oil can

Can anyone tell me what effect oil canning has on a kayak? Does it effect the performance? Does it weaken the kayak in anyway? I’m speaking of a 16.5’ sea kayak if that makes a difference.

I have an opportunity to purchase a high quality RM brand new kayak at a tremendous discount price and am not sure what to do.

It is reputable international company and I don’t believe that they would sell the boat if it were “no good.” It was explained to me that it came of the mfg line light and will most probably oil can , but they considered it a visual defect, not a functional defect.

I’d appreciate any quality input.


oil canning …
… one of our canoes oil cans some on hot days and warm waters .

It seems to give the impression of adding more inital stability … but slows it down noticably too , takes more paddle energy .

I’m pretty certain it robs some of the performance , but that’s not too much of a concern for what we use it for mainly … fishing .

Cosmetic or Structural Defect?
“It was explained to me that it came of the mfg line light and will most probably oil can.”

I would call that a structural defect. Would you fly in an airplane if they told you it didn’t come out of the factory quite right.

It may be fine and worth taking a chance if it were at a super-super price.

oil can
usually they pop out. If they don’t you can heat them and they will come out. They seem to slow you down more than anything. I guess if you can get it at a price low enough that you won’t mind if you do have to throw it away, then get it.

clarification of terms
When a boat oil cans a face of material pops back and forth. The surface lacks rigidity and the water acts on it to make the surface move. It can be sidewalls as well as bottoms.

Hogging is another thing entirely. Its the convexity ofa surface that is supposed to be concave or flat. You may or may not be able to get that out wih a heat gun. Hogging doesnt have to be in conjunction with oil canning; it can stand on its own.

Both affect performance.

Caveat emptor !


It would be difficult for you to
judge whether the boat is too flexy unless you had considerable experience with kayaks of similar construction. The “RM” you put in your post indicates that it is rotationally molded. If that is so, then a thin boat may not only be susceptible to flexing when in use, but may also be inclined to take a permanent wave in the hull from beaching or from loading and carrying errors.

I personally would not buy such a boat unless I had a backup plan for supporting the keel if it proved to be flexing in use. I have a Necky Looksha Sport which seems a bit thin on the underside. I cut a piece of minicell which I can stuff between the deck and the bottom to prevent flexing. This works OK, but I am still seeking a way to put in a stringer from the seat, forward to where it could be held in place from the deck. Naturally the difficulty of glueing anything to polyethelene has made this more difficult.

The upshot of this is that if you can’t get a trial run to see if your dream boat is too flexy, you probably should pass it up. It may pose engineering challenges you don’t want to deal with.

G/Flex epoxy is intended to be compatible with plastic kayaks - I’ve used it on other materials and it worked well.

Thank you for the quality input.

I should get to see the boat this week and maybe even get to paddle it. I’m a beginner/intermediate so any particulars to watch for would be appreciated.

I think I have a good understanding of the dynamics of the situation from my research. A structural problem, I definitely don’t need!

Thanks again,


oil can
If the bottom of the tires on your car “oil can” is that merely aesthetic or does it affect performance. There’s a reason no boat is designed to do this.

Yeah, I’ve used G-flex, but I would not
trust it on any critical polyethelene modification. There’s some things that just need serious test trials, and stiffening a part of the hull that is subject to marked abuse is one of them.

psychological effect -
Right, even if you can cope with the slight slow-down effect,

you may not handle the annoying factor of oil-canning well.

I don’t miss it.

same canoe I mentioned earlier …

– Last Updated: Oct-26-09 12:20 PM EST –

...... water was 54-55 degrees today ... no oill can at all ... good thing too , needed the better responsive handling today , some cl. 3- wave trains and strong eddy lines to break thru on the way out ... we almost found a doable line back up on the opposite shore , but still had to line for a 200' stretch ... she loves this stuff now !!

On first attempt (back up) we made it half way , then lost the bow to the left (she was just a tad late with this one sweep) , so we just had to let it go with the 180 into that wave train we worked so hard to skirt (we had a very narrow line to work with back up river) .

2nd attempt we made it all the way to the planned lining section ... The river we launch into to get out to main river took a 3-1/2' rise in the previous 12 hrs. and was as I expected it to be ... could paddle all the way out to the main ... but wasn't going to be able to paddle "all" the way back in .

She amazed me this time !! It's kinda neat watchin her bob up and down in the wave trains , lol !!

All she said after we cleared it was , "my heart felt a little faint for a few minutes" ... what a gal , lol .

Part of what I'm saying here is that with an oil canning canoe , this would have been much more difficult because of performance and manuverability loss associated .

What boat is this exactly?
And what is the offered price?