Bent plastic boat repair?

I recently bought an older Nimbus Platypus. I took it out once and was pleasantly surprised by its speed and general seaworthiness (it’s heavy though). Here comes the bad part – I left it on my car rack and went away for a week. Heavy rain water filled the front compartment (hatch missing), and as the kayak sat in the hot sun, the entire bow sunk under the weight of the water, bending the kayak at a frightening angle. Is it repairable or salvageable? It looks awful, but underneath it all is a pretty solid boat with reinforcement running down the central V of the hull.

It depends
It depends on how badly it’s bent. If it’s bent really bad, then there might not be an easy way to get it back completely to it’s original shape.

I’d try laying it on the ground in the sun for a few days or more, and see if that helps any. It might do some good at least.

It’s not a good idea to leave a plastic boat on top of a car for a long time, as it can deform the hull where the saddles make contact. Laying it in the sun can usually fix that, but a bent boat, well, give it a try.

sorry to hear that
I really wish that people who sell plastic kayaks, whether dealers or private parties, would pass along the information about the real dangers of heat deformation of polyurethane. I see so many boats ruined by this. One of the people I most often paddle with locally has a kayak that is so badly caved in along one side of the hull from leaving it strapped upright on her roof rack (using ratchet straps, no less, another no-no for kayaks) that she has to drag the rudder cocked to starboard at all times to keep the boat on track.

Sorry that my advice is a day late and a dollar short for you, but you should NEVER store a plastic kayak on a roof rack or even flat on the ground, especially in a hot climate. In fact, I don’t even transport my plastic boats upright on a roof rack because the hull can dent within a few hours on a hot enough day. Always carry your kayak upside down or on it’s side on the rack – it won’t matter to the performance if you get deformation in the deck AND it won’t fill with water. The side of a kayak is its strongest dimension. J-racks and stackers for your roof rack enable carrying it that way or you can get shaped cradles to rest it on the rack (again, upside down, not resting on the hull).

Since you have nothing to loose at this point what you might try is an attempt to reverse the damage, though it sounds pretty extreme and plastic, once stretched like that, will tend to resist rebounding and will want to return to the stretched out shape as soon as it gets hot again. But here is my suggestion, and it shouldn’t cost you anything.

First, stuff sandbags or sacks of gravel into the front hatch, seal it and wrap a nylon strap around the hatch cover to secure i, or leave the cover off completely. Then cradle the kayak upside down – I would stack some old tires two high and the length of the boat from stern to front of the cockpit. Have the deformed front hang out over the edge of the tires, unsupported, but with something underneath that is about as high as the deck would have reached if it had not deformed. The hope is that the heat will again soften the plastic and cause a reverse droop in the weighted end. But you want something underneath that will keep it from drooping farther than the original dimensions.

Then leave this assemblage to sit in the sun for a few days, checking it occasionally to see if there is anything happening.

Like I said, you have nothing to lose since I presume the boat is unusable as is. We were able some years ago to correct most of an inward “dimple” in an older plastic boat hull by leaving sandbags in it suspended on tires in the sun.

Hair dryer ?
I’ve had pretty good luck using a hair dryer on dented plastic boats and car bumpers. Somehow heat makes that stuff remember where it came from.

water is another way to try and get it’s memory back. Post a picture of it.

the bend area
may ‘buckle’ if the short end is bent back _ _


buy a heat gun or pro hair dryer

support short bent length

weight rear long length with water n allow for height reduction, sinking, relative to the short length… how I doahn know… maybe 2 V cradle tied with 2 lengthwise tuba4’s

heat buckle area, between straight areas.

heating with aluminum foil on cardboard taped with masking tape under hot sun is all around prep in the buckle area before using a heat gun … preheating larger wires before soldering.

most re bending or bending is done thusly eg eyeglass frames: one end is held stationary, the other bent at the bend area or to be bent area.

kayaks suffer as there is no frame, but composites have bulkheads or reinforced areas in the hull where support is placed but even there caution is necessary maintaining a balance between tighten down n too loose.

with a canoe there’s a gunwhale…

Not to nit-pick.
I doubt the boat in question is polyurethane–more likely polyethylene. The reforming process can be speeded up by pouring boiling hot water on towels over the bent area, but you will need a plan for reshaping before you proceed with the hot water. If the plastic is stretched, I don’t think it can be un-stretched.

I don’t think a heat gun, or hair drier can heat a large enough area in this case and it’s possible that you’ll just get it too hot in too small an area and make things worse.

pre baking bottom in a U solar oven the wave the him up n down n diagnolly…there’‘s a tip for this.

It’s not gonna Un stretch but may bend up then pop out the buckle from inside n bend up somore…

It’s not but is like metal when hot just so there’'s a fluid/solid state going on…at that temp so dozen walk away…

This is off course theoretical. I welded muh wheeleze wheels with a butan solder iron…kinda like spreading cheewhiz

I can’t imagine fixing one more like dump trip