Getting spruce sap off kayak??

Does any have ideas about getting spruce sap off my fiberglass kayak? I’d rather not destroy the coating, but that sap is pretty thick (storing it under that old tree maybe wasn’t such a great idea).

And how about cleaning up little scratches on the hull? None of them go all the way through.

And finally, what should I use to seal up a little leak in the bulkhead? My day hatch is getting some water in it, leaking in from the cockpit water that drips off my booties when I hop in.

Thanks! It’s time to spiff up the boat a little.

paint thinner or WD40


Tape over it

Tape over it?
I don’t think I understand tape over it?

Goo Gone.
Very gentle. It might have to soak awhile.

Methyl Hydrate
In my years of car detailing experience, the only GOOD way to get sap off car paint is a soft rag soaked in PLENTY of methyl hydrate,rubbing lightly. Thinner did more damage than good every time. Make sure you give it a good thorough wash first, then methyl hydrate.

That was a joke
If you don’t get it, you’re not a redneck.

Peanut butter!
I haven’t tried it on anything but my hands, so I don’t know if it will work on boats. Last December I volunteered to make wreaths and roping to decorate the Somesville Bridge. That’s when I learned the peanut butter trick - just rub it in, wash your hands with soap and water, and the sap is gone.

Smooth or chunky?

Or anything oily–
–it’s the oil that does it. Breaks the sap down.

used GO-JO to take it off my hands…not sure , but it should work on fiberglass…don’t think there’s anything in it that would hurt gel coat

I know it won’t take gel coat or poly resin off my hands when I’m doing boat repairs…rince afterwards with warm soapy water … then clean clear water…

Best Wishes


I used rubbing alcohol to remove sap from a canoe I ordered and received from Canada.

key work- car
thinners (mineral spirits) does NO damage to gel coat AND takes off sap.

it’s cheap, non-toxic and most people have it in the shop.



sorta toxic? ya think??


Thanks for all the ideas. Peanut butter, rubbing alcohol, some paint thinner, goo gone–it sounds like a recipe for something tasty.

And do most people agree that StarBrite boat polish works best for the little scratches?

tree sap
Try turpentine. It’s made from the sap of pine trees and is most likely to be a sap-compatible solvent. Stuff called “paint thinner” is usually a blend of organic solvents and some of them will soften or mar (or worse) your boat’s gelcoat and/or resin. If the turpentine doesn’t work, try denatured alcohol (ethanol with methanol blended into it to make it undrinkable) and/or naptha (sometimes called "VM & P naptha). All of these solvents are available in the paint section of hardware stores or home stores. Always test a little spot first just to make sure.

Gelcoat scratches can be polished back to the original color and gloss if they are shallow. If they go through the thin gelcoat layer, the color is gone and can’t be polished back. “Rubbing compound” is more coarse that “polish”. It’s more likely to leave very fine scratches or swirl marks but polish takes a lot more work. Ideally, one starts with rubbing compound and then finishes with polish. A medium effort hand polishing with any decent car or boat paste wax/polish will really clean up the finish.

So; solvent to get the sap off, hand wash with soap and water, hand wax/polish. I bet after all that work, the scratches won’t look so bad.

Pine Tar on the Kids
Was doing the car shuttle, left the five year with a fourteen and a twelve year old. Came back and two of the them had been poking their fingers in the tar of a weeping pine tree. Miles from home, no turpentine. So we tested materials we had with us.

Oil based suntan lotion worked great.

We in the water and heading down the river a few minutes later.