How to Repair a Plastic Kayak

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How to Repair a Plastic Kayak

Made for river and lake paddling, a plastic kayak weighs very little and is easy to operate by outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Since users typically run across jagged rocks or bump into hard obstacles whilst navigating various water conditions, some of the major problems that owners need to repair swiftly include cracks in the exterior surface to keep it watertight as well as re-tacking the interior ring to gives the operator a smooth surface to lean against. Whether the repair materials come from a local outdoors super centre or online at eBay, a brief look into the items needed as well as the procedures for the most common repairs saves plastic kayak owners money and ensures quick repairs.

Inspecting the Plastic Kayak

Most cracks tend to occur on the bottom and the sloping side leading to the front of the kayak because of the way the crafts slips in and out of the water and drags across the ground prior to loading. Before beginning any work, owners should fully inspect the entire underside to ensure they complete all repairs in one sitting.

How to Repair a Plastic Kayak

Prior to starting repair work, unfold a large plastic tarp and spread it across the work surface or underneath a workbench to protect the floor from dripping resin or plastic. It is also a good idea to arrange all of the repair products and tools nearby for easy access.

Materials Needed to Repair a Kayak

To perform a full and lasting repair, gather the necessary tools and materials, including a polyethylene repair kit or separate components such asalcohol pads,needle-nosed pliers, wooden craft sticks, and polymer bonding resin or HDPE polyethylene plastic pieces. Other helpful tools and materials include60 grit dry sandpaper, aheat gun, a permanent marker matching the kayak's colour, and a plastic tarp.

Repairing Cracks in Plastic Kayaks

Depending on the size of the cracks, open one or more alcohol pads and thoroughly clean the area to remove any dirt or debris. Open the lid of the polymer bonding resin and squeeze in a generous amount to fill the crack, taking care to avoid overfilling, and spread the surface smooth with one of the wooden craft sticks. Alternatively, owners can place a piece of HDPE polyethylene plastic between the tips of the pliers and heat it for about five minutes with the heat gun until it is shiny. They can then immediately place the plastic on the cracked area and process further with the heat gun in a back and forth motion, using more small plastic pieces, filling the entire crack.

Regardless of the bonding material owners select, they should let the repair sit undisturbed for 24 hours to ensure a full bond. Afterwards, owners can sand the repaired area lightly until it is flush with the rest of the kayak and colour the repair with a marker to match the colour of the kayak, if desired.

Attaching the Plastic Kayak Ring

To reattach the plastic ring around the seating area of the kayak, spread a small amount of polymer bonding resin to the inner edge of the ring, spreading any excess around with a wooden craft stick. Work in small patches to avoid drips and attach it to the lip of the seating area, holding it tight with gentle hand pressure for approximately 30 seconds to encourage a strong bond. Allow the repair to sit for at least 12 hours.

Finishing Touches

After finishing all crack repairs and ensuring the kayak ring is in place, owners can give the kayak a wash. Wash it with some degreasing dish soap or a gentle all-purpose cleaner in a bucket half-filled with water a half-bucket of water. After a thorough rinse, apply a coating of UV protectant.

How to Buy a Plastic Kayak and Repair Products on eBay

Whether your particular craft needs small touch ups or more involved repairs, give your plastic kayak the best shot at a complete repair by purchasing all of the proper tools and repair products you need online at eBay. To make the most of your search, use detailed keyword phrases when using the Search bar on any page of the site, including "handheld heat gun" or "polyethylene repair kit". You can also try eBay Stores and eBay Daily Deals. After completing the repair process be sure to store the plastic kayak out of direct sunlight to protect it from exposure to the sun's rays and weather until the next time you use it.

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