Gluing to polyethylene

Been outfitting Royalex canoes for decades but just bought an Old Town Scout for a friend. How are people gluing air bag and thigh strap anchors into the cross-linked Discovery boats? Does epoxy work?

strongly suggest you attach
with stainless steel hardward. Drill an appropriately sized hole and use a fender washer if needed for the nylon straps.

I have had very good luck using West Systems G-flex to bond to polyethylene so far. It will definitely bind to vinyl patches.

You must lightly sand the poly, clean it with isopropyl alcohol, and pass the end of the flame of a propane torch over the area to be bonded a few times to oxidize it first.

Say what?
Thru the bottom of the hull?

You can try West G-flex, but why do
you want to install thigh straps anyway? Those are not serious whitewater canoes. Your friend can get all the control he needs by putting in a minicell pedestal seat, supported from above by thwarts. Thigh support can be provided by padding the center thwart. I have done this in a “real” whitewater open boat, and it is enough for both class 3+ and for easy slalom races.

Unless a person is going to roll, straps in an open boat are not necessary.

not a whitewater canoe?
An Appalachian (Scout) is as serious a whitewater tripping canoe as there is, so I don’t know what you mean. I find thigh straps to be very useful in a whitewater canoe and I don’t like pedestal seats due to the inability to put your feet under your bum.

I’ll try the G-Flex.

learn something new everyday still …
… I had never heard the Appalachian called a “Scout” before . I really do like the Appalachian .

The Scout is the polyethylene version of the Royalex Appalachian. Old Town doesn’t make it anymore.

Hard to believe, but SHOE GOO seems to bond to poly pretty well. I’ve used it to glue anchors in a poly canoe, and to reseal a kayak bulkhead.

There’s a lot of documentation out there about bonding to poly with various epoxies with the torch “polarizing” process, but the glue is hard to find and you need a “spreader” for the torch… seems very complicated.

Do a test patch with the SHOE GOO, I was unable to pull up a vinyl anchor glued to a poly hull. You may want to use more than the normal number of anchors, but at least SHOE GOO is easy to buy and cheap.



3M’s 90 hi-strength has worked but…
I think WestSystems G-Flex and the procedure pblanc described is the better of the two. However I did NOT oxidize the local area with heat(torch-flame)…getting all the air out from between the two surfaces was the do or die step with the 3M 90. Think his oxidizing step may be the diff.