"Out of Balance" Repair????

Okay, this is a very nit-picky question so don’t flame me for it…

I have a Valley Aquanaut that was a demo boat. It was severely worn along the keel at the bow and eventually wore through all the way. I have it repaired and now it is fine, except the repair added A LOT of weight to the bow.

The boat is now very bow-heavy. You can immediately notice this when shoulder carrying the boat.

I am wondering how this will affect the boat’s handling and wondering if it might not be a bad idea to add some weight to the stern to even it out (despite the fact that I don’t really want to make a heavy boat heavier).

This summer I surfed the boat in big waves (something I had not done with the boat before the repair so I don’t have a basis of comparison). I noticed that the boat had a bad tendency to burry the bow when surfing down steep waves. Caused me to endo once as a result. After that I learned to lean way back to prevent this from happening…had to lean all the way back on the back deck to prevent it–something I don’t have to do with my Avocet at all.

Do you think this is a result of the heavy bow? Do you think I should even out the weight, or am I being too picky?



What kind of repair? Hard to imagine
a repair that would change the balance of a boat so much. Did they just stuff 10 pounds of vinyl mastic inside?

what did you repair it with?

a decent repair and keel strip should add little weight.

btw- didn’t the stern need repair too? I see sterns wearing thru waaaayyyy before bows.


Only the bow was repaired. For whatever reason it was worn all the way through to where water actually leaked in significantly.

It was about a 12-16 inch portion of the keel that was repaired. I did not do it myself, but the guy who did added a lot of what I assume is fiberglass resin (sorry but I am no expert on repairs) to the inside of the boat. He made it bombproof…he added a lot.

Yes, it actually is enough to make it significantly heavier and noticeably bow-heavy. If you put it on your shoulder to do a shoulder carry it will tip towards the ground. I would say he added maybe 5 pounds to the bow, and since it is all the way at the forward end of the boat it is enough to throw off the boat’s balance.


5 pounds !!!
i’d just add 5 pounds in the stern and be done with it.

Repair weight is not going to pearl
I dont think the addition of extra weight from a repair is enough to make a long boat want to pearl; the buoyant force from the volume of the boat is huge compaired to the force due to gravity of a few pounds of material. Its a combination of the boat hull shape, the wave shape, speed and height and the paddlers skill.

‘That’ guy again … “bombproof” =
overkill, just slam it in there to him …

Take one pound and put it at the end of the boat and what do you get ? Multiply X distance from CB …

Yes, effecting gyroscopic bow performace … now hows that for a pea under the mattress? : 0

I would say
if you haven’t measured the before/after weight where did the 5lbs number come from?

a pound could change the balance point when carrying, so could shifting your hands 1/4".

A structural repair wouldn’t hare required more than 8oz of material if that.

The bow burying anecdote isn’t valid without a previous comparison

Two Different Boats

– Last Updated: Nov-20-06 5:25 AM EST –

the Aquanaut and the Avocet. The latter is slightly shorter, more rockered and thus handles better on waves. Apple to orange. I don't think the pearling has anything to do with a bit of extra weight in front.

I have a waveski I've been surfing for most of the year. Smashed the nose three times and with the repairs has become at least couple of pounds (if not more) heavier upfront. The ski still takes off on a steep wave without pearling, compared to my brand new ski which is 3-5 lbs lighter. Though both ski is about the same length (7'8"vs 7'9"), tthe latter does pearl if I'm not careful. Why? Because it's designed with a flatter rocker for speed and the nose doesn't turn up as high. Though much lighter it will pearl because it is designed for more speed over maneuverability.


I agree with nearly everyone’s comments. I realize that the two boats are quite different so it is not a fair comparison, and I realize I have not previous data on the boat to compare it to…so I can’t really draw any valid conclusions–only can make guesses.

How much weight is added to the stern and how do I know…strictly a guess. I can tell you though that it is quite heavy. Maybe I overestimated…I don’t know. I can tell you though that the overall weight of the boat is HEAVY. I will have to weigh it. I recently took to a much more qualified boat repairman (Mike Robinson who does repairs for Sea Kayak Georgia). He is a true professional and he was quite taken back by the weight of the bow and the overall weight of my boat compared to other Aquanauts he has worked on. Again, no measured weight, just an opinion.

Adding weight to the stern is what I am considering and why I ask my question. I just am not really crazy about adding weight to a boat that is already a monster. I probably will do it though.

I agree with Sing’s comments about the design of the Aquanaut and probably the pearling is mostly due to its relative lack of rocker, I just wonder if the heavier bow is contributing to it at all and perhaps making the situation worse by making the bow slightly less boyant.


not by me
I found the hull form of the boat quite well behaved. while it is a fairly straight tracker I had NO problems surfing 3’ windwaves/ 25 knots w/o ‘pearling’ or broaching.

too much weight in the end!


try the weight in the stern
I bet you won’t notice the difference unless you are a very light person in the kayak. five pounds of resin would be about a couple quarts. The person doing the repair would have to be insane to do that, it would heat up a LOT while curing. A pound of resin would be obvious, leaving a level area a couple inches wide that you could see.

Sure shifting weight will affect handling but it’s the shape of the hull that determines where the mid point of the bell curve is located, for whatever scale. I think you’re probably getting used to a fundamentally different hull. Have you carried different Aquanauts to compare that bow heaviness?

Non-permenant weigth
How about adding a couple of water jug in the stern compartment as a comparison?

The Aquanaut has a pretty stiff bow as designed. I find the boat pretty well behaved for the surfing I’ve done with it, though I like it best weighted a bit stern heavy. I’m sure with any additional weight in the bow, the boat ceases to be fun in surf.

I did once paddle my Aquanaut loaded slightly bow heavy in following seas and it was a real PITA!

I’ve carried Platypus bottles in day hatch or rear compartment for adjusting trim. I also now nearly always use float bags to be certain things don’t move around in the compartments.

You MUST be mistaken
To add 5# over a 16" section, the repair material would have to be several inches thick. It would take roughly 1/2 GALLON of repair material to add that much weight. I find it very hard to believe that anyone would use that much for a minor repair.

NEVER let that idiot work on your kayak again! That type of Mickey Mouse repair is common with larger craft, but that’s not the way to repair a kayak. If you want to see how it’s supposed to be done, check out my pics at:


As for the handling of the boat, even one pound that far forward will make a difference, but what you should notice is that the boat weathercocks badly. It’s high unlikely that it would have any noticeable effect on perling, since that’s more a function of buoyancy at the bow than of trim. Most long boats will perl under the right conditions. Leaning back as you do is standard practice to try to counteract perling

If the boat does not weathercock more than before, the repair had no effect on the trim. If it does weathercock, adding weight to the stern is the simplest solution to restoring the balance of the boat.