Kevlar Stem Touch-up and Sawyer Info

I recently bought a Sawyer Cruiser in Kevlar 49. It is in pretty good shape but the stems are a tiny bit worn and fuzzy, with some broken Kevlar fibers.

The (disguised) HIN is SAWxyz280579 from which I’m guessing that it was built in 1979. I’ve seen some Sawyer literature from a couple of years later which touts their new epoxy resins. If the 1979 manufacture date is right, I’m guessing my Cruiser has vinyl ester resins.

I’d like to do some cosmetic repairs on the stems, perhaps add a layer of a golden colored epoxy to protect the few frayed Kevlar fibers.

Will epoxy be compatible with my vinyl ester (if that is what it is)?

What would you do? Mix some epoxy, apply with the boat up-side-down and try to smooth it on with saran wrap?

I’m open to suggestions. Can I get a single thickness Kevlar strip in a one inch width?

Also if anyone has Sawyer Cruiser literature from the era (websites, catalog pages you could .pdf me, or mail to me, etc.) I’d appreciate it


epoxy will work just fine.

to do
Epoxy will stick but you’ll have to prep the surface by sanding it to ensure the epoxy will “grab” onto it.

I’d consider applying with a foam roller. If the epoxy starts to “bubble” (form tiny outgas bubbles), gently drag a brush across the surface as the epoxy starts to set up. Wait about 10 minutes, and check to see if any more form.

To keep the epoxy from yellowing and fading from LONG TERM exposure to UV rays, you’ll need to apply some varnish or clear coat LPU paint.

The fuzz from the Kevlar will be a pain to tame. But you can do if you stay persistent. If you want to cover the fuzz with more than just epoxy, consider some s-glass which will be much easier to work with and is actually a little better against abrasion.

catalogs online
I used to have a bookmark to a site that had some Sawyer and MR catalog scans. I don’t have that computer though. Anybody else know what I’m talking about?

You should not see outgassing
when not working over wood or similar air-storing materials. I have never encountered outgassing when repairing stems of composite boats.

E-glass, commonly available, is quite acceptable for stem coverage on what is going to be a lake and smooth river craft. S-glass is worth getting mainly for whitewater applications.

stem repair

– Last Updated: Apr-02-07 10:31 PM EST –

You didn't say if the hull was gel coated or not.

That effects your repair pretty considerably.

If the hull is gel coated and the kev only fuzzed a little, shave the fuzz with a new safety razor and re gell coat. You can find kits that will allow you to match color from The iteration Sawyer is in will not be very helpful. I'm sure Scott would try, but changes in manufacturing and fading over time....

If the kev is cut through, you'll have to patch it. You'll want a diagonally cut piece of kev or glass so it will conform to the hull; maybe 2" wide and 9 inches long.

Wet out, it will conform nicely to the hull. If you use Kev you must use peel ply on the edges to get then to lay down. otherwise, sanding will give you the fuzz again.

Placid boats websit6e has pretty conplete repair info for finishing the thing out.

I doubt Sawyer used epoxy; maybe Dow/ now Ashland's Derakane, a byphelol based, hence epoxy - VE, but a VE none the less.

When I used some Kevlar layers in a
multi-layer stem patch, I used a final cover layer of glass to avoid the problem of sanding the Kevlar edges. But why use Kevlar? Doesn’t offer much in that application. For the uses the boat will be put to, one might as well use E-glass.

bubbles still possible…
depending on the epoxy resin used, some bubbling may still happen regardless of substrate.