Fiberglass kayak repair person qualifications

If you ever sustain damage to your hull and need to have it repaired, do you need to take it to somebody who specializes in sea kayak repair specifically, or could any boat (motor/sail) repair person handle the task just as well? In other words, are there any special considerations to repairing kayak hulls, or is fiberglass boat repair essentially the same regardless of the type of boat?

“unqualified” people repair their own all the time. It isn’t technically difficult, and barring anything really unique that a particular manufacturer does, anyone that knows fiberglass would be fine to do repairs.

Any reputable shop should be able to share any concerns they have with the work

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Composite boats are not that difficult to repair in most cases and one does not have to be a professional who specializes in boat repair to do a good job.

There are some tricks to doing laminate repairs using various resins and fabrics that are fairly easily learned and one becomes more efficient the longer and more frequently one does it, but there is no magic to it.

I agree with the other answers but will add my 2 cents. If your boat is ultralight, kevlar or has a core it can add to the challenge. If the boat is clear coated or with no gelcoat that can also add to the challenge too. You need to decide if you want it to look pretty or just be strong and smooth. Most fiberglass repair operations will ask you these questions going into the repair so be prepared to answer.

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The problem I think for most folks wanting a “pretty repair” is having a dry location, time, and willingness to do the repair. Course or less than perfect repairs are easy if you take your time. I’ve done both. Course I do at home by borrowing my neighbors large work shed for about 2 or 3 weeks (to fit into my sked and when not too humid). The pretty repair on my c/k kayak got the professional boat shop treatment by someone who works with the materials/knows what he’s doing and made the year old kayak new again.

Most professional “boat repair” (as opposed to canoe/kayak repair) people are used to working on heavy, thick hulls, not the relatively dainty hulls of canoes and kayaks. While the repair principles are similar, the materials are quite different. I’ve seen repairs done on kayaks with thick chopped-strand mat and woven roving commonly used on larger boats and they’re a mess. Aside from looking bad on the inside, they’re way too stiff compared to the rest of the hull and they’re heavy. Find someone with experience fixing canoes/kayaks or learn to DIY. Here’s a tutorial I made that will get you started:


Completely agree with bnystrom. If using a boat repair fiberglass person. Be sure to thoroughly discuss with them the difference mindset and physical difference between the big boats and a kayak/canoe. My local guy asked me to order the parts and he did the work. He said he enjoyed the different detail work which is not as needed on bigger boats.

You are the best repair person for a fiberglass boat.

My friend repaired composite boats for years as a sideline. His real work was repairing power boats of any size. He now builds his own @

Thanks for sharing, Brian!

You’re welcome, happy to help!