damage to the kayak

Hello everyone, I’m looking for a little advice. I have a WS Tarpon 140 I’ve had for a few years and this weekend I was on the way home in some bad weather and my Yakima rack ripped off the top of my truck, sending the kayak end over end down the interstate going 70mph. Luckily no one was behind me, but I have some damage to the kayak. The only real problem is there is a slight S-cuve to the bottom of the hull now in the front V. Any way to straiten it out? I’ve considered heating it carefully with a heat gun and trying to bend it back in place but I wanted some input from others first. Thanks for the advice…W

Bow and stern tiedowns…

– Last Updated: Apr-15-07 6:06 PM EST –

Repeat after me, Grasshopper

Bow and stern tiedowns....

Bow and stern tiedowns....

Bow and stern tiedowns....

Jus' some friendly advice fer next time.

Yup, gentle heat should help it git back inta reasonable shape.

Bow and stern tiedowns....

Bow and stern tiedowns....

Bow and stern tiedowns....


I would be curious as to the reason.
your Yakama rack came of your truck?

Was it installed wrong?

I have put my faith in Yakama racks on all my vehicles for many years and have never had a problem.

Was it landing pads and control towers, gutter mount or what type.

On the “front and rear tiedowns”. I’ll bet your glad you didn’t have them.

I can imagine the damage that it would have caused to your vehicalle and the possibility of causing you to crash.

I am from the school that doesn’t use them and never will.



Back to the original question
I’m sure the original poster feels bad enough, no need to get into a tie down debate. How about we answer the original question?

Yes, gentle and persistent heat will work. Be careful not to blister the area. If you don’t want to risk using a heat gun, the other method that works well is to weight the area to be changed with bricks or rocks or weights or whatever fits, brace the boat into the proper position, and just let the boat sit in the sun for a few days or a few weeks, whatever it takes to straighten it out. And finally, always check with your manufacturer first to see what they actually recommend, could be different than what we come up with here.



Hot water
There is a Governor in a hospital right now that is happy he didn’t wear his seat belt. It would have caused so much damage and caused him to crash.

Bow and Stearn tie downs prevent catastrophic roof rack failure.

Since you are dealing with a Sit-on-top, I would fire up your stove and start boiling as much water as possible. Support the boat so that the water will pool in the area you need to force out.

Please explain
How “bow and stern tiedowns prevent catastrophic roof rack failure” ?



You need to go back…

– Last Updated: Apr-15-07 9:13 PM EST –

to school JackL. I am sitting here reading a instruction sheet from a Yakamia rack that I used to have on my 04 Tacoma dbl cab. It states: safety tie downs are reccommended to reduce the danger of rack failure causes by wind buffeting,and highway speeds. Followed by the usual disclaimer, Yakamia is not responceable for improper mounting,use of worn or torn tie down straps,neglect,loose hardware,and overloading.

That rack was held on by clips that mounted to a small rain channel inside the door edge,and pads that rested on the roof. Other rack mounting styles may vary in attachment,and may not have this warning.I use a clamp on Thule to my factory rails,now,but still use,and always will use tiedowns. It's a no brainer.

I would never even think of hauling any of my kayaks & canoes without tiedowns. I can see what a tractor trailer does to the boats even with tie downs at highway speeds,when passing me. I can also hear,and feel what the air does to my boats, at speed,and even affects the handling of the car. A boat whipping back & forth ,I can easily see how it would detach a rack,depending how it is mounted. It probably wouldn't have failed if tiedowns had taken some of the stress off the racks. If you haven't used tie downs,you have been just dam lucky so far.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Tell em garyr…
and you are 100% right.

Happy Paddling billinpa

Thanks for all the advice, I’ll try a few things to see what works. As for the mounts, they are the normal ones that mount without factory rails using the Qclips. I’ve been carrying kayaks for years now and never had even the closest call with one coming loose. I think it was a combination of the speed and the high winds we were having this morning just caused the front to lift up enough to pop the Qclips off. I can see how having front and rear tiedowns would have helped keep the nose from lifting off though. I’m not happy about the whole ordeal, but I thank God that nobody was behind me, it could have been a hell of a lot worse…

Try Hot Water
and pour in the hatch or an opening. Have a bucket of cold water near by too. Swoosh the hot water around and likely as the plastic gets soft it will resume its previous shape. When that happens, pour in the cold water to let the plastic harden again. Heating gun takes to long for a major area and you make risk burning a hole. Good only for smaller stuff.


Poly damage repair
Might want to try combination of heat & water, i.e. cover the damaged area with a damp towel and apply heat with a heat gun. Might take awhile to cover the damaged area, but I’ve had good results using this method. Good luck!

My method…
Last summer, I had a mishap with a trailer loaded with 12 sea kayaks. I was being directed onto a very crowded ferry and while the very helpful ferry staff was signaling me to inch forward, I managed to get the bow of one of the boats caught on a metal ladder…I didn’t realize it hit it and kept moving forward (as per instructions) and it basically bent the bow 90 degrees…it snapped back, but ended up sticking out at a 45 degree angle.

Here’s how I fixed it:

  1. Back at the boathouse, I put the boat on sawhorses and bungied a hair dryer to another sawhorse and kept heat blowing on it constantly. Hair dryers don’t blow nearly as hot as a hot air gun, so this minimizes the risk of burning the boat.

  2. Then I used a little elbow grease to tweak the bow back straight. There was still a large crease where the bow had folded.

  3. With heat still on, I massaged the crease from the inside…I had to get creative, because the boat was a Current Designs Scirocco, and the crease well beyond where I could reach. I ended up using a section of 2X4 that I could jam up there to make the plastic bulge out.

    If you’ve ever seen one of those Dent Wizard guys who take out door dings work…this was sort of a kayak version of the same process!

    After about 45 minutes of applying pressure from the inside, the crease was imperceptible…just one ding on the top of the deck.

    I let it cool down and after a day it was firmed up and stable and is back paddling.

    Since you’re Tarpon has a front hatch, you may be able to get in and massage out the dent. Hot water may work, but it makes it harder for you to get in there safely and apply the pressure needed to guide the plastic back into shape…that’s where I found the hair dryer helpful.

    Good luck!

Never understood

– Last Updated: Apr-15-07 10:04 PM EST –

yer logic an' aversion dealin' wit bow an' stern tiedowns, JackL, but dats yer choice.