Me kayak is hurtin', lads

-- Last Updated: Aug-20-07 7:01 PM EST --

You know you're having a bad day when you have the following experience.

I was driving home last night after 3 great days of paddling in N. Minnesota. I securely fastened my Q and my NDK Triton to the top of my vehicle - I've done this hundreds of times. I had no problems driving across the Duluth-Superior bridge with 50-knot winds pounding me from the side. After a 2-hour drive thru wind and rain, I made it to my driveway w/o a problem. I proceeded to take the front/rear tie-downs off(yes, I'm one of THOSE), and then removed the straps from my Malone Autoloaders. I decided that in a flat driveway the Triton would be fine sitting on the rack w/o straps while I went inside to summon my son to help me unload the boat. A sickening thud ensued, reverberating through the neighborhood, and I knew it was the kayak. When we ran outside, the Triton was sitting askew on the driveway, apparently having slid off the back of the rack. From the top of a Toyota Sequoia to the ground is about 7 feet, by my reckoning.

Woe is me. This is my favorite boat - the sentimental symbol of my love for paddling. Many great times in this boat, some memorable trips with my son on Lake Superior, etc. The kayak has a large crack right where the hull and deck meet just aft of the skeg position. This crack is about one meter in length and it seems to be a fissure between the hull and deck. The hull is now quite pliable. I know this is not good. I know this may not be worth repairing, but I would appreciate any suggestions. Should I find a marine body specialist, or should I try to do it myself? Please offer your kind advice or condolences. I could use a hefty dose of either.


Got my condolences
ouch! Take heart, there some very knowledgeable people here, Bryan Nystrom, Mike McCrea and others should be chiming in soon enough.

Good luck!


Hell ya it’s repairable.
sucks when it happens but do a little reading and you be able to tackle the repair yourself. It really is easier than many people think. If you spend a little extra time and take things slow, you’ll be back on the water in a fine looking boat lickity split.

Use good materials. Check out west marine. Don’t write off the triton yet.

Ouch! i’ve done that. Nothing broke

These are great suggestions
I think I can do this myself with this guidance. It seems to be a blown seam, albeit in a difficult location to access from the inside. It’s basically toward the back of the rear compartment behind the skeg. However, with these repair, it appears that I can do this all from the outside. It might not look pretty, but I just want to paddle this ol’ beauty again.

I’ll post some before/after photos when I’m done.

Thanks for the help. This forum is a great resource for me.


she won’t be pretty but will last
forever if you undertake the repair. I did a visually poor job with my first repair job on a Swift that had a very bad skeg box from the factory that was leaking and so was the rear hatch plate where it joined the deck. Many years of hard use later that repair is holding up just fine and the boat has gone on so many great trips with it’s three owners. Me thinks you and the boat are going to have an even stronger bond after you do the repair. And I don’t mean the resin setting up on your pants. Boats are made to be used and used often! So my favorite kayaks have faded and scratched gel coat and frayed seat pads and lots of memories!

Sorry to hear that …
Call me if you want professional advice and wish to do more than put a bandaide on a cut artery.

Is the seam reinforcement cracked itself or just peeled away from hull / deck ?.. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Guys, please mention to folks to sand prep before glassing or at least token wash out with fresh water when giving repair advice. Otherwise the well implemented repair will simply peel right off the next time its loaded.

Unless its 17+ oz. glass, two plys of commonly available glass tape is not enough to redo a blown seam. Especially if its 0/90 stuff. Think about it, 0 degree fibers doing nothing to reinforce seam, 90 degree ones yes but even with two plys you still end up with only the a tiny bit of the strength of the hull / deck. The seam should be equal > stronger than the hull / deck laminate … especially @ this stress riser area.

To get ‘way in there’: Measure and pre cut glass to correct length ( a tiny bit short is o.k as glass will elongate slightly depending on bias ) lay boat on its side, wet out glass on table so you can squeegee excess off, roll up neatly, place in hull @ premarked spot, unroll with gloved hand as far as you can use a light stiff dowell / bamboo rod to poke along down deep, good to have a light set up or flashlight at the ready here too, once you get the glass all unrolled, go over with brush taped to same or pre readied 2nd stick. A real nice job then can be covered with 4-6 mil plastic of peel ply applied the same way as tape.