New Kayak with Damage/Repair

-- Last Updated: Aug-26-16 5:22 PM EST --

Found a good deal on a WS Zephyr Pro.

Its because someone dropped something on the front of the deck, 8-12 inches in front of cockpit--the gel is damaged and there is a 3-4inch crack but no deformation--just a spot you really dont want to press on.

I have repaired old inboard boats with west systems epoxy fiberglass resin--replacing rotting engine stringers

Is there anything more complicated than
1) turning the boat upside down
2) cleaning away any wax/mold release/residual amine from curing on the inside skin of the damage spot with the right solvent
3) Roughening up the spot with sand-paper.
4) applying of piece of biaxial, or triaxial, or maybe matte (but not chopped strand) cloth using real epoxy (not polyester) resin and letting cure in the right ambient temperature range?

you reach the area on the inside? No big deal if you don’t care about outside repair. Chopped mat works too and easy to install in tight areas

Chopped Strand
Chopped strand also works, the key to using it is to tear it not cut it so you have a thin edge that is easy to blend in

Sounds good…
I would do a three layer patch each one being a little larger the the preceding one. Definitely use epoxy.

Thanks for all the replies. I can get to the inside no problem. The orange gel coat looks like a cracked egg (about 1 in diameter damage)…a few chips are missing…a few chips are loose. May flow some epoxy in between the gel chips with a syringe, or use a filler, but not sand anything.

So the damage wont be invisible, but its 900 bucks off a brand new kayak {zephyr pro 16} which should be a much different experience than the tsunami 175 poly.

That boat is made with polyester resin…
…so DO use polyester resin for the fix.


Epoxy sticks better to itself…
…so does polyester.

Sounds like minor damage
If the gel coat cracks are that small. Use epoxy on the inside, not for gel coat repair as it will degrade in the sun after a few years. You could do nothing on the outside and it’ll be fine. If you want to repair it get a gel coat repair kit and go at it, or put your favorite sticker over it.

I’m using epoxy

kayak damage repair

– Last Updated: Aug-29-16 12:33 PM EST –

All the repair advise noted above can, and probably will, work if surfaces are carefully abraded and cleaned.

Were it my kayak and I was intending to keep it for quite a while, I would use West Systems G-Flex epoxy (adheres better than any other resin). It remains slightly flexible to better handle shock. I would use a kevlar patch because it is stronger than another common fabric.

gelcoat repair
If you ever plan to repair the gelcoat, don’t use Epoxy on the outside. Gelcoat doesn’t cure over epoxy. You can reinforce the inside with Epoxy and cloth. If you don’t want to do the gelcoat repair to the outside (this is easy) then just cover it with a sticker. Don’t put something in there that will make future repair more difficult.

Similar Repair
Did most of the patching from the side. I used Dynel cause it’s touch as nails and it doesn’t fray when cut. I also used G-Flex mixed with some resin. The rest of that hull will wear away before those patches do.

Epoxy on outside-gel coat issue
Nate is basically correct re gel coat not curing over epoxy.

When I posted I was thinking of using G-Flex on an inside structural patch, with gel coat on outside as needed for appearance. I didn’t clearly state that.

There is a convoluted way one can get gel coat to cure over epoxy: coat the cured epoxy repair with vinyl ester resin (after cleaning wax off the surface). Then apply the gel coat over the vinyl ester resin. It works, but why go down this more complex and expensive road?

If repair can be kept to G-Flex on inside, without any G-Flex on outside, do it! Then coat the outside with matching gel coat from kayak maker.

Which Epoxy System
Whats the difference between West System III and G-Flex?

I like System III because of choice of fillers, choice of catalysts, compatible colorants etc

G-Flex will adhere to many plastics and many more different materials than System III. It remains slightly flexible when cured, so it is less subject to “sheering force” than other epoxies.

West cut a plastic canoe in half and glued it back together with G-Flex and fiberglass. Most, if not all, other epoxies wouldn’t adhere to the plastic surface. Yet, there were many pics of folks paddling the rejoined canoe on their web site.