Hole in my kayak

-- Last Updated: Oct-17-08 11:37 PM EST --

I purchased a used Nimbus Horizon kayak seen here:


It has a fairly large hole in the front tip as seen here:


What is the best way to repair this hole?

Here is the craigslist Ad that I purchased it from (He has since took down the Ad) :


How old is the boat how was it stored? An older improperly stored boat may be brittle and not worth fixing.

Sticky sponge
Get a sponge. Saturate it with 3M DP-8005 epoxy. Jam it in. When it dries, sand it down to match the original shape.

Ref: is kayak worth fixing
Im not sure how old the boat is but it looks like an old fashioned design. Other then the hole in the picture there does not seem to be any damage to the rest of the boat and it looks to be in pretty good condition.

I think it is made of Kevlar. I sent an email to the manufacturer to ask about the Kayak so I am waiting for them to get back to me.

But since I already spent the $225 USD to purchase the kayak I may as well see about patching the hole.

I dont know much at all about kayaks. Any book or article someone can direct me to that I can read? I hate to ask stupid questions.

Ref: Sticky sponge
Any sponge will do? Like the sponge they sell to wash a car is okay?

This is an interesting approach. I thought I was going to have to go to “West Marine” store and purchase a repair kit + heat gun and all that.

From the picture do you think the hole is above the water level? I havent put it in the water yet.

I really appreciate the advice. Thanks!


– Last Updated: Oct-17-08 11:08 AM EST –

The boat looks to be plastic. When plastic gets old, it gets brittle and dangerous. Any impact can shatter the brittle areas and cause a large hole. Not a good thing if you hit a rock while paddling. The front of the boat looks seriously abraded and it looks like a crack running on the right side of the hull from the hole. Below the hole, it looks like there is weather checking as you would see on an old tire.
If you can find the serial number, it will give you a clue as to the age of the boat.
The sponge is an interesting idea. Polyethylene buckets work great for repair material. You might even find a yellow one to match the hull.

Yeah, any sponge should be ok
Make sure you use an epoxy that will bond to polyethylene. Not all do.

The 3M DP-8005 will. There is a new West System epoxy that is supposed to.

I agree
It sure looks like a plastic hull not kevlar. Make sure before you do anything to it.

plastic or kevlar
I think you are probably correct that it is plastic. I looked on their website and I dont see that they make plastic kayaks anymore.

I think my kayak is an old model that has been discontinued. Hmmm, it may be over 10 years old.

There is no logos, serial numbers or anything on the boat itself.

Look here

– Last Updated: Oct-17-08 12:56 PM EST –

It sounds like you have some larger issues to resolve than the hole in the boat to become a safe paddler. Look below (don't be mislead by the title - most of this is Kayaking 101) as well as in the Guidelines section of this site for info about kayaking.


As to the boat, I suggest that you assess the total cost to get this on the water safely before you go nuts trying to do that repair. The hatch covers appear to be missing, as well as the bungie and perimeter lines. The hatch covers may be a particular challenge since the boat is so old - may be hard to find. The photo doesn't show if the bulkheads are sound, but given the condition of the rest of the boat their safety probably shouldn't be taken for granted. And as mentioned above, the hull may be so brittle from age that it is only a matter of one rough landing on a beach before it cracks open elsewhere.

All of that needs to be in place for this boat to be safe. You may decide to take this as an expensive lesson by the time you get that put together.

Hey Ferral

– Last Updated: Oct-17-08 1:05 PM EST –

Interesting idea to use epoxy in a sponge to fix a plastic boat, but it likely is not going to hold very well. Depending on the kind of foam in the sponge the epoxy may just melt it when it goes off so experiment first.

I would be interested in seeing what the bottom of the boat looks like. My therory is it was stored upside down outside with one end sticking out from a tarp. If there is brittle plastic anywhere else on the boat it's not worth fixing. If the bottom of the boat is brittle from UV exposure from the sun, the boat is junk.

Do you have the hatch covers? Are they in good shape and water tight? Don't leak? If not may not be worth fixing.

Who sold you the boat? How did the hole get put into it? If this happened right after you bought the boat I would talk to the person that sold it to you. If you want some help breaking their legs, you can probably find some assistance here.

It might make a nice nautical-themed planter box for your deck?

If you were really brave you could heat the plastic and force it together to change the shape of the bow entry just a bit, and then use a piece of plastic from Ocean Kayaks to weld the seam shut. I think this is what I would try. But it's not easy and it would involve cutting into the boat, open flames and experience melting and welding plastic boats. To be a bit blunt, the front of the boat looks to be very cracked and weathered and brittle. If the rest of the plastic is brittle no repair is going to work. Take a screw driver and poke the plastic with the handle very hard. If the plastic fails ....take the boat where you bought it and leave it in their driveway and light it on fire.

More pictures
I bought it from a guy that says “he knows nothing about kayaks” and that someone had traded it to him for a boat motor.

It was stored suspended from a ceiling in a garage with a pulley system. The bottom of the boat looks like it is in very good shape. There are some mild sctratches here and there but nothing too deep.

Its true that the deck hatch covers are missing. The manufacturer says they sell them but I dont know the price.

Here are more pictures of the kayak. Perhaps you can help me decide if it is worth fixing:


The poly is shot…
…the boat is trash. Looks as if the bow was left out in the sun for a very long time. Even if you are able to repair the hole, which I doubt very much, you are risking your life padding this boat. The seller should have paid you to haul it away.

Bad boat
I hope that this is not the case. Because that puts me in a very bad position.

I would never sell a bad boat to somebody else and to just throw it in the trash seems terrible wasteful.


I bought the boat to cheer me up because I have been sad about several misfortunes that have befallen me in the last 2 months.


Get a local opinion
BTW, the wires are the rudder cables, or the remnants of them. Add a rudder to the list of things that you’d likely have to add to this boat. It’s from an era when a lot of north american boats were more trouble to paddle than they were worth without one.

The closeups of the plastic don’t look good, and the story you got from this guy about how he stored it sounds suspect to me. But you should find someone locally who knows what is what with a kayak and see if they can take a look at it. Again, where are you located?

For what it is worth:
that boat has been eaten away by UV rays.

I see another place lower then the hole that is just about ready to fall apart also.

I was going to recommend plastic welding, (and describe how I would repair it) but after looking at the picture, I think you would be best to just junk it.

this is my opinion only and others might differ



It does look a little crusty
Whack it with a hammer in a few spots to see what happens.

If your paddling plans only involve pond paddling, or cruising around near the beach I wouldn’t worry about things too much, but based on what I see in the last pictures I wouldn’t want to take it out on open water.

2nd that! Kick it hard a few times,
, sit or stand on it in various places with all your weight. Careful not to hurt yourself in the process. Don’t worry about the boat - if it is strong enough, it will just bend a bit and spring right back to shape. If you can’t damage it this way, may be it is OK to use, after you take into account the suggestions about bulkheads and hatches and may be after fixing potential leaks and wires on the rudder or installing footpegs or some other foor support.

Otherwise, recycle if it is recyclable, or else plant something in it in the yard - if the pictures indeed show cracks in the plastic, I think it is about to fall apart and you do not want that to happen with you in it…

Where do you live Ferral-Cat ?

– Last Updated: Oct-17-08 4:16 PM EST –

Maybe a local Pnetter could help you out?

Also post on Craigslist saying you are looking for a cheap or even free kayak. There are boats out there that ex-wives want out of their garages... you may score something. I would take the boat back and ask for your money back, and if not just dump it in their yard.


– Last Updated: Oct-17-08 7:19 PM EST –

They took the rudder and the hatch covers and the deck rigging and then had the nerve to charge $255 for what is essentially a large piece of trash. I'm surprised they left the seat and the rudder cables. Sheesh. They should have paid you to haul it away to the recycling center.

As you can tell, I'm with the guys who say that this likely isn't worth reparing as it looks to be dangerous shape. Sorry, it's an expensive lesson, but at least you're hearing it now rather than leaving yourself stranded somewhere when it falls apart.

If you're only going to paddle very calm flat waters and very shallow waters, close to shore where you can get out and walk when it cracks apart, then stick some duct tape over the front hole and enjoy it while it lasts. You can even put strips of duct tape over the holes where there should be hatch covers.

You will throw good money after bad to add in the price of hatch covers (generally not cheap) and a rudder (definitely not cheap) to this disaster. Save your money, do much more research before you buy the next time, and well, chalk this one up to a learning experience.