My Damaged Tempest 170 Project

I couldn’t resist a bargain on a Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 with some damage to the stern. It was at a local closeout store and “manager’s special” at 50% off the $500 marked price. It’s kind of cold today in Ohio to be trying to make plastic bend, but I’ll have a project ahead of me to try and straighten out the stern. Right now, the keel has a bit of a kink that I’ll want to fix. I’m thinking of pounding some wooden wedges into the stern from inside to push it back into shape as much as possible. I might also suspend the kayak upright with the stern pointing down and pour some hot water into the stern to help soften it.

I’ve been wanting a plastic “beater” kayak for use in Maine, so this should serve nicely.

For any bargain hunters out there, this came from Everything Surplus in Wooster, Ohio. They also had a couple of fishing kayaks marked at $990 (one was a Pescador) and a Tsunami 165 with the rudder bracket broken off (rudder and bracket included), missing rear hatch cover and a crack in the stern marked at $950.


Nice find. A couple gallons of near boiling water poured into the hatch opening while the boat is standing on end should do a lot to make that area pliable enough to push it back into shape.

1 Like

I would rig a play ball or small yoga ball to a tube, valve, compressor with regulator and shove it up there and inflate it while running very hot water over the outside. The ball will conform to the hull shape and put a nice even pressure forcing the dent out. When it is where you want it switch to cool water. There is likely going to be memory in the material and you may have to cycle it a few times.

Nice buy.


@Wolf Am I reading this correctly? You got that kayak for $250?? (Half off the marked $500??) That’s an amazing deal!

Fantastic steal! Let us know how you get on with this repair.

1 Like

Wet rags on inside. Pound them in tight till it gets to where straight hull is. Then I’d pour water on damaged portion. Make sure someone is keeping rags tight. That way your only heating the damaged portion and will have some control. I’d try not to correct it in one shot. Work it few time slowly pack rags hot water. Make a plunger with 2x4 and piece 3/4" plywood close to the shape of the hull where your rags end. Maybe 1" away from hull all around the template.

If you can’t get one long piece of 2x4 inside dowel a few pieces as long as you can and assemble as you insert each piece. Dowel it 4-5 " into each piece of 2x4. Make one side of the holes for dowels 1/16" or 1/8" larger so you can get 5hem apart easy.

I’ll have to think about my options for deforming the damaged area. As PaddleDog suggested, any wood forms or wedges will have to go in in pieces because of the skeg box in the way. And Bud’s idea of using air pressure has me thinking. Realistically, this might not get finished until spring. I’ll be driving to my old house in Maine in a couple of weeks and want to lug the Tempest out there to store it. I’m really tight on storage here in Ohio.

There is another “defect”. The rear hatch cover appears to be made for an 18 inch long hatch, but the Tempest’s rear hatch lip is 19 inches long. I can force the cover on but it doesn’t snap on very securely and it’s really being stretched. But for $250, I’m not complaining.

I may test paddle it tomorrow to see if it tracks straight as is.

It’s already deformed you need to reform it!


I could never let it sit like that all winter wondering how it would end up.

I went for a paddle on a local lake, and it tracks nice and straight - even with a keel that looks like this:


At first I thought this was a photo of a giant gnome.


Sorry, but that looks like a Dr. Seuss kayak.


I’m being a little kinder and calling it warp drive.


Honestly if it paddles straight and doesn’t leak for the price you paid I would get in it and paddle it and take it to all the locations you might worry about beating a boat up.

If anyone asked about it I would tell them I was paddling in an active volcano lake and got a little too close to the lava. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

Yes! I’ll play around with straightening it at the start of next season, when I can get a little more help from the sun. But I do kind of like the distressed look - sort of like designer blue jeans that come with holes and rips.


You have to pay extra for those designer features. You could start a new trend in designer Kayaks! But you should probably avoid holes :slight_smile:

1 Like

I came across a returned set of car/truck coil spring air bags for $15 and am going to see if can I use one of those to push on the hull from inside. I made a large wood panel that fits into the “good” side of the stern, and then I’ll try using the air bag to push on smaller areas on the “bad” side - possibly pushing on a smaller wood panel. I tried it today, without any heat applied, and nothing moved. But I think milder spring weather and some hot water should soften the plastic enough to deform.

Here’s a photo showing the pieces, and a second photo with wood panel (right) and partially compressed air bag (left) in the stern of the kayak. The thing in the middle of the photo is the skeg box and skeg control cable.

1 Like

If it ain’t broke…

By all means if it paddles straight leaving it alone may be the thing to do. Can you imagine how dumb you’d feel if you tried to fix it and things got bad?

It has personality and a good story.


This is now more of the fun of seeing if the air bag does anything. It seems like a nice gentle approach.

1 Like

See how straight it goes when the hull goes through a wave.

Sometimes it is not about what is easy or good enough. Sometimes you just need to know if something can be done.