help fixing my yak

Well my first trip with my new kayak (wilderness system pamlico) was good and bad. The trip and paddeling was great! But, getting it there I almost ruined it. I had it ratchet strapped to the top of my pop-up on foam blocks. It did pretty good, but after a whil I noticed the front hule strap (had it upsdie down) was vibrating in the wind real bad. Well, it melted/wore the strap into the hule and it made a buble on the inside. It doesnt leak but would like to try and patch it as best I can. Any ideas??

Also, any good ways to carry in on a pop-up. Or should I break down and get the roof rack set up.

Thanks for any help!


I’m having…

…a tough time understanding the problem.

Are you saying that the strap nearly wore a hole completely THROUGH the hull?

preventing "strap flap"
Don’t know what to tell you about the repair without seeing it, but to prevent “strap flap” in the future, simply put a few twists in the strap.

almost ruined it
Yep, if I hadnt stopped to check it at the rest stop it would have sawed right throught the darn thing. Really bummed me out. Its brand new, or was. But, it almost looks like the strap heated up so much from flapping that it melted into the hule.

I realised what I did, since the back one wasnt doing that and was twisted.

Can’t help you with the repair but I know that vibrations can damage even metal (had someone transport my titanium mtn bike poorly and the rack wore a flat spot on the down tube!). Remember that rivers cut canyons, too.

Good luck in getting it fixed.

Roof rack set up is worth the dough
As you’ve already found out. No clue on the repair. Try calling WS (good luck there)

Plastic welders
can repair that kind of damage. Look for “Plastic Fabricators” in the yellow pages. Auto-body shops will sometimes have the ability to do plastic welding.

The new G-Flex epoxy is supposed to stick to polyethylene if you flame treat it first. They have instructions for poly kayaks included in the repair kit they sell. It is a West Systems epoxy. I have not tried it on poly yet.


polyethylene repair

– Last Updated: Oct-03-08 8:30 AM EST –

See if they can send you same color scraps from cut outs they use for installing storage hatches. We've repaired several kayaks and the companies are good about sending us their scrap polyethylene to us for the repair work -- two kayaks (Hobie Odysseys) with some pretty good size holes. Both repairs came out nice and we were able to sell them on craigslist and each person says they are having no problems with them.

Get a heat gun from Harbor Freight - they sale for about $9.99. You have to be very careful in using this and patient.

Take small amounts and work it into the plastic with a metal putty spatula. Make sure you clean the spatuala now and then to keep it from sticking. Once you get it repaired - use a dry/wet sand block on it. We would do some work, stop, let it cool back down and go back at it - not to damage the base of the kayak.

Otherwise, if it's not leaking - then leave it alone.

It would be nice to see a picture of the damaged area.

Don’t sweat it
Now that you have the first “bruise” out of the way, jus go paddle it! If it’s not leaking, don’t sweat the small stuff.

And yes, a real rack is worh every cent.

Best advice for plastic repair yet!
Getting scraps of plastic from the boat maker is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” methods. What better material to melt into an area needing repair than plastic which is truely “the right stuff”?

Yep - Scrap Materials

– Last Updated: Oct-03-08 10:58 AM EST –

They have it - they usually us it for blemish repair as well - it matches - and they throw a lot of it away. I'd call them just to have some on-hand if needed. Most of them will give it if you provide your serial number off your kayak so they know you did purchase a kayak from them.

You can also keep your scrap material if you do any installations on your kayak. Rod Holders, Hatches, etc. Every little bit helps ....

Don’t use ratchet straps
They put too much pressure on the boat and can deform it. Cam buckle straps that hand tighten are more than enough.

In this case, it was the foam blocks…

– Last Updated: Oct-03-08 12:35 PM EST –

...that probably were at fault. Over-tightening straps against a rigid rack will usually just dent the boat, but in this case I'm guessing that there was too much "slop" for a secure fit. Wearing through the hull due to fricting does not occur if a strap is truly tight. Maybe this really was just a dent and not friction wear, in which case I'd also guess that the straps were too tight.

In any case, I agree with those who say buying an actual boat rack instead of foam blocks would be worth every penny (and since this is on a truck topper, building a rack is certainly an easy option too).