*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.
When getting and using a kayak, look for kayak repair near me in your local area so you have the resources to use when you need them.
When you have discovered an area where your kayak needs to be repaired you have two choices:
Have a local repair shop do the repair for you.
Do the repair yourself.
In this article, I will go over basic DIY methods of repair you can do yourself.
Before beginning to repair your kayak yourself, contact the manufacturer. They can give you a list of the materials to use and a list of which products will damage your kayak. They can also tell you which paints to use if you need to paint over the repaired area.
Many manufacturers will also have tutorials about making repairs to your kayak and adhesives, tools, and exact steps from start to finish.
Manufacturers have extra scrap materials that are exact and in the same color as your kayak. See if you can order a piece to practice before making the final repair on your kayak. The test will also give you information if you experience an adverse reaction to any of the products you are using.
If you do not have a sample from the manufacturer to practice your steps, do a sample test on your kayak in an area that does not show to ensure the products you have selected will work on your kayak. You can look for kayak repair near me shops for tips.
When you start, lay out all of your tools and supplies, mixing materials and supplies. Wear a mask rated for use with the materials you have selected, eye protection, and gloves.
RSM Reusable Face Cover Set for Painting, Dust, Machine Polishing, Vapors with Filter Cotton, Glasses and Gloves for DIY and Other Work Protection
Accessories Included: the set includes 1 face cover, 2 cartridges, 2 cover pads, 6 particles cotton filters, 1 anti-scratch and anti-fog glasses and 2 pairs of gloves.
Effective protection against paint, construction, chemicals, sanding, polishing, odor control.
Clean around the damaged area to ensure you don’t have any loose pieces.
Be sure to repair an area that is well ventilated.
Mix the amount you need to finish the repair. Some adhesives and epoxy can set up fast, requiring you to work quickly.
Suggestions for products for repair
PVC Stitch Liquid Patch + Cord | Top Liquid Waterproof Patch for: PVC and Vinyl Inflatables, Boats, Rafts, Kayaks, Paddle Boats, Air Beds & Air Mattresses, Waders, Neoprene Wetsuits, Polyester Tents
J-B Weld 8277 WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick – 2 oz.
Marine-Tex RM306K Marine-Tex – White, 14 oz
Loctite 1919324 Marine Epoxy 0.85-Fluid Ounce Syringe (1405604), 1 Pack, White
TRUE COMPOSITES Premium Gelcoat Repair Kit-Complete Set with Hardener, Measuring Cup, Coloring Agent-Remove Scratch, Crack, Leak, Chips from Boats Auto Kayak Jetski-Marine Grade-Use with Fiberglass
Gator Guards Patch Fiberglass Reinforced Repair Patch – Repairs Holes, Dents & Cracks on Multiple Surfaces – DIY Prep, Peel & Stick – 3 Sizes – USA Made
Give the product you have used time enough to dry completely. Some adhesives and putty need to cure between steps. Follow the directions on the products you have selected to use.
Clean-up after the repair is completed almost as important as the repair. Please observe that the repair materials haven’t run into other areas where they are not needed.
Non-structural such as scratches, cracks, or dings. Each type of material used to make kayaks show the damage in a different way. Start with the type of material your kayak is.
• thermo-form finish
The repair will need to address the damaged area and the extent of the damage.
Crack #1: Bubbling is usually caused by component(s) moving out of position or riding up against a raised area on the hull. Usually, this type of crack is along the inside edge of a hull seam. It tends to “bubble” and sometimes “glow.”
Crack #2: Spraying is usually caused by component(s) riding up against a raised area on the hull. In these cracks, the kayak looks as if it’s been spray-painted.
Crack #3: Resin Blisters are caused by the kayak being stored in a hot environment and stresses in the kayak’s gel coat, which has already started to sag, causing the resin to push out under pressure. These blisters are not harmful and can be easily removed.
Crack #4: Beading due to the resin in the kayak being so hot that it runs out, then cools and bonds with the surface below it.
Crack #5: Fiberglass deterioration differential expansion in the weather has weakened a small area of fiberglass/resin in your kayak. Depending on the size of this weakened area, you may be able to repair it using a wooden dowel and an epoxy putty compound.
When filling a crack, the goal is to fill it and fill the voids related to the damage. You should fill it so much that there is no air left in the hole. It’s good to see that the light color of resin has been added as you will be able to see any missed areas easily, and they will not look dark when they are finished.
After deciding what nozzle you will be using, it is time to mix up some epoxy putty. Mixing epoxy putty is a longer process than mixing paint, so you want to make sure that it’s mixed thoroughly in the correct amount of time.
I use a one-gallon stainless steel bucket, but any large container with an airtight lid will do. (I find that the plastic buckets that come out of the hardware store are too small for the size of my paddle.
Pro Select Heavy Duty Stainless Pail
First, mix up the resin you will use. The instructions say to add parts of Part A and Part B to achieve a good working time and an extended set time. For more time, you can always add more epoxy.
It is not recommended that you remove any of the material after it’s been applied to the kayak, so I don’t try to save any for later since I usually repair more than one crack at a time.
The mix seems to work pretty well, so you can start applying it. I covered the first area on the inside edge of the kayak’s stern, where the crack showed up.
Part B of the mix is just like Part A, except that it has a particular odor that you can detect if you catch a whiff of it in the air. The smell came from the catalyst that causes some epoxy to cure faster.
I found that this catalyst was usually used on small areas of side coating, though you can find it in large buckets as well.
In any case, this is not an ingredient you want to use very often because it allows for much quicker cures, which can be undesirable when repairing a kayak.
This is marked as topcoat resin, which means part B.
I have even had Part B comes sealed in an airtight bag.
Tip: Be sure to label your materials so that you don’t mistakenly pick up the wrong mix or glues.
In my experience, if you see that the surface of a kayak has a much darker color than the surrounding area, something’s wrong.
This bead was caused by our boat being hauled on a truck kayak carrier. The truck had been traveling over very rough roads for several hours. It also shows where some water came into contact with the kayak.
After it was cleaned up, I went to work. I would have preferred not to replace any material, but this is a common problem that can be easily avoided.
A sponge application is like painting: a thin layer of material is placed on top, and the excess is left behind.
Start at the bottom of the area you want to repair, and make sure that this is a smooth surface before applying the resin.
If it’s rough or ragged, apply some more putty to cover it.
When you are confident that this area is level, let it sit for about five minutes so that some of the material can start to set up so that it can be worked with right away.
After five minutes, use a soft cloth to apply a thin resin layer to the area. Use circular strokes and try not to push too hard.
After applying this resin, leave it for about ten minutes before doing anything else. If you decide to put another coat on, make sure that it’s even with the first coat.