Advice on newly purchased kevlar clipper

Hello everyone. I purchased this canoe today. It is a clipper, model “16 solo” in Kevlar. Looks like the bottom could use some work, I am wondering what the community would recommend.for a course of action. Also, I included a photo of what I believe Is a larger repair. Is this something I should be concerned with?

It really just looks like an early lay-up of Aramid Fiber. When Aramid fiber, brand name Kevlar, was new to the kayak industry it was an unknown. It was, and is, a pain to deal with. It cuts funny, gets fuzzy when you sand it, and won’t lay down smoothly in a mold.

I have an older model Westside Wave Exceed that looks like that in the bow. Westside boats are the on;y racing boat I would buy used, because of their quality of build.

I think the poor boat was used hard and put up wet, so sand it lightly and paint it. If you have a good place to use Polyurethane paint, use it. Do not use it indoors, and it takes a few days to cure dry, so be careful.

Best of luck and welcome to the forum.

Thank you for the reply. It’s nice to hear that nothing looks catastrophic.

I wonder now if I made a mistake buying this boat. I could almost certainly resell and get my money back. Do you think that would be advisable over working on this one? Solo canoes are quite few and far between here and I may have let that blind me as to the condition.

Give it some time on the water to see how you get along. That should answer your question on whether it’s worth it to you.

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Good point, thank you. I may put some time into it before the waters thaw here. Really hoping to make friends with the boat on the water. And if it’s not the one for me, a bit of effort should help with a resale, should I need to continue searching.

This canoe has had some tough use. The repair was sloppy but looks pretty strong from here. Close inspection in bright light is warranted. Press on the hull and look for soft spots. How old is this boat?

You can improve the appearance by some light sanding and a few coast of epoxy to fill the weave and then some paint.

…just don’t get into the kevlar fabric.

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I don’t know if we are looking at any type of repair here. What I see may just be a “partial” of Kevlar fabric wrapped around the stem to add strength and rigidity there.

It looks like this is a skin-coated aramid canoe. The weave of the aramid cloth is very obvious and it would not be if it was gel-coated. But the aramid fabric looks very dry and I suspect the skin-coat layer of resin has pretty much abraded off.

There are a few shallow cuts into the fabric on the hull bottom but I doubt if they are of significant. Press in on the hull in that area and check the hull interior for any visible signs of damage. If there is no visible interior damage and no unusual give to the hull I would ignore those cuts.

If it were my boat I would wet sand the entire hull exterior with something like 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper and wash it down very well. After a thorough rinse wipe down the hull with denatured alcohol. I use a low-viscosity penetrating epoxy on aramid skin-coat hulls that need attention and I have been happy with the results. The epoxy I prefer is System Three Clear Coat but others have reported good results with West System’s 105 hardener and 207 special clear hardener. These epoxies will protect any denuded aramid fibers and prevent water absorption by the aramid. They cure very clear and can be easily applied using a disposable foam brush.

You can paint the hull of you wish but it will add more weight than the above.


pblanc, I wonder if it would be worth cleaning out the deepest scrapes and running a bead of epoxy into them before sanding and brushing on the epoxy re-coat?

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Hey everyone. I’ve got a small update today:

Spoke with someone from Clipper and they were able to tell me that the canoe was built in 1982. I am so impressed with the help I received. Can’t say enough food things about clipper.

I am.going to send them more photos and they will speak to their laminator and give me instructions on how to proceed. I am looking forward to the project and will update here as I go along.

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You could certainly do that if the scratches seem deep enough. I have generally found that filling scratches tends to make them more noticeable although from a strength standpoint it might be beneficial to do so.

If I wanted to fill the scratches I would probably use G Flex epoxy as it can be mixed up in very small quantities and is more viscous than conventional epoxy and so has less tendency to run. It cures to a honey color which might not look too bad on a Kevlar skin-coat boat.