I am looking at buying an older, used Point 65 Tequila kayak. The boat looks in good shape, but one problem is that this older version of the Tequila doesn’t have a padded, adjustable air seat, but instead came with a plastic back rest inserted into holes behind the seating area. There doesn’t appear to be any d-rings attached to the hull or holes to attach d-rings. I’ve found pictures of this set up online, so I guess this was how they were originally sold, which is weird because these modular kayaks aren’t cheap and it looks incredibly uncomfortable to be sitting for any length of time on nothing but hard plastic with a small plastic back rest.
I know the answer to this will be a big no, but I will ask anyway. Can you add d-rings to a plastic hull kayak? Drilling holes sounds like a bad idea that ends with a sunken boat and a long swim to shore.
This is picture of the back rest.
I have taken half inch thick neoprene and made seat and back pads and glued them in with 3M spray contact glue. Added a world of comfort.
You can use West System G Flex epoxy to bond vinyl backed D ring patches to a polyethylene boat. I have done so in a polyethylene whitewater canoe. But to get a durable bond you will need to pretreat the surface of the kayak by “flame oxidation”. This is done by simply passing the tip of the inner blue cone of the flame of a hand-held propane torch quickly over the hull surface. After doing this, apply your epoxy and D rings within 30 minutes.
Contact cement is fine to bond in foam or neoprene pads that are not subjected to any distracting force. It will not work for something like a D ring that gets tractioned.
G Flex does not produce an immediate contact bond like contact cement or vinyl adhesive does. You will need to tape your D ring patch in place to prevent it from sliding until the epoxy cures.
I have found that few adhesives work well with polyethylene plastic (what rotomolded plastic boats are made of). The fix for most any attachment is screws (with appropriate sealant placed around them).
That said, you don’t want to use self-tapping screws as your primary support is there is any load. You really want to have a nut and washer (or larger support brace) on thee back side. That requires accessing the inside of the hollow hull, and based on your picture (and what I remember of the tequilas I have seen) the boat doesn’t have hatches or access ports.
If you have a flat area near to where you want to add these, you could add an access port. Here is some info from another web site: Kayak Hatch Kits & Covers Explained | How-To Install Guide - Kayak Guru
A rep from Point 65 got back to me today and confirmed that the older Taquila modular kayaks only had a removable back rest and no d-rings for adding a proper, padded kayak seat. They removed the back rest in favour of the air seat a couple of years ago because (surprise, surprise) customers complained about the discomfort of sitting on hard plastic for hours. He also confirmed that the only way to add d-rings is to drill holes in the plastic hull and he added that Point 65 is not responsible for leakage if the hull is modified.
This is disappointing. The seller was willing to accept $875 for a full tandem Taquila kayak that usually sells for twice that up here in Vancouver. But that is why you ask lots of questions and do research before throwing your hard earned cash at a deal that seems too good to be true. Still.
Well you were given a few good ideas to solve the problem and none real expensive. If you want to make what you have better then pad it out if you want to install D rings and a new seat I would trust the information you got here and not the guy at the company that wants to assume no risk so he ether doesn’t know or is sticking to his script.
My question is what is the molded seat bottom shaped like? Will it accept a different seat?
Without straps, any seat will slide forward on the smooth plastic, which is why they install straps.
Glue in some D rings strap in the seat of your choice and paddle.
Nope. You didn’t read the posts. Was told adhesives don’t work well on this kind of plastic and was told that drilling holes in the hull to attach d-rings might cause the kayak to leak and that screws will not stand up to the stress of seat straps unless they are supported with nuts, which require opening the plastic hull which would destroy the boat.
Luckily, I don’t have it, I was thinking of buying this used modular kayak but now with the information I received from other forum members I chose not to.
And you were told by me that with proper pretreatment West Systems G Flex epoxy will bond to polyethylene.
I have used it to bond vinyl D ring patches into a PE canoe, to repair both linear and cross-linked polyethylene kayaks and C-1s, and did a very extensive repair to a triple-layer, rotomolded PE Old Town canoe. That particular boat had extensive cracks in the interior of the hull bottom from a prior pin and had abraded completely through the outer PE layer at both stems into the foam core over an area about two feet long and six inches wide. G Flex was used to bond fabric to the hull inside and out and the repair has held up over a number of years.
Long Dynel abrasion plates were required to cover the extensive stem damage on that boat. I’m sorry I did not take any “before” pictures. Here is one of the abrasion plate on one end of the boat, and a photo of the repaired boat on the water on a downriver trip: