Inside of a composite canoe

The inside of my 1985 Kevlar 49 MR Slipper is rubbed/scraped raw. No gouges or deep scrapers just plain worn down.

What is the best way to bring the old sparkle/shine back to it please.



Can you touch
the kevlar cloth…is it fuzzy…or are you talking cosmetics?

Need more detail. Some MR canoes
were painted inside back then. Mine was. Later, Kevlar was left “in the open” to show off.

So you’re either seeing worn paint or you’re seeing wear on the Kevlar laminate, so that you should see some exposed Kevlar fuzz.

Sanding may just raise more fuzz. Kevlar fibers are very tough. But we need to know what you’re seeing, a worn and somewhat fuzzy surface or something else.

I really don’t know what penetrol is, but you can get it at a paint store, rub it on with a rag, and rub the excess off. It seems to shine up minor scratches pretty well without sanding.

Or epoxy
I was thinking if you want to add a bit more wear resistance, maybe a thin coat of epoxy painted on would work instead.

Solutions and problems
If the wear is localized, you might paint in a scuff patch. Mask off a diamond shaped or elliptical area as you prefer.

Galt of Lotus Canoe used deck and porch paint so the customer could repaint as needed. Curtis used polyester gel coat with a surfactant added to achieve set-up.

I wouldn’t suggest epoxy because that may inhibit bonding of interior patches if needed later.

BlackHawk, Mad River and Swift gel coated the entire interior, but that is probably not needed and adds a lot of weight. Phil has a disaster or two caused by not using surfactant in the beginning.

what I did
Definitely defer to CEW, but I asked him and Marc O how to “seal” the fuzz on the inside of my skincoat Ladybug two years ago. It was badly enough abraded that water would soak in. Based on the advice I got, I cleaned the hull thoroughly then brushed on a light coat of spar varnish. After the varnish dried the fuzz had transformed to almost bristles so I VERY lightly and carefully sanded it smooth then applied a second light coat of varnish. Now it’s smooth and shiny and water beads. I bought a thick neoprene kneeling pad from Cooke (?) to prevent future wear in the paddling station. It has held up, was easy and seemed to work well, although there might be better ways which I will leave for others to suggest.

MRC interiors…
MRC would gelcoat the interior of their Fiberglass layups. Kevlar interiors would have the “football” painted on with an exterior porch enamel.

If you’re dealing with fussy cloth, I’ll defer to all suggestions above.


Inside of a composite canoe
Ok thanks fellows for you help.

The bottom has a painted “football” and is ok, it is the sides that are slightley fuzzy.

I like the spar vanrish method and am going to give it a try in a small area.

Thanks again


Inside of a composite canoe-Finished
I tried a penetant (WD40) with some so so results, the final solution was spar varnish. It covered, colored and evened out most of the fuzzy inside. In one area the color did not even out but the kevlar is now covered and smooth.

Thanks again for all of your help.


Inside of a composite canoe-Finished.2
Oooops, just realized that the word was penetrol not penetrant. Oh well the WD40 did something to the fuzzys and dried ok. I only put it on a small area so I don’t think I did any harm.

I have a friend with the same problem on the inside of a kevlar boat I think we will try PENETROL this time.


If you suspect foul play, Luminol may
be the way to the Truth.

Deck and Porsche paint?
Gotta be pricey.