-- Last Updated: Mar-18-10 1:26 PM EST --

Yes, crack. Not the evil kind that drug dealers sell or what I'm currently sitting on, but a crack in my boat. I bought a Perception Search 13 last May and really like it. Mostly used on a lake and some river trips with some manmade white water features, really fun. Problem is there's a small crack on the rail where there's a hardware screw that holds the bungee rigging over the tank well (make sense?). I've spoken to the dealer and the manufacturer. Perception sent repair instructions but said if you don't know what you're doing, things could get worse. The dealer said I could trade it for another boat (they're all out of my model) but shipping would be on my dime. They're in SLC, I could load up and drive it there and get a ski trip in too. Both dealer and Perception said they would honor the warranty. The crack is small but could get worse and I would rather have a crack-free boat. I take pretty good care of it and store it properly so I don't know how it happened. Anyway, anyone here have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance. BTW, if I trade it, it would be for a Wilderness System Ride 135, that's what the dealer has in stock. I added a pic to my gallery but I don't know how to get there.

Here’s the picture. It’s actually pretty deep in the plastic.

If you can get a good exchange,
I think you should take it. It’s hard to see the crack in the picture. Plastic welding might not leave a good-looking result, and might not be all that strong. To do a West G-Flex epoxy repair, I think I would have to hog out the crack so I could flame the surfaces. Again, it might not look that good, and even though West has G-flexed a kayak back together after sawing it in two, we can’t be certain…

Thanks. Here’s a little bit tighter shot, I think. It’s just such a hassle to ship and almost more to drive to SLC, about 300 miles. Spring weather (lots of quick but generous snow storms) are frequent right now.

Not much of a crack I think
I might just fix that one with a soldering iron.

How? Like fixing a core shot on a pair of skis? They talked about using a blow torch, etc. but I thought I could really nuke it that way. The soldering iron sounds much more reasonable. Thanks! I may explore that.

To me …
it looks like there has been a previous repair in that general area. It looks like there is a slightly different color under and around the deck fitting, like it might have been repaired before leaving the factory? Maybe a cosmetic repair that was more than cosmetic? Just a guess.



If it’s deep, a soldering iron is not
going to do more than a superficial repair. Is the crack that vertical thing running down from the black fitting?

Anyway, it’s hard to tell you what to do. I would make the drive and the exchange. And to repair, I would take my Dremel, hog out the crack, flame the inside with a propane torch, and put in some thickened West G-flex epoxy. Wish I were there to help.

The only thing i know of that’ll fix cracks like that is something called …NorthSea Resin , developed for military purposes. I’m not sure if they are still in business…seen the product demonstrated @ a kayak show.