Need to repair damage to my seat bucket & small cracks

I bought my 2003 Impex Montauk carbon-Kevlar used and very inexpensively, so it doesn’t owe me anything. But I like it a lot and would love to have it last a lot longer if possible.

The seat bucket is chipped (I have the chipped piece but it doesn’t cover all the damage) and this weekend I cleaned the boat and took pictures of all the damaged areas:

  1. big chip in seat bucket with stress cracks below

  2. stress cracks near screws for foot pegs

  3. small cracks around hatch cover rims

  4. small crack and chip near skeg box

  5. chip on deck

I’m attaching pictures. The seat chip looks bad and is getting worse. I’d like to either fix this myself or pay someone else to fix it, depending on your advice. I live in the Hudson River Valley so presumably near people who could help fix it, but if I can easily DIY I’d do it.

Thanks very much!

How old is it? Really nothing there that bad.

Good to hear. Even the seat? It’s 18 years old. (But not ready to leave home.)

I would epoxy the seat cracks, looks to me like it could be spreading. You don’t want it to suddenly drop off the screw on you.

The cluster of gel coat cracks near that first screw look like you should dig out the rotten stuff and do fresh fiberglass. It isn’t hard, can get the materials a d any marine store.

For the smaller cracks, you can create a somewhat permanent stain but it’ll hold with Captain Jack’s Spider Crack stuff. Ir cover then with tenacious tape. Either will last a long time.

Thanks, Celia. Having never done anything like this are there any good instructional videos or sources you could recommend? I’m quite good with my hands, but lack experience with boats in any repair capacity.

You can find instructions on UTube for doing gel coat, but honestly just read the bottle. Since I am not talking about an area that involves color matching, it is glorified playing with mud. Just be ready to go because I am talking about chipping it out until you are done with any loose gel coat. The hole may be surprisingly large.

If it is down to the glass layer, best to do a couple or so coats. Theoretically you then sand it until it is nice and smooth. Or you stop when it is smooth enough and you are tired of bothering any more, Having taken the latter course, I can tell you it works fine.

YouTube is your friend here.

I have no experience with epoxy resin or fiberglass repair on kayaks. I am a woodworker with considerable experience in using expoxy on filling cracks in large wood table projects and vanity tops, etc. I bet the basics are the same.

The key thing is getting a quality brand of epoxy. Some have different working and cure times. This involves an exothermic reaction, so the temperature you working in is important. You need to get the proper measuring cups for getting the A:B volumes as accurate as possible. Mixing the solution fully is also critical.

I would practice doing all this on other damaged test subjects first.

But your pictures indicate this is quite doable…

Thanks for the valuable info, Celia and PhotoMax. I’m encouraged by your optimism!

For the gel coat cracks you can use Capt. Tolley’s penetrating sealant. It dries almost clear. For the seat or small holes I would consider a two part putty like at this link. J-B Weld 8277 WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick - 2 oz.: Automotive

I keep a tube in my emergency boat repair kit.

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JB-Weld works pretty good some of the time for me. It hardens into a good solid piece but I have had problems with it adhering to the base material. It works best if you roughen up the surface to get some bite.

I have also cast repairs to broken parts like you have with the seat by cleaning away the loose material and then forming a dam out of modeling clay and then setting the part level and pouring in liquid 2 part epoxy. Let it self-level and cure. Just be careful not to get the clay on the surfaces you want to bond to. You can build a dam out of anything really and fill it up.

Sorry! It is Captain Tolley’s I meant. Great stuff.

Thanks, all, I appreciate the advice.

Find a Marine hardware store, get some epoxy, hardener, some wood flour, and fiberglass tape.

Take the screws out, carefully in case they have nuts on the back side, sand the area, clean it with acetone, and let it dry.

Wet the area with epoxy, put the tape across the hole and crack, squeegee it down and put another coat of epoxy on it. Let it cure through, not just dry.

Drill a 1/4 inch hole where the screw was, fill it with epoxy thickened with wood flour, let it cure through.

Drill a hole through the thickened epoxy for the screw, put down another coat of epoxy to fill the weave in the fiberglass tape.

Let it cure, sand it smooth, and reinstall. You can paint it if you want.

Thanks. That sounds good. What’s the difference between using epoxy thickened with wood flour (never heard of that, and been baking for years ;)), or the JB weld putty suggested above?

JB Weld is a thickened epoxy, some of it. They have a great many products and some are not going to stick.

Using wood flour ( really finely ground sawdust) with the epoxy you are using to apply a layer to glass will make sure they will adhere to each other Drilling a hole will take the stress out of the cracks and stop them from advancing. Drilling a bigger hole, filling it, and re drilling makes the hole waterproof, as well as isolating it from the old cracks.

Thanks. Makes sense.