Hull repair needed?

Can anyone explain what’s going on in this image to the hulls exterior? Is it repairable? Does it need repair? What would repair entail?

I haven’t personally seen the boat, it was sent to me by a friend.

Thanks Norm

Probably worth hearing what Joe Moore at Placid Boatworks says at some point.

Looks like it was run hard into a rock. Almost any boat is repairable. Just a question of time and money.

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It is really hard to tell from the photo, but those just look like light gelcoat scratches to me and nothing to worry about. If you are concerned about the fiber pattern under the gelcoat, don’t be. Many manufacturers of kayaks and surfskis paint that section to cover up what looks like a chaotic fabric overlay, but in reality, it is very difficult to get a small, shaped piece of fabric into that tight, sharp bow and make it look perfect. Almost all Kevlar-carbon/Kevlar layups look like that under the shiny exterior paint job.


According to the owner everything is superficial and only on the surface and most likely just normal wear from 10+ yrs of usage.

There’s an old thread I read(and participated in recently) that discussed the white residue of a kevlar boat. Could this be what the pictures is showing?

As @DaveTheKayaker said, it’s tough to tell from the picture. My Kevlar boat is 24 years old and I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen anything like that from normal wear.

Kevlar boats are very tough and it might just be that some gelcoat repair is needed.

I think I would agree then. It just looks like light scratches in the gelcoat to me. Nothing serious.

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I agree that the damage looks trivial, just light scratches in the gelcoat from gently bumping the bow into a rock repeatedly most likely at a rocky put-in. No repair needed. Light gelcoat scratches can often be buffed out or touched up with clear gelcoat if you want to try to make it look like new.

Can you recommend a product suitable for the job?

Meanwhile I’ll search the forum for threads that may have already discussed this issue.

First thing I would do is clean it up well and use some 303. That alone will make it look 5 years newer. That’s assuming that closer inspection doesn’t find something else. What model is this?

Looks like a serious rock hit. You need to see the inside of the boat. Could be structural damage. The repair may be adequate. Normal wear and tear would be below the water line on the stem.


When clear gelcoat gets scratched it turns white so scratches really stand out against the black carbon fiber. Gelcoat does not need repair unless damage goes through to the fabric; that Rapidfire has minor surface scratches. Most/all could be sanded out. One could fill in the scratches using a clear gelcoat repair kit like the one sold by Northstar canoes. If you just want it to look better you can wipe black kiwi shoe polish on and it will stick to the white spots, or just touch them up with a black Sharpie.

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I agree that it looks like just superficial wear that doesn’t require repair at the moment. However, it’s a good indication of an area that could use some additional protection, as the damage appears to continue into the light-colored area of the hull. A partial rub strip or possibly a full keel strip would take care of that.

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It could be a problem if there was a hit that communicated to the inner layers of the boat. But l would be surprised if a closer inspection found that. Looks like wear and tear frim minor knocks along a reinforced section of the keel line.
As above, you can always add a keel strip yourself.

send it!

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