Assessing damage

Had a big oops this weekend. When unloading my kevlar/carbon kayak from the roof of minivan fatigue, haste and a rotator cuff twinge conspired together. The kayak slipped and the front end crashed from the roof or the minivan to the asphalt. Only apparent damage is a 1.5" single line crack in the gelcoat. It is midway between the bottom and the deck. It seems something I could attempt to repair myself, but I want to know how i can assess the extent of possible damage to the other layers. No cracks were apparent in the inside.

Repair suggestions also welcome.

Sounds Like A Good Assessment
gelcoat damage if you don’t see the crack on the other side. Sand out the crack a little bit and fill with gelcoat.


press it
you can press down on areas a distance away from the crack to get a sense of the flexibility of the hull then see if it’s the same at the cracked gel coat, if the hull flexes in at the crack you could assume there is some damage in the glass but that doesn’t indicate any catastrophic.

Get out in strong sunlight, invert the
boat, and stick your head in the cockpit or the forward hatch. You should be able to see whether there is delamination around the gelcoat crack.

Frankly, I might just cover it with thin polyethelene clear tape. Or, I might dry it thoroughly and run a line of Instant Glue down the crack. Don’t even bother sanding, just let it dry. The Instant Glue forms an acrylic plastic which is reasonably resistant to sun, and it has flex and friction characteristics similar to gelcoat.

If you want to be obsessive-compulsive, take two Luvox and call us in the morning.

I’m going for ibuprofen,three sdays of paddling in a row and I’m beat. Staying out of shape was so much easier.

Pressing and light. Naproxen for LeeG
Stuff a shoplight down in there and see if any light is leaking out of the crack area.

Lee, naproxen is a fine thing…

If it doesn’t leak
dont worry about it. Fix the gel coat when you get around to it.