Field repairs of different materials??

How easy is it to fix holes “out there” with different hull materials?

Whilst out on a week-long paddle&camp trip down the Allagash (awesome!!!), one of the canoes -fiber glass- got a serious crack=lots of water leaking in… a friend of mine just duck taped the hell out of it after it got dry and it worked beautifully -with a little retouching- until the end of the trip. It took no time!

Then we applied some fiber-glass ‘bandages’ at home and set it straight.

Any clues out there on how difficult/easy it is to do these kind of repair jobs over other materials??

Also, can downright holes be successfully repaired, as in fiber-glass, on other hulls??



Quality duct tape is the standard for
field repairs. For more serious repairs, epoxy (in twin cell blister packs) and fiberglass are the preferred materials. Can be used to repair composite boats or ABS boats. If you have a polyethelene boat, nothing sticks in the field except duct tape, but sometimes you can melt spare plastic into small puncture holes.

also UV activated epoxy

– Last Updated: May-13-04 1:38 AM EST –

you can also buy expoxy activated by sunlight to fix minor holes etc (its sold in Surf shops for surf board repair) It works great. Polyethylene can be fixed by melting polyethelene sticks into holes or sometimes welding the polyethylene with a torch. Sometimes people melt any kind of plastic they can find plug holes and slices. I know someone who used a melted shopping bag to fix a polyethylene boat.

Kevlar pieces are more of a challenge, my son's wave ski has a kevlar bottom and minor repairs to it using just don't look right.

Good field repair, but I think it’s
ester or an acrylate, not epoxy. Could ask the dentist, because they use UV activated stuff for fillings on front teeth. Anyone know?

You are right it is polyester

quick fix
I carry a stick of two part epoxy in my kayak that will stick to any thing and cures underwater! Great stuff. It is made by Fiberglass Evercoat Company, is called “EVERFIX EPOXY STICK” and is available at some marine stores. Being epoxy it is truly waterproof and tenacious in its adhesion. The great news is that it cures underwater meaning that you can continue with your paddling after a few minutes of repairs shoreside.

It comes in a 4 oz. putty like stick. You cut off however much of the stuff you need, easily mix the two parts (already in the stick) together and apply to the damaged area of the boat. Very simple and reliable.

The only slight downside is that if you want to make a proper permanent repair later you have to grind it out of the boat and replace it with whatever fiberglass and gelcoat necessary.

As a professional boat builder/repair person I endorse this as the only product that I have ever found that will adhere to a boat stop water from endlesly leaking and weeping OUT of the hull of a boat(and that’s a challenge!!)when I am trying to get the hull to dry out to apply a fiberglass laminate for a repair.

non-duct options
Although hard to find, Denzo tape can be a useful material for field repairs. The significant property of Denzo is that it can be slapped on to a wet hull, even below waterline. Sticky, messy, and nasty, but effective. For any old cross country skiers, think klister in a tape form.

In adddtion, a current favorite of mine is something sold as “Peel and stick waterproof roof and gutter repair tape”. Hull needs to be not quite as dry as is necessary for Duct tape; it is pressure sensitive and needs vigourous rubbing to set. It has far more structural qualities than duct tape (surf landings in a fully loaded sea kayak, over a hull breach), and sticks far more tenaciously to even plastic when compared to duct tape.

Getting it off is a PITA


Well chewed MRE chicklets?
As a temporary field fix only of course. Finally, there may be some use for those things!

have used
marine-tex in the field , for a hole supported it with a piece of dry wall repair tape the kind that looks like a plst. screen , and I guess a screen would also work , the air temp was cool that day so to make the epoxy set or kick I used my fry-pan lid to focus the sun on the epoxy and a half hr. we were paddling again . Glue sticks and rod tip repair sticks will sometimes work , plstc. is just hard to work on . somethin about copying the moleclular structure , the articles I’ve read are to much for my simple brain . Just bring along something ! Duct tape I’ve used numerous times to just get by till we got back to base.

Dental materials…
The newer restoration materials used for fillings in a dental office are not very cost effective or user-friendly. True, they are activated by light, but that means you would have to have a intense laser light on hand or leave the fixed area in the direct sunlight for 8-12 hours. Not very convenient. As for cost, It would cost around $75.00 to fix a hole the size of a man’s pinkie finger. Dental Acrylic would be a good fix and much cheaper but the fumes will give you a killer headache and It is a bugger to get out later. I would stick to duct tape for a temporary fix(I hear it comes in a clear color now!)Any other dental questions?Good luck! Amy

Sun activated polyester
The actual material used by dentists costs a few cents to manufacture the amount that is used in a dental repair …the companies that sell it to dentists make huge profits… of course I’m in the pharmaceutical industry and similar cost/benfit scenarios let me buy my kayaks.

… the Surfboard repair stuff (Solarenz is one brand) costs about 5 bucks for a large tube and repairs set hard in sunlight in about an hour. It really does work well for breaks, holes and dings.