need advice on poly canoe

So I just bought my first canoe for pretty cheap and may not have done my research.

Old Town Discovery 158. It is made of crosslinked polyethylene and is highly oxidized. I took it out the first day and minor bumps left huge scratches(see picture)!

I’ve watched a lot of youtube videos and am wondering the best way to go about repair. In one video he sanded it down to remove oxidation then rolled on a special epoxy. Is this all I need to do? will that protect it or will the epoxy not bond to it?

Should I try and return it or just use it for a season till its trashed.

like it’s pretty beat up. never seen a boat look like that.

Well that is definitely UV damage to the extreme. Obviously that boat was stored upside down in the sun most its life. Returning it would be ill-advised because you (as admitted) were uneducated about this condition of OLD UV damaged poly. That’s not the sellers fault. Anything you do to attempt covering it up will just add weight to an already heavy beast. I would just paddle it, being careful to not smash into boulders until you decide to upgrade or the boat starts leaking. At that point, advertise it on CL as an unseaworthy canoe needing a resting place. People actually like them for planters and other types of uses.

I had to chuckle when I saw…

– Last Updated: May-17-16 6:56 AM EST –

the title of you post, because just looking at the picture with out seeing your post, my first reaction was "wow" !

To the OP: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you got screwed royally!

To the person that sold you that boat: You should be ashamed of yourself ! - You are not a fellow paddler, but a crook!

Chalk it off to a learning experience

Jack L

conventional epoxy won’t work
As has been said, the polyethylene appears to have undergone extensive photo-degradation so it will probably be easily susceptible to damage from abrasion and minor impacts. In view of this, I wouldn’t be inclined to invest much money in trying to repair the boat.

Conventional epoxies will not bond well to polyethylene. If you have access to an inexpensive, handheld propane torch and are willing to invest around $30, you might consider buying a small kit with prethickened G Flex epoxy like this:

The polyethylene must be pre-treated by flame oxidizing it with a propane torch to allow the G Flex to achieve acceptable bond strength. The instructions that come with the G Flex outline how to do this.

I would use the G Flex to cover the area(s) in which the outer layer of solid poly has eroded away exposing the foam core. You can mix up small amounts of the epoxy, apply it like wood putty, and sand the cured epoxy if necessary to achieve a smooth contour.

You might try thoroughly cleaning, then covering the hull bottom with spray paint to provide a modicum of protection from abrasion, and protection against further photo-degradation.

If you use the canoe only on flat water and avoid abrasion or impacts you might be able to get enough use out of the boat to recoup your investment.

What kind of spray paint would you recommend? Normal gloss enamel or some thicker coating like the black spray paint that can be used on cast iron stoves?

I am pretty upset over this ordeal but I guess I’ll still get some enjoyment over using this on a lake. The nearest lake is two hours away but I live 5 minutes from the French Broad River in North Carolina and was hoping to do some light rapids.

I guess I’ll be saving up for a whitewater canoe!

Thanks for the replies.

Don’t do shallow rapids with rocks
like Long Shoals, or that will be the end of that boat!

Jack L

I would try either Krylon Fusion or Valspar Outdoor Plastic spray paints. Both are said to be specially formulated for maximum adhesion to plastics. The paint will scratch off if you scrape something, but it is easy to touch up by spraying on a bit more.

Krylon Fusion
as badly sun damaged as it is it will adhere very well. Do that before you fill in the big gaping cracks in the bottom with G-Flex and it will be ok for a while, provided you don’t hit any thing big. The core is exposed in the photo and the effects of water and weather will have diminished the integrity of the whole hull.