Kayak Crack Repair

My father has a WS Tarpon 100. Against my recommendations he hung the kayak by the side handle in the garage. After two years of being hung this way a 1.5 inch crack has developed at one side of screw that hold the handle. Any recommendations on how to fix it or place that could fix it. I am in NW Ohio. Or is it even worth fixing as it is well above waterline.



Polyethylene plastic can be
heat welded, but you’ll have to ask around at ww kayak dealers, etc., to find out who, locally, can do it.

On the West Epoxy site you’ll find information on using G-flex epoxy to repair polyethylene boats. Experience is still accumulating on how well this works.

While you’re selecting an approach, you might drill a small hole, maybe 1/8", right at the small end of the crack. This tends to prevent it from spreading further.

Whether you weld or glue the crack, one way to back up the screw and spread the stress would be to use larger inside and outside washers than were used originally.


– Last Updated: Jun-07-13 11:39 PM EST –

that friends had rented,m several year back. We noted they were sitting mighty low in the water, and progressively sitting lower and lower.

We clambered out on a backyard dock, lifted our 2 SOTs up, and the two guys then lifted this big ole 16-foot OK Zest tandem onto the dock -carefully so as not to bend it with all thTrOtat water in the back end. Took a while to drain because it had about 3-4 gallons of water in it...!

After it was empty (mostly), I checked and found a gash about 1-1/2 to 2" long, about 1/8-1/4" wide. I took a baggie that we'd brought something to eat in to use as my welding stick, and my cigar lighter to use as a torch (it is literally called a 'cigar torch'), and proceeded to heat up the edges of the gash to just about flaming. I then took took the baggie, rolled it up, and slowly heated it and sort of dripped/sagged it into the softened crack. After a while it oozed into the gash and plugged the gap. I played the torch about the periphery of the gash and allowed the whole mess to cool.

It not only worked like a charm and held up for the perhaps mile-and-a-half paddle back along Biscayne Bay, but it was still there, still (apparently) going strong, two years after we returned the boat.

And yes, we sure as hell told them about it, even showed them the field welding repairs I'd done. But they never did anything about it, and I'd visit every once in a while while riding my bike in the Grove and check that old tandem, and it was still there, just as I left it.

In this case, eve if it IS welded, I'd advise NOT using the area around the weld for ANYTHING structural -like carrying or hanging! -or anything even REMOTELY structural -ever again.

Just goes to show what a little ingenuity -and a lot of luck, LOL! -can do to help get you and your plastic boat back on the water to quite literally


-Frank in Miami

this …???
I saw this stuff used during a boat show…Since they still have a website up , I will assume they are still in business, the stuff was created for military use.


IF You try this stuff, please post a reply on how well it worked for you or whether the company is still in business good luck

Good post, trout. Looks like something
worth having along.

If it was me, I would use West Systems
G-flex epoxy and glass.

Jack L

Thanks for the responses I like the G-flex suggestion and found this video.


I have already drilled out the crack to hopefully stop any additional spreading. We are leaving for beach in less than week so hope it holds till we return. and will order material and fix crack when we return.


Here is a suggestion
from an experienced plastic kayak welder (depending on how much you want to invest in the repair).

From Harbor Freight purchase a plastic welding iron and a hot air plastic welder. Get some plastic filler rod from your local kayak pro shop.

Since your boat is a SOT you won’t have access to the inside. Using the hot welding iron plunge the triangular shaped anvil of the iron into the crack pushing melted plastic into the root of the crack and creating a “V”-shaped weld prep. Continue this along the crack. The finished weld prep will look like stitching along the crack.

Use the hot air welder to melt the filler rod into the crack. If you can get the heat right while plunging and twisting the filler rod into the crack you’ll get a full penetration weld that is very strong.

The guy in this video has the welding technique down pretty well.


Hope this helps.