oil canned lookshah!

my brand new Lookshah sport has itself a nice oil canned dent in the hull, a bit foward of the seat (also the place that the hull meets one of the cradles of my yak rack). this disturbs me, because i have only owned the kayak since late june. moreso, because this dent occurred, despite the fact that i strapped the boat down in the exact same manner that the sales person instructed me to. i was not warned about this boat oil canning, nor was i told about measures to prevent it.

is there anything to be done?

Are you sure its oil canning?
Or could it just be a dent in the plastic caused by hot plastic tensioned into steel kayak rack? Can you post a picture? Is it in the top, side or bottom?

Plastic boats
tend to do that. You should not leave them strapped down on a rack any longer than it takes to transport them, especially in hot weather.

all plastic kayaks oilcan…
given enough pressure, sun exposure, and time. Granted there are some boats which tend to do this more than others. Did the kayak stay strapped to your roof for any length of time in the sunlight? Typically, if you are stopped for a while, you should loosen the ropes/straps on plastic kayaks to prevent oilcanning. It’s not a big deal though. Just leave it out in the sun and it probably will pop right back out. If not, you can pour some hot water on the dent and try to manually pop it out.

Only thing you can do
is transpoert the kayak decks down. The Looky is known for it (very flat bottom and not the best of plastics).

Hair dryer
Poly hulls can be reshaped by gently going back and forth over the dented area with a hair dryer and pushing them back towards their origional shape. The rule of thumb I used is that when the plastic became too hot to place my hand on the plastic and hold it there at all then I am over heating it. Do a little bit at a time and you can hit it with a garden hose to cool and hold shape. I did heat both sides of the hull when I did mine, but can’t say if that is necessary. It isn’t unheard of for some plastics to slowly return to their dented shapes allthough knock on wood, I haven’t had mine do that yet after removing three dents.

thats not a bad idea…
i had another thought…

if boats like the lookshah, with really flat hulls, are prone to this kind of denting, would there be any benefits to rigging up some kind of thin metal brace to run the width the hull, along the floor and sides… my thinking is that a support like this , placed ahead of the seat area would improve the integrity of the hull

any thoughts?

The only serious oilcanning I ever saw
Was on a Necky Aramuk that was being sold from a dealers rental fleet. It wasn’t a dent that could be popped back out in the Sun. It looked exactly the ridges on the side of a 50 gallon drum - over a foot wide and a couple of inches in height. It was on the floor just in front of the front seat. There were multiple ridges, I don’t know which way you would pop.

Take it back
Take it back to the dealer and tell him what you said here. Be sure to follow it up until you are satisfied. A new kayak should not oil can unless you did something extreme to bend or dent it. The hulls of the plastic Neckys hold there shape well. Be firm until you are satisfied and if you are not spend $30.00 or so and go to small claims court. Do your research and go to court. The judges are fair and they like the “little” guy if he is prepared.

Take Care

I am working on a keel brace on my
Looksha Sport. My first attempt was merely to cut a piece of 3" Minicell to fit between the bottom of the boat (keel line) and the top. Works well enough, but, being large and tall, I am uneasy about that mini-wall collapsing on my leg during a wet exit. So I am considering a longitudinal keel brace running forward from the front of the seat, and held down by a downward strut from the top of the hull. Might need support from the sides, also. The support brace would need to be stiffish but spring, and the downward strut might need to be designed to give way.

The little Minicell wall does keep the hull in shape during car transport, although I learned quickly to transport bottom-up or on the side.

Some early poly boats

– Last Updated: Aug-17-05 8:56 PM EST –

actually did have aluminum poles running down there keel line. As they hit upon improved plastics, they moved away from this and some developed a triple layer of plastic that does create a stiffer hull, but still can dent. The Prijon boats are an extruded plastic versus a rotomolded plastic and is probably the stiffest of all the plastic hulls that I am aware of.

I see no reason why someone can't add bracing if they so choose, but one actually might be surprised how little even a serious dent in a hull actually distracts from the hull's performance under standard touring speeds. I'm sure the hard part to accept is after buying a new boat then waking up and seeing a major dent can be hard to swallow, but many of these dents do seem to happen when they are stored for any time in a rack or saddle such as being on a car all day while parked at work etc. This is particularly true if it is hot out or there is direct sun on it.

I have heard some people prefer the J-Cradles to carry their boats as the side walls of the boat are less prone to denting. I do store my poly boat on the floor of my shed or flat on the ground when it is out accept when I have to transport it and that is the only time I have it in the saddles.

Oil canning
My necky Zoar sport, developed an oilcan dent from being left over night on top of my suv. it worked it’s self out after a few weeks.

But tying it down the same way each time, also contributed to it wanting to oilcan.

So I developed a new way to tie it down.

I’ll post photos when next weekend.

I disagree with you that all plastic …
yaks oil can with time.

It depends on the manufacturer.

Some are made like tissue paper and will while others are of quality and won’t

We have two twelve year old Perception poly touring yaks, (a 17’-3" Eclipse and a 16’-9" Shadow) and they have have been on the roof of our vehicle in the hot Florida sun over and over again, and for many days at a time.

Three years ago their home was on the roof of the vehicle for four months.

I tighten them down with two double looped cinch lock buckles, and I put all my weight into tightening them down.

Neither one has “Oiled canned”.

I am kind of glad you posted since many moons ago, someone who still posts here said that both of those models were pieces of crap, and at the time I read between the lines that that person either had a yak of a different manufacturer that oil canned or worked for a different manufacturer.

So…Some do and others don’t.



I’d like to see
that Perception that doesn’t “oil can”. I’ve had a couple and they were the worst for oilcanning. the only plastic boat that I have owned that didn’t oilcan was a Prijon. They are fine boats.

Just leave it bottom up in the sun.
It will pop out.

A plastic Necky I had dented like crazy as soon as I bought it–I got those wide minicell foam supports to put under it on the car, and that stopped the denting.

I do think it’s worth going to the dealer and talking about this–not because they’re responsible, necessarily, but because if the salesperson told you to strap it down just in front of the seat, someone needs to correct that salesperson.

And definately send a note to Necky. I love their boat designs, but they are very slow to correct certain flaws (leaking bulkheads, deforming plastic), and getting feedback from customers might help them improve.

Or try fixing it …

– Last Updated: Aug-18-05 12:29 PM EST –

I know someone else with a Looksha Sport whose boat soon 'sported' such a dent, just forward of the seat bottom. He easily fixed it by setting the boat up on a couple of sawhorses, right at the bulkheads, then placing several bricks wrapped in towels inside the cockpit, right on the dent. On the ground beneath the boat he then directed a halogen work lamp at the hull bottom for several minutes, moving it around a bit to distribute the heat. I think he said the plastic got quite warm but never too hot to touch. When it looked like the dent had been removed, he switched off the light and let the whole works cool, and the dent was indeed gone. So far it has held.

As long as you don't scorch it while attempting to fix it, you should still be able to return the boat for service or replacement. If you don't feel up to the task yourself, politely but firmly request that your shop remedy the situation, especially considering that you've done everything according to their recommendations.

I don't know what kind of rack cradles you are using, but most are designed to conform to the typical round-bottomed kayak hull, whereas the Looksha has very hard chines. I've found that the Yakima LandSharks work very well with my Looksha, as they have enough inherent flex to adapt to the hard chines without placing undue pressure on the hull. As others here have suggested, loosen the tiedown straps whenever you're not actually transporting the boat.

Here's another recent thread on a similar topic:

Good Luck!

You are welcome …
…to come take a look at them any time.



Looksha quirk
That winds up being typical of the Looksha series. That area is a large unsupported flat surface that tends to get wow’s. The heat ideas are good and one that I used was leaving it in the sun where the sun will shine directly onto the deformed surface. Once you get the boat in position slide a thermarest pad or other cushioning under the flat area of the hull and place a weight on the wow. This is if it is caved in, probably. If it is bulged out place a small sandbag or other friendly weight on the bulge and again let the sun’s heat & gravity do the work.

Great boat otherwise!

See you on the water,



I purchased a new Nechy Dolphin,
a few years back ( they don’t make them anymore),

and after a few weeks of normal use, i noticed some oil can dents in the hull. I couldn’t understand because i had never had the boat out in the sun.

I soon realized that they were not oil can dents but just the the way the hull came from the factory. Kind of wavy. Didn’t effect the preformance of the boat, and i never worried about it.