Oil Canned Kayak

What are some ways to fix an oil canned kayak? Thanks.

We may need a little more detail.
A kayak that has merely been pooched in a bit by being tied down with the hull against the crossbar can be fixed by blocking the depressed area back into position and putting it in the sun.

A kayak that has been boofed over rocks, or seal-launched repeatedly, so that the plastic under the seat is stretched and wavy, probably can’t be corrected. The plastic may be permanently stretched.

Oil Canned Kayak
It’s in the first category of just pootched a little from being on the rack. How do I block it, and with the cold weather, there isn’t much heat or sun right now. Would a blow dryer held a ways off work?

You can lay some towels on the dent
and pour hot water on them to heat it gently. A blow dryer would probably work but don’t try a heat gun or torch (don’t ask how I know this}.

Good Luck


Blocking the dent may take some improvi-
zation. I have tons of ethafoam and minicell, so when my Necky got a rack dent, I cut a short “wall” to fit between the bottom on the boat and the top. If your dent is back under the cockpit opening, you may have to rig a crossbar across the inside of the cockpit and put something under that to push the bottom down.

Once the bottom is down, you could invert the boat and see if an electric hotpad will cover the dent area sufficiently. Hot wet towels covered by something to keep the heat in for a little while might work. I have an infrared heat lamp, but I would hesitate to use it for fear it would heat a small area too much, and the surrounding area too little.

You don’t want the wedge or block to push TOO hard, just enough to get the plastic back in its original position. The heat needn’t be worse than your favorite shower temperature either, just enough to help the plastic “remember” its original shape.

If you can make a foam wall, you may be able to use it to support the hull when you put the boat on the rack. Better, however, to mount the boat inverted or on its side.

Yes- Hot Water & Towel
Yes, Randy

That worked well for me, in my Necky Looksha Sport. The plastic heated thru in a couple of minutes, then I used the teapot I heated the water in to push down to pop out the dent. It held reasonable well; though tended to come back on hot days on the roof rack. Final solution - a fiberglass boat!


Bag of sand on inner of boat. Apply heat uder it on outside. Let sit over night.Only with rotomold. Repeat. Don’t tie it so tight to auto ,just snug. If under seat. Its there for life.

Another Solution

Some good suggestions, but I gotta disagree with the conclusion that if it’s under the seat, nothing can be done.

Before you get too elaborate with the repair approach, try this (it’s often all that is needed) Get one of those bell shaped drop lights. The bulb is recessed in the cone area. Just set the light directly on the dent. Keep a close eye on it, periodically lifting it, and checking to make sure the plastic isn’t getting too hot. sometimes, this alone will pop the dent out. If it’s real stubborn, then go to the combination of Pressure AND heat.

One of the approaches that I taken for an “under seat” dent, is to heat the dent with a blow-dryer and at the same time, slide a stick or rod of some type, under the seat and pry as the plastic heats. This works pretty well. You can also remove the seat, set a 5lb weight on top of the indentation (the boat is on sawhorses) and pour on boiling water. This method avoids the risk of “burn-through”.

Good luck,


oil caning
heat packs,hot water.incandescent lights,hair dryers,etc all work to varying degrees.If the dent is concave,or a depression,try an inflatable ball—beach,soccor,basketball—let the air out and inflate it below or above the depression-carefully of course,then apply whatever heat method you are comfortable with.

The reason under-the-seat dents may be
hard to fix is that they are created by repeated longitudinal stretching of the plastic when the paddler and boat grind over rocks, slide off edges in seal entries, etc. Once the plastic gets stretched in this way, it is very hard to get it to return to form. Much harder than a simple pressure dent created by putting an unsupported area against a roof rack bar. Such under-seat waves are common in plastic whitewater kayaks, and I have never seen one fully rectified if it got so far as to present a double wave form.