Hull repair-Coleman

What material should I use to seal a crack or hole on a Coleman/Pelican canoe? I think the canoe is made of Ram-x but I bought it used and know nothing about it. This canoe has aluminum pole down the center with the two seats connected to it, not like the pelicans I see for sale new now.

That may be single-layer Ram-X.
I believe that was a linear polyethylene. It may be possible to find a plastic welder to do a more long-lasting fix. Some people try to fix them by heating milk bottles and dribbling the plastic into the area. Finally, if it is just a small hole or short tear, you can clean the inside, put about five layers of good quality duct tape over the damage, and then heat the tape stack with a fairly hot iron to weld it together. These tape fixes can last pretty long.

If the tear is in a stress area, it may be a good idea to drill the of the tear to make it less likely that it will grow. Then do your fix.

even better
than the duct tape is gutter repair tape.

Home depot or lowes has rolls of aluminum backed stuff that is awesome.that plastic is pretty thin and is tough to weld/repair


you mighht try experimenting with some of the epoxies on the market. You might find one that will work with plastics. Lowes or Home Depot carry different types.

I’ve got TWO Colemans in my back yard, I bought one around 1980, and was given the other one. Every once in a while somebody brings up this same topic, and it usually goes in circles for a while, generating a lot of heat, but not much light.

I’ll tell you what I (think I) know.

The aluminum pole that runs inside the boat is a “keelson”. That much makes sense.

The material that my boats are made of is polyethylene. Good luck finding any glue or epoxy that “bonds” with it. Some stuff will stick to it, like duct tape etc, but you will be able to peel it off without too much trouble. To do real poly repair, you have to “weld” it with tools made for the purpose. Petroleum handling outfits sometimes have the set up to install and repair polyethylene containment systems for gas stations. Some folks have reported good results with dribbling melted poly onto a crack, but it sounds tricky to me.

There are lots of things you can do to “get by”, including everything from duct tape to bolting on an aluminum patch backed up by Goop.

Most paddlers, I find, hold Colemans in low esteem, and frankly, rightly so. The usual response to a question like yours is to “turn it into a planter.”

My Coleman was cheap when I bought it, absorbed tons of abuse and still gives good service. Sure, the hull flexes mightily, it is heavy and slow and all that, but it floats and can carry a big load.

So good luck on your repair, enjoy your boat. Keep an eye out for someone who thinks he’s found a glue or epoxy that will work on polyethylene. Colemans are kind of like the Volkswagen Beetles of the '60’s. Ugly and laughed at, but giving good service for low bucks.


I tried sending you an email last week using your email registered with I don’t think that you ever got it. Could you send me your current email? My email is jeffrey dot pringle at juno dot com.


Jeff P.

ram-x resin repair kit maybe!

– Last Updated: Aug-04-07 7:43 PM EST –

try this web site ........
stuff was made fer military (navy seals) uses ....about $60/ kit i think ...seen it used to repair small holes in poly kayaks @ kayak show. May work on RamX ..I had a RamX eons(1970's?)ago myself. sold it and cuz is still using it.
that's North Sea Resins out of Ithaca, NY
phone #1-607-272-0409