Advice refinishing kevlar Seda Spirit ka

-- Last Updated: May-28-14 3:15 PM EST --

I own a Seda spirit I am not sure of the model year, its red and Kevlar. The boat had developed at both the bow and stern areas where the clear (epoxy?) Coating has broken away from the Kevlar. It also has one spot on the bottom where the coating has cracked and the Kevlar is exposed. The bottom area does not really feel soft although the Kevlar has a pulverized look around the crack. The bottom also has many small scratches.

I am planning on using west system 105/207 epoxy and a Non-porous Release film. The film I found online was Airtech's Dahlar Non-porous Release film I hope that it will work with 105/207 epoxy?

I also plan to use Loctite citrus ODC-Free Cleaner & Degreaser and spray down the areas.

I plan to first sand and fill in the 4 areas. Then after the epoxy has cured I plan to use a roller and fill in the scratches on the bottom. I was not planning on sanding the whole bottom but rather just rolling on the epoxy and covering it with release film is this a bad idea?

pics images 1,3,6 and 7 show areas missing epoxy

The hull is probably not epoxy coated
Epoxy is not UV resistant and needs to be protected from the sun, so it’s not commonly used in commercial kayaks. More than likely, your boat was built with vinylester resin. I suggest contacting the manufacturer to find out.

Regardless, you can repair it with epoxy and for the small repairs shown, it will work fine. These are wear areas where you’ll probably have to renew it periodically anyway.

I strongly recommend against using a citrus cleaner to prep your boat, as it is acidic. Acids neutralize epoxy and prevent it from curing, so any residue will cause problems. Wash it with water, rinse and dry it, then use lacquer thinner, acetone or denatured alcohol to degrease it. Allow it to dry completely before you do anything else.

Coating the entire underside with epoxy is probably a bad idea. First, you DO need to sand it in order to get a good bond, but you have to be careful not to sand into the Kevlar, as it will fuzz and create a nightmarish mess. Secondly, as I mentioned above, epoxy is not UV resistant and it will ultimately turn chalky and ugly. If you’re serious about restoring the finish, have someone spray it with clear automotive lacquer. Any body shop should be able to do the job for you.

You can epoxy the bottom if you like

– Last Updated: May-29-14 8:29 AM EST –

but then after it is cured I would wash it well and cover with a couple of coats of a good quality marine varnish which will protect it from UV degradation.

It is hard to be certain but the photos suggest that the hull has a clear gel coat. It does not look like a skin-coated boat to me. I suspect if you wet sand the hull before applying the epoxy with something like 220-330 grit waterproof paper and don't get too vigorous, you won't have any trouble fuzzing the Kevlar. As long as you are sanding gel coat or resin rather than the aramid fibers you are OK. You can tell pretty quickly if you are not OK.

I don't see any particular reason to use peel ply except possibly on the areas of the bow where there are deeper gouges to fill. You will need multiple applications of epoxy to fair these areas flush if you use un-thickened epoxy. You could use a thickening agent like West System 406 colloidal silica powder, or a fairing compound like West System 410 Microlight low density fairing filler, but these agents will color your epoxy an ivory or tan color.

I just use Glad Cling Wrap for small
repairs like that. Peel Ply is less flexible and I’ve found it harder to work with.

Actually the epoxy may sit in place, and while the repair will be rough, you can sand it smooth.

I agree about using varnish to protect the repair, but I’ve skipped that step, and UV chalking has occurred so very slowly compared to dragging over gravel or running into things, that I often skip the varnish. And as I recall, 207 has a bit of UV inhibitor mixed in.

Thanks good to know about the citrus cleaner and Peel Ply.

I am going to contact the manufacture and see what they say. The boat has a thick hard clear finish not sure what it is made of. This is my first Kevlar kayak.