Fiberglassing Werner paddle blade

I managed to split the tip of my much much abused Werner Player paddle (Translucent fiberglass blade) and now there is a piece of fiberglass splitting off (flat flake like piece).

I would really like to save this paddle. It may have already lived a very tough life, but it ain’t done yet.

So what do I do?

Duct Tape?

Slather the pieces with 5 min epoxy and clamp them back together?

Do I get some fiberglass resin and possibly even some glass and go to town?

Do I let an old and much abused warhorse die a distinguished death and buy another paddle (Yeouch! it is a bent shaft so much $$$)

Inquiring minds want to know

(I have never fiber-glassed before so speak slowly and use small words)

Thanks Bob

From the description, I’d use a good epoxy – not 5-minute – to glue the flake back in place, and then add a layer of cloth to each side of the tip of the paddle. That should keep your old friend going for while.

This might be a good choice;

if it’s fibreglass it can be fixed
I would not use 5 minute epoxy, but the real deal.

I am familiar with West System and I have been surprised what epoxy can do.

If the split is big maybe a bit of woven glass would not hurt (not chopped strand).

Don’t bother using polyester resin (it probably won’t stick).

Cleaning and preparing the surface is essential.

It must be roughened up with coarse sand paper and then cleaned with acetone.

Mix up some epoxy (make sure it’s in the correct ratio) and wet out the surface, apply a section of cloth (cut to size to cover the area with a bit of overlap) and wet out with more epoxy till cloth will become transparent. Maybe use a couple of layers of cloth.

Make sure you don’t put too much epoxy or it will drip. Once done, you could use some baking paper first and then thin plywood clamped lightly to paddle to cover the wet patch and make it smooth.

Once cured (overnight) you will just peel the baking paper off and if you were meticulous with your glassing it will be a relatively good fix.

Some sanding (not coarse paper this time) might be required to have a cosmetically good looking paddle.

Chances are that you will end up with a repaired paddle that will give you more service time. Worse case scenario you messed it up but at least you gave it a go.

Unless you are a klutz you will be able to fix your paddle.

The above is a generic advise but pix of the damaged paddle would however help to assess the best technique.

I’ve fiberglassed my white water paddle after the blade had broken at the tip. First I used resin then repaired with cloth. It would hold for a few trips but alway break again. Keep meaning to see how much a set of blades would be worth. Still have the shaft. The blades seemed to break at the end of the metal insert.

I’d buy a new paddle or replace the blades if possible. It will eventually break while on a trip.


Easy fix
I don’t think you are talking about more than an hours work. Since you are in rock bashing country I’d also cover the end with rubberized door edge trim guard after you do the repair. It really helps protect the ends and doesn’t affect paddle performance.

2nd that
My Werner developed some Tender Loving Signs. I contacted the company, they suggested I use slow cure epoxy for repairs.

When I repaired tip cracks in an old
Harmony paddle with FG blades, I used two little concentric patches on each side, one of them Kevlar to prevent re-splitting, and after wetting the cloth, I pressure-clamped the patch using a spring clamp bearing on little stiff pieces of polyethelene. The result was a patch that didn’t need sanding and was scarcely thicker than the original blade.

pretty easy
I’d never worked with composites either and a few weeks ago ordered a yard of S-glass and a little epoxy from US Composites to fix a crack in an old canoe of mine.

It was super easy to work with, the cost of the materials was something like $40, and I have plenty left over. I’m using what’s left to make a small sculling paddle for fishing.

Plenty of information online about fixing canoes/kayaks with fiberglass to give you an idea of how it’s done.


Thanks everybody
Ok, seeing as it is a Werner paddle I think I am going to try the slow cure epoxy Like a West System 105 with a 206 or 209 harder. I am not sure I am going to bother with using glass.

As for replacement blades, Werner will replace a blade but it is something like 50% of the cost of a new paddle.

This paddle is a veteran of the Green River Narrows (not with me paddling) and it is not worth spending that much to fix one half. Plus it isn’t feathered (the paddle was a freebie).

Thanks all for your help.


fast or slow cure
I’m no expert by far but I don’t think you need to use a medium/slow cure West System epoxy for the paddle, a fast cure should be fine.

I think the responses above about not using a quick 5 minute epoxy were referring to the ones you buy at the hardware store.

With West System and the like I think the reason for the different cure rates is for working times. I’d think a fast cure would give plenty of time, especially if it’s a bit cooler where you are.



The 30 minute Epoxy is fine -:wink:

– Last Updated: Oct-01-09 10:48 AM EST –

I've used the "store bought" $6 or so 30 minute epoxy (the 5,000lb or some other "BIG" number strength on the label I think). That works quite well for small fixes like yours and is strong enough. Easy to mix as it already comes in a two-part syringe and you only need a few drops for a square inch of area or so.

Of course, if you have other epoxy lying around, or if you will have future use for a large amount of epoxy by all means use that.

You may want to place a piece of nylon bag or similar plastic and press down on it with a heavy object or clamp it to minimize the amount of sanding neede later (basically, you may get away with no sanding this way if you use just the right amount of epoxy).

No on 5-minute
This is what West says about their 5-minute formula:

"…Not recommended for long-term bonds subject to high loads or moisture. "

I meant that he should be able to use the quicker setting 205 hardener if he wants. But good to know about the other epoxies.


But if it’s a small fix, why did it
break? I’ve had mediocre results with 5 minute epoxies. The new West G-flex is actually hard enough to do blade tip repairs, and while it takes longer to set, its adhesion is even better than West 105/205. G-flex costs about 16 bucks for 4 oz bottles, and mixes 1:1 like “quick” epoxies.

Thanks for passing that along
My Shuna has some minor dings on the edges. I was thinking of using System Three general-purpose Part A and #2 (“intermediate temperatures”) Part B hardener–the same mix I used to build the wood boat. I guess I’ll be buying some low-temp hardener for this purpose.

Used some mystery epoxy from a friend of mines father who has made several small fiberglass boats (I am sure it is good stuff as he is very detail oriented).

He had an interesting tip. told me to mix the epoxy in a small ziplock bag, which he provided, and then make a hole in the corner of the bag and use it to squirt the epoxy into the void.

Did a quicky repair, layed on some wax paper and clamped everything with spring clamps so I could take it on a trip to the coast this weekend.

When I get back I will revisit the job and probably add some cloth and more resin to protect the edges from further delamination.

I will also probably purchase a new Werner Player. I really love the way this paddle handles and since I can only afford 1 paddle I need something I can use for everything.

Now I just need to find some one who wants my Lendal Kinetic Wing so I can make that “afford” thing a reality.