Kevlight repair

-- Last Updated: Apr-15-15 1:13 PM EST --

I have a bell Morningstar kevlight. Just a beautiful layup.

It has a few spots that are damaged to the point you can see the fibers.
I do not want to debate about wicking and Kevlar I have read allot of posts about this. I am sealing it up. Why chance it.
I don't want to do it it is such a pretty hull but I have too.
So I want to make sure I do this right!

1. Sand with 80 grit close to the fibers without hitting them.
1" wide around damage or crack.

2.clean with alcohol.

3.apply west systems 105 +107 with foam brush and squeegee.

At this point I am thinking about using a vibrator ( sander with a wet suit material pad) on the opposite side of the hull to try and get the resin in cracks. Just worried about introduceing air in resin. Any tricks to get full penetration in cracks?
I can sand to the fiber so there will still be cracks to fill.

4. Apply plastic wrap smooth and tape down.

5. Let cure remove wrap and wet sand
Hit high spots with 150 grit then 400 ,1000 , 2500 and finish with
Turtle wax rubbing compound and the polishing compound.

Wood: sand and coat with spar varnish

Any advice suggestions or corrections?
I am very worried about screwing this up.
I don't have the $ to have it done.
Want to hear the funny part?
This canoe is worth more than any thing I own!
I live in trailer have an old car and my John Deer lawn mower is next expensive. :-)
Ok my land is worth more but just saying.

Thank you for your help.

a thought
if you can see the fibers, are they intact or damaged? It might be worth using a kevlar patch inside particularly if the area is soft.

Peel Ply is well worth it…

I believe the Morningstar had clear gel coat externally.

Resin is not structural.

If I remember correctly, the KevLight
layup did not have gel coat. Before KevLight, Bell used a lightweight kevlar layup they called KevCrystal which did have a clear gel coat. The KevLight layup was a couple of pounds lighter than KevCrystal.

How I do it
If it is just small scratches or the surface is off in as far as the fibers.

I sometimes just use the hardware packages of two part epoxy, (5 or 6 bucks)

If there is a lot, I use the West pumps using 105-A resin and 207-SA hardener, (not 107)

1.Clean the area first using acetone

2.Then sand the surrounding area using 80 or 100 grit, (don’t sand into the fibres)

3. then clean once again with the acetone

4. After applying the epoxy, rather than using “plastic wrap”, use a piece of clear overhead projector film, or notebook page protector film. -Taped down as with masking tape (this make a much smoother finish finish than “plastic wrap”

5. When I pull the plastic off, I just lightly sand with a 200 or 300 grit sand paper. If you do it right, the plastic film will leave a glass like finish with very little sanding.

If you have any air bubbles, dips or wrinkles, (which you shouldn’t) just repeat the process

If you are unsure or get conflicting advice, (including mine) just call up West Systems and ask for Tom Pawlak. He will walk you through the whole process

Good luck

Jack L

Cracks? What sort of cracks?
Looking from inside the boat, can you see that the cracks go down into the laminate?

Instead of vibration,
I would rely on heat to encourage flowing into cracks.

West System has this figured out…


Plastic wrap does not leave as smooth
a result, but it has certain advantages over peel ply (which I have used) or projection film. The latter won’t deal as easily with convex surfaces, those curved in two dimensions. Plastic wrap is very flexible. It can conform even to the stem of a canoe, drawn tight with little pieces of flexible electrical tape. One can spot bubbles or dry spots under the plastic wrap, and gently work them out with a finger. Excess resin can be moved out of the patch zone. The stretchy nature of food wrap allows it to act like a vacuum bag, under tension from the tapes at the border.

When the resin is hardened, a little sanding will correct any tiny wrinkles left from the food wrap.

Most of the patches I do are on convex or complex surfaces, for which peel ply just doesn’t work well.

Update / more info/ pics

– Last Updated: Apr-15-15 5:45 PM EST –
Link to smallest damage.
Link to the bad one. Large area to patch.

I have mixed feeling about the film. Where I can I will use stiff film.
But on the bow and stern keels I can not due to contours.

I talked to a guy at west systems and he said 207 for this layup.
Do I have a kevlight?
looks like yellow black and a red weave.
Here is better close up if the weave

Headwinds and kayamedic in the close up link can u tell what I have?

Sorry jack l I posted the wrong # it is 207

Ezwater: well there is a little cracking on the inside of the bad one I was just going to dab a little on the inside cracks.
This hull should never see any rough water. Other that wakes that is.

And last but not least thanks Steve in Idaho heat it is!

Looks like a wolverine did it!

Can’t really tell which from a photo -
I found a 2004 Bell catalog which refers to KevCrystal and a 2005 catalog in which it’s been replaced by KevLight. If your boat has the ID plate you can tell the year and get an idea which it is. (To complicate things, the catalog says the KevLight can be ordered with gel coat if desired.)


– Last Updated: Apr-15-15 7:10 PM EST –

When you go to the pictures of the Morningstar canoe there is an add for Morningstar farms. :-)

It's a 2005 of coarse


– Last Updated: Apr-16-15 10:33 AM EST –

Looks like Bells Keb laminate from later years, skin coat VE resin with their "tweed", 75% Kev 49, the yellow, and 25% Kev 29, the black.

Why would one introduce a different chemical, epoxy, to a Vinyl Ester laminate? When we are doing a final repair before the dumpster, OK. If intending to keep the hull for a while, contact NorthStar Canoes,, 612.770.8130, to get an oz of compatible VE resin. The MEKP to catalyze it can be had at local hardware store, for ~ $4. And ask them how they mask repairs.

I have read a lot about it and talked to west systems.

I found no mention of that type of material.

I can’t find any contact info for North Star only dealers.

I have a email sent to rutabaga ( a North Star dealer) looking for the right stuff.

I also sent a picture of the layup for I D.

all the experts on this site and no one can I D this hull type?

I take exception to being included…

– Last Updated: Apr-16-15 8:31 AM EST –

with the "experts"
Notice that I said: "How I do it".

I would be better classified with the "wood butchers"

My canoes are all Wenonahs and are ultralight Kevlar ones with clear coat epoxy.

I have also used my same method of touching up and repairs, (including Kevlar and fiberglass patches) on several QCC's kayaks many times.

If that boat was mine, I would use the same method, except like others have said: On the bows and sterns, I use a much more flexible plastic film over the repair to make the sharper bends. -just me though

Jack L

Epoxy has always worked fine for me
in patching polyester and vinylester boats. Any incompatibility is theoretical, not meaningful in real life.


– Last Updated: Apr-16-15 11:52 PM EST –

John Gall of Johnny's Boat Shop in Huntsville Ont is a former Swift factory manager and currently repairs more hulls monthly than the combined lifetime efforts of everyone contributing to this thread, self included. He maintains two huge rental fleets near Algonquin Park, neither turned over annually as is often stateside practice.

He goes kinda wild eyed at the thought of "introducing another chemical compound family" to an existing hull unless necessary. Give him a call at 705.783.7141, His card says .com, but may be .ca? The issue is later repairs, some VE's do not bond to epoxy. A larger, later, repair with VE to match flex characteristics of the original hull may not bond over a previous epoxy patch.

The dichotomy here may be the difference between WW and Touring hulls. WW hulls are more of a lease project; keep water outside the skin until the boat is retired for accumulated damages. Touring boats can have a 25+ year lifespan, so we tend to do repairs so as to not limit future repairs, which means not using epoxy because it makes later VE repairs impossible.

I've added NorthStar contacts to my original post along with a description of the laminate.

I have epoxy patches over vinylester
that are decades old, have taken many impacts, show no delaminating. I have also patched with vinylester, and saw no advantage in the result.

I also…
…have repaired many composite boats in the past 28 years. I concur with those who say never use VE resin on an epoxy boat. Using epoxy on a VE resin boat is fine though.

Arrrrg wax paper
Well this is getting interesting.

I sanded applied the 105 207 mix and covered with wax paper.

DO NOT! Leave the wax paper on until the epoxy cures it will cure in and you will have to sand it off and start over.

I did

Then I called Johnny’s boat shop as suggested.

Johnny is very nice and said:

This is the hardest hull to repair as there is a nonstick uv protective coating. Nothing add hears too.

And it is hard to get a bond to the rest.

So to repair it:

Sand down too the Kevlar do not fan out steep hard edges down to mat. It will only stick to Kevlar so it must be exposed.

Apply resin and peel ply.

Ok at this point I screwed up again i could not find peel ply local so I tried cling wrap made a mess.

Then I put a thick plastic On and taped it down. It rippled and I had to sand them out.

Then Johnny said to sand the whole thing to get rid of the protective coat.

And cover with spar varnish.

So after 2 applications of resin and sanding off the mistakes I am ready for spar varnish.

If it looks good I will post a picture.

You will know if comes out bad because I will never mention it again! LOL :slight_smile:

PS. Wax paper works there is just a magic time that the resin is almost cured and the paper does come off. You can’t wait too long.

Sorry To Hear…
…that UL hull needs so much work. I thought it was a little beaten up, but refurbished and paddle ready?