area of kayak with rubbing alcohol.
Apply Devcon Plastic Welder on one side of the tape and user your rubber squeege to spread evenly to entire cloth.
Pick up this strip and apply wetside down to the inside of the damaged surface.
Wait a minute and then add and spread Devcon Plastic Welder to the exposed "dry side" of the cloth.
Repeat the same process for the second patch, covering the first patch.
Move to the outside of the repair and use a dremel tool to create a "V" where along the fracture. This will receive pigmented Devcon Plastic Welder for the exterior cosmetic repair.
After filling the "V" with pigmented Devcon Plastic Welder, you can use a razor blade to take down the extra adhesive before it hardens.
Back to the Water!
For Those Who May Need More Detail:
I use the above repair materials for repairing Royalex Canoes and even Composite (Glass, Kevlar and Carbon) Kayaks and Canoes. The reason I prefer the method and materials described above is that the materials store easily in the field and mixing the adhesive is a cinch. Using conventional polyester resins and hardners like MEK (a known carcinogen) in the field is not only hard to mix correctly but also more cumbersome to carry and store after use. Devcon Plastic Welder is really an amazing adhesive that cures to full strength in 20 minutes. In the repair above we use Devcon Plastic Welder as the "resin" to laminate glass to the inside of the kayak. We also use devcon plastic welder mixed with a small amount of hobby pigment to match the color to the outside of the boat. This step is not necessary in the field.
The repair materials pictured and used above are small enough to even fit in my Life Vest as a field repair kit.
You can also just use Devcon Plastic Welder as a filler for scratches and gouges:
- First lightly sand or dremel the gouge to be filled. Then clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
- Squeeze a little Devcon Plastic Welder on to a working surface and add a little pigment to color match the color of the boat surface. Acrylic Hobby Pigment works fine but I prefer Krylon Fusion Spray Paint because it is easier to find around town and can be used for spray painting my name on bridges. I'll just give a little spray to the Devcon Plastic Welder as I'm mixing the two parts.
- This colored Devcon Plastic Welder is great for filling gouges and scratches. I have even used it to rebuild the ends of the boat if you have a very well used boat.
- Once you have filled the gouge you are working on you can use a razor blade to scrape off the excess.
- Then you can used wet/dry sand paper to smooth the surface
- If you are really a polisher, you can use a rubbing compound to give it the final shine
How Tough Is Carbonlite?
Carbonlite is harder than gel coat (composite kayaks). Carbonlite boats will not scratch or gouge as easily as a Fiberglass boat. I think that Carbonlite does even better on glancing impact than a fiberglass boat that can get spider fractures. Loaded Impact and Torsional Flex is more debatable and probably unique to the individual injury. In a rough surf zone crash you might end up doing repairs on both glass and carbonlite. Different types of repair...and in my opinion a glass boat is more difficult because spidering gel cracks are a real pain.