Blackish stains on my orange kayak..

-- Last Updated: Oct-05-08 9:21 PM EST --

I have a new orange plastic Capella 160. It's getting it's share of scratches, which is to be expected. However after a recent paddle through a stream where there was a lot of dirt, logs and brances that I had to maneuver my way through (and ran into) I pulled the kayak out and saw some black marks all along the bottom and on the side.

It looks like charcoal smears and upon closer inspection it seems to be speckles of dirt that's ground into the surface. Nothing I do can get this stuff out. I've used cleaners like soap and water, a more abrasive powder cleaner such as Comet (which takes marks out of my inflatable really well). Finally I tried bug and tar remover..Nothing makes a dent.

I finally just put some 303 on the boat and called it a day but it's still bothering me to see these black smudges on one side of the front of my new kayak. Is it really dirt that's been ground into the plastic surface and is now part of it or is there some trick to getting it out? The Capella's plastic surface is a bit pourous, unlike most rotomolded kayaks so I'm thinking that could be the problem. I'm afraid to get too crazy because I don't want to damage the plastic surface.

I'm still POed at the guy who decided to lead me down a narrow stream filled with debris when I was paddling my 16' sea kayak. Believe me, the lady behind me with the fiberglass boat wasn't happy either.

Maybe it’s oil “globs” smeared along kayak. Call mfg. and ask if gasoline would hurt kayak.

If it’s oil,
vegetable oil or WD-40 will easily remove it. Works on my Capella

Yeah, thumbs up on WD40
used it on a Necky I bought and after scrubbing it down with WD, shiny and clean…stuff works.


– Last Updated: Oct-06-08 2:49 PM EST –

Tried WD40 right before I posted this yesterday. I tried everything from bug and tar remover to mineral spirits to rubbing lightly with 3000 grit sandpaper. It's on the bottom of the boat too. No difference. It's these black specks that seem to have worked it's way into the plastic. They actually seem to be embedded into the material itself.

I called the manufacturer and was told that the plastic is porous and probably did absorb something from either the water or the logs/branches it hit (I'm thinking the logs/branches I ran into before I noticed this}. He basically told me there isn't anything that can be done except hopefully it'll fade over time.

I guess I could always go at it with the WD 40 more vigorously. I didn't "scrub" it with WD40..I just sprayed a bit on a rag and rubbed it in a little. I was rather cautious with it but it doesn't seem to hurt anything. I'm wondering if spraying it directly on would help better?

Best remedy is usage …
Get out there and use that boat well, the smudges will wear off and you won’t care so much about appearances.

Aim for the rocks
Scratch it up a bit and you’ll forget all about what remains of the stains.

All just part of the fun. These are the things thata give a boat “character”!


Sounds like pine tar/pitch/sap.

– Last Updated: Oct-07-08 12:02 AM EST –

This might sound crazy: But try spraying it
with PAM (that's right, the cooking spray in a can) If it is really stubborn pitch, you can also try something like gojo or creme' (mechanic hand cleaning paste) In the woods, I've even gotten pitch off my hands using Noxzema/Ponds/white toothpaste.

After letting whatever creme/paste you use set on the stains for awhile, immediately wash the area with a light dishwashing detergent. If it don't come clean, it's not pitch. (And in that case, who knows what the hell it is.) Real industrial tar from something like a railroad tie would've come off with the WD40 or some other alcohol/nail polish remover/gasoline-type solvent..Good luck.

My Capella RM 160 has black streaks
The black streaks came from dragging it across roots at my waterfront campsite on Moosehead Lake in Maine last July. I will try to get them off with Pam or WD40. They don’t bother me, but I do like a clean kayak. Otherwise, the plastic of this great P&H toy seems to repel all dirt and scum. It stays cleaner than my carbon/kevlar kayak.

Get used to it.
I have a bright yellow poly OT Castine that has pretty much the same streaks all over the bottom of the boat.

I tried everything i could think of with no luck. So i just gave up and just use the boat for what i bought it for. It’s my river runner.

I use Bon Ami and a stiff bristle brush to take off black marks from canoe racks/saddles on the rails of my canoes. Seems to help if you scrub in same direction that the marks were created. Bon Ami won’t scratch…not sure if it’s any different than Comet.

Thanks everyone…

– Last Updated: Oct-09-08 3:20 PM EST –

..for all the replies but nothing seems to work. Tried scrubbing with WD 40. Tried Gojo (and Goo-Be-Gone) and the first thing I tried was Comet, which is the same as Bon Ami.

It's a shame that the rubber and fabric on my inflatable seems to hold up to scratches and stains better than my Capella. I've dragged that thing over logs, tree roots, gravel..barely a mark and it's easy to clean. Oh well.

Now I'm just going to live with it. It's a kayak, not a museum piece. I'm sure it'll get more blemishes as time goes on. ;)