New to me Pygmy Coho, few concerns

Hello, I am new to Kayaking, I have just bought my first stitch and glue kayak. It’s a 15.5” Pygmy Coho. I have a few questions I hope someone can answer for me.
The previous owner, was in the process of refinishing it, he had sanded it and started epoxying it. I am a little concerned with what I see in a few areas.
The bottom that been re-epoxied you can see the mesh of the fiberglass, and there is a few spots that may be old injuries. I’ll add photos.
Looking for advice on what to repair and how to finish it correctly.
Thank you !

I built a Pygmy Coho around 1997. They are around 17 feet 8 inches long. Unless the dimensions have changed.

It is no big deal to see some cloth showing. For a keel line that has had some abrasion, I would get some good marine epoxy and add some cloth. It is possible to buy fiberglass tape in any width you want like say 3 inches. If the boat has been sanded add a layer of marine epoxy on the whole boat. Once it sets up you can wipe it down to remove the amine blush. Then a couple of coats of marine varnish to resist UV rays from the sun. Uncovered epoxy will degrade in ultra-violet light.

I painted the hull of my kayak bright yellow which is the best color for visibility at sea. I left the deck varnished. Good luck.

They are great boats, but there is no room for a dog and a Coleman stove, so I sold mine and went back to canoes.

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Sorry I am new to Kayaking, this was what the previous owner said it was, he said there was a tag inside I will look for it. I added some photos, I am limited to one each time, due to being new :slight_smile:

What would you wipe it down with to remove the blemishes.

I have built two Pygmys, an Osprey 13’ and an Arctic Tern 17’ as well as One Ocen Storm LT strip kayak. Of those the Tern & the Storm are still in the family The Osprey was sold about 10 years ago as we all had out grown it. Looking at your pictures there is nothing that raises a red flag. There is one that may requires a closer look as it appears that the wood core has a crack:

From the picture it looks like the glass is intact but check closely. Also check on the inside.

On this picture
it looks like there impact damage to the glass but not to the wood. Again check on the inside as well.

How to repair: this is what I would do. Many other options are available. I would not be suprised to have PBlanc respond with some more detailed information. If he does, pay attention.

First safety: where a good dust mask when doing any sanding. ALWAYS use skin protection (nitrile gloves) when working with epoxy. Work in an area with good ventilation.

Materials: if you are any where near a West Marine store you can get a West Systems repair kit with some fiberglass (no heaver than 6 oz. per square yard) and epoxy resin and hardner. The Pygmy kits come with System 3 epoxy. I have successfully used both West Systems and Total Boat epoxy for repairs on huylls built with System 3 resin.

I would sand down to the glass (stop when you are cutting the fabric) ~ 1 inch minimum away from the damage. Tape around the sanded area and cover with newspaper or something beyond as epoxy WILL run. Cut a piecs of fiberglass that will just overlap the tape. Mix a small batch of epoxy and put a light coat on the area to repair, apply the glass, and then epoxy until the glass appears to be transparent. I wokld likely use a cheap white chip brush to apply the epoxy and then a plastic speader to force it into the weave and strip out excess. Once the epoxy has set up (time will depend on resin, hardner, and temperature). use a sharp utility knive to trim the glass JUST inside of the tape edge and then carefully remove the tape. Use a scraper or sand to feather the edge and smooth the patch. The next day you should be able to add a fill coat to fill in the weave of the fabric. I have not seen issues in amine blush in the resins noted above in that time period. If you do wait several days then you may likely need to sand. Give the repair a week (you don’t have to wait to paddle though) then use 3 coats of UV Spar varnish on the repair. Not a bad idea to wet sand & varnish the whole kayak as it is new to you. A mid-range varnish like Helsman has worked for me.

Pygmy’s are great kayaks. Enjoy … and be sure to have and wear a well fitting PFD. In my opinion, practice wet exits with someone near by with out a skirt before using one. And then practice more with the skirt and support near by once you start. I’ll intentionally practice wet exits several times during the season.

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@Allaen, I dont have a wood/fiberglass boat, but from what I see in the first picture, it looks like water may have gotten under the epoxy and stained the wood. If that happened, I believe you would be able to tell by pressing on it to see if its bonding.

Thank you so much for the good advice !

The previous owner sanded it all down, then epoxied the bottom half.

How should I repair that crack if it goes through to the inside ?

Should I also epoxy the top since it’s been sanded down also ?

I can’t tell with out actully seeing the deck but my guess would be that the previous owner was cleaning up runs and other build imperfections. Unless he sanded into the glass there isn’t a lot of value in adding epoxy other than to fill the weave. I’d varnish and paddle it. If you use the kayak much you will be re-varnishing it every couple of years anyway.

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A couple of points:

Epoxy is the heaviest part of building a wooden boat. Be careful about smearing it everywhere.

Epoxy also has no UV protection, usually, so varnish or spar urethane are better to put on bright ( not painted) areas, because good varnish or spar urethane does have have UV protection. It also weighs about have as much as epoxy after it dries and cures ( about 2 weeks)

I have built a couple of CLC boats and moved on to wood strippers. I have bad habits with them and have to patch the glass too often.

I don’t see any problem with your deck, except to maybe varnish or urethane it.

To keep the weight down I would recommend carefully sanding the hull off and putting new e-glass in place. It is a pain, but feathering in patches as even more of a pain and patches add weight.

Sand it, use acetone to clean off the dust, let it dry, spread six ounce e-glass over it, smooth it, trim off the excess and epoxy it down. Use a quality foam roller and then use a Bondo squeegee to remove the extra epoxy ( it will help keep down not just the weight but the orange peeling)

Let it cure a day or two and add another coat of epoxy the same way. That will fill the weave of the glass. Let it cure, sand it smooth, and varnish it.

Or you can use a good polyurethane paint, like Brightsides, and paint it, Sand it off lightly, find a very well ventilated spot and paint it. Polyurethane paints stink to high heaven when they out gas, and they do that for a couple of days, sometimes for a week.

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Use acetone to wipe off the amine blush. Follow with soap and water.

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Found this tag today inside. Finally getting her moved outside to start sanding, the weather is getting better here on Anderson Island.



Well found this today, Outside is vary stiff, no give what’s so ever. The inside is stiff also, thoughts ? Should I attempt to repair the inside since it is pushed up ? I think I could take a sharp chisel and cut that off level and fill with
Epoxy, possibly fiberglass over ?