Old fiberglass

I recently aquired a “Natural Design” Outrage IA. It is an older fiberglass kayak, but seems to be structural sound and dry. The finish on the fiberglass could use a liitle help. Is that some sort of lacquer that I need to put on before a good coat of wax? I also have 2 Hurricaneaquasports that I really like. The older one is now a project.

What kind of “help”?

– Last Updated: Mar-11-04 12:24 AM EST –

If it's just oxidized, you may be able to restore it by buffing it out. If it's gouged up, you'll want to fill and sand the surface before painting it.

Old fiberglass paint
Paint maybe the answer I was looking for. I have cleaned and done light sanding. There are no big scratches or surface problems. Any paint recommendations?

Interlux marine paint.
Make sure you spend the x-tra monies on marine paint. Any brand should do but look for one you can brush on not spray for do-it-yourself.

Interlux Brightsides…
…is often recommended as a paint that brushes well. Read up on the “roll and tip” method of painting. I believe there’s some info on it on CLC’s site. www.clcboats.com

Also check Interlux’s site for instructions.

Background on Natural Designs
I don’t have any advice on refinishing your Outrage, but I do know the history of Natural Designs kayaks.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Natural Designs kayaks were designed and built in Seattle by Dan Ruuska. At the time, local paddlers considered them one of the best whitewater kayaks available. Workmanship and attention to detail was excellent. Boats were built to order, and the customer would go to the builder’s shop for custom outfitting before the boat was delivered.

Natural Designs boats did not use gelcoat; instead, the color was added to the resin. Translucent green, blue, yellow or red were the most common colors.

As I recall, models included the Outrage I (medium volume, small cockpit), the Outrage IA (medium volume, larger cockpit), the Outrage II (high volume), the Outrage VI (low volume), and the Outrage IV (C-1). There was also a sea kayak whose name I don’t recall.

My husband and I owned several Outrage kayaks in the past. In Seattle you’ll still occasionally see one on a river. Many have been retired to family use at lakefront cabins.

Hope you enjoy your Outrage. It should last for many more years.

Suggest not painting the boat.
One reason is that you do not know what resin was used. With some older boats where polyester resin was used, if moisture gets into the layup and cannot escape, hydrolysis may occur. This is a slow chemical reaction where gases are produced, causing blistering in the laminate. If you put marine paint over the layup, it may tend to trap moisture rather than letting it escape.

I’m also doubtful that all that work to paint the boat would be worthwhile. If you want to know more about hydrolysis, you can visit the technical pages at West/gougeon brothers. They also describe how to roll epoxy resin onto the surface of old boats. I have done that twice, but only to boats I KNEW were not subject to hydrolysis. Epoxy and vinylester boats are not subject to hydrolysis. The builder of your boat may well have been using vinylester, in which case you are in the clear.

There is a poly coat you can use
It’s called Poliglow. It returns the shine quite well. Here is the web site.


I use this stuff on my sailboat–it works as advertised.