Damage and repairs to plastic boats?

When paddling my plastic boat I tend to not care about banging it around on rocks, seal landing and playing around rocks with abandon, while my friends with wooden boats watch with envy. One of the few advantages of having a plastic boat I think.

What I want to know is, has anybody encountered scenarios where they damaged their plastic boats on the water and had to perform emergency repairs? If so what sort of things, if any, may be useful for an emergency repair kit?



Duct tape
You can fix almost anything temporarily with enough duct tape. You can also do Whaley welding: http://oregonkayaking.net/talesframe.html

Duct tape, or “improved” duct tape.
If the damage is worse than duct tape can handle, you’re going to have to leave the boat. For small punctures or cuts, there are some do-it-yourself weld techniques with plastic repair sticks developed for skis, but you won’t have a powered air gun or big soldering iron, and really, for a field repair, duct tape is likely to be more secure than an untried hot weld done in the field.

Never fails…
Duct tape and wd-40 are all you need to get you through life. If its stuck you can can unstick it, if its unstuck you can stick it! Thanks for the comments.

surf wax
Surf wax is ideal for filling small holes/punctures in a boat and is easy to clean up once you are ready to repair said hole.

I keep a chunk in my pfd.


I also stare when I see sea kayakers intentionally doing seal landings or bashing into rocks that are easily avoided. I do not look with envy. I look with shock at how callous some paddlers are with their equipment. Even if its a throw away plastic boat, I think sea kayakers would be better served to learn good seamanship which includes avoiding groundings except in emergency situations.

I returned from a long paddle and arrived at popular takeout the same time as a group of plastic kayakers. They ran their boats up onto the rocky shore as fast as they could. A girl proudly said to me “That is the beauty of a plastic boat.” I then gently exited my composite kayak without it ever touching a rock. As it took two people to carry and put the plastic boats on the roof of their vehicles, I lifted my kayak up and gently placed it on the roof of my car without any assistance. I said, “That is the beauty of a composite boat.” I tied down and was out of there while they were still struggling with their slow, scratched up plastic beasts. Who was envious of who?