Painting rotomolded plastic

Anyone done this? I would imagine some sanding would need to take place beforehand so that the paint adheres, but that’s about as far as my imagination takes me :).

To explain: I’m interested in a particular model SOT kayak for fishing and hunting, but it only comes in two screamingly-loud, day-glo, radioactive colors. If I were a 12-year-old girl in 1985, these colors would be fine, but alas…

I currently have a message in with the company to see if they’ll offer it in a custom color (which is actually the same color that they offer other boats in, so it’s not as if they have to reinvent the wheel), but I’m trying to prepare for a negative response.


what happened to
the idea of blaze orange?

Is not that the color used to be seen so you guys don’t shoot each other?

when did you turn 13, young lady?
I’m sorry. It was irresistable.

I think it’s pretty tough to paint poly permanently (OR Polly, for that matter). Have you considered adding some adhesive trim, like reflective tape, or airplane model tape?

we’re not ALL like queensland residents!

this may help…

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 7:50 PM EST –

or do a google search on "painting polyprolene"

Exactly which brand and model SOT are you looking at?

Thanks for the replies
I’m looking at either an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two or a Zest.

I actually just turned 13, packed up my barbies, and am no longer interested in those girly colors…

Blaze orange is more for deer hunting, when there are so many hunters in the woods that they’re tripping over each other (and shooting each other), and deer can’t see worth a darn, anyway. I’m looking more at waterfowling. Ducks CAN see pretty well, but as a game warden, I’m more concerned about hunting people, anyway :). Camo would be nice, but is not absolutely necessary. I just don’t want a popsicle that people can see coming from the next continent.

Look at other models/companies
Nothing that special about the two you mentioned, besides lack of colors you want.

Many others with sportsman friendly colors available.

The idea of bright colors on a kayak is so that other boaters can SEE YOU. I thought about getting a green kayak that was set up for fishing (I fish from my kayak) but got the red one I have so that I can be more visible as I kayak on bays that have lots of powerboats.

you could buy a sit in, more color choices…

Paint just the top
Hull rubs against pretty much anything, usually is hidden from everybody by water.

If you paint just above the water, you might have fewer problems in the long run. Additionally, the somewhat intrusive surface prep will not affect “handling” properties of your boat.

Kylon Fusion
Try that, it’s made for plastic. They have some muted colors, you can do d DIY camo job.

Thanks again all
The reason I was looking at those particular boats was because of the combination of tracking, speed, stability, and gear-hauling capabilities, with speed AND gear-hauling being near the top of the list. Most kayak-type duckboats or “poke” boats that are aimed at sportsmen are essentially barges, which I don’t want.

I understand the intent behind the bright colors. But not only do I not want a bright color for the other reasons I’ve mentioned, but I’ve also been unfortunate enough to be on the SAR end of a search for small boats, both from a vessel and from the air, and in my opinion, being able to spot a kayaker has a lot more to do with distance, weather, profile (above the water line), movement/activity, any radar reflection or lights carried, and sea state than it does with just the boat’s color. I think that’s more to make the paddler feel good than anything else. I’ve been paddling green and camo canoes and other dark-hulled craft all my life, plus my personal kayak is black, and I’ve never had a problem. YMMV.

Yeah, I might just try some paint on the top, maybe some of the peel-and-stick camo tape that they use on vehicles. Who knows.

Thanks again.

I wouldn’t recommend it

– Last Updated: Jun-19-09 12:15 PM EST –

just sanding it to prep the surface won't cut it. You're probably going to have to put a primer coat on, then your color coat. That's two coats, adding extra weight, possibly drag if you paint the bottom of the hull, and becoming a recurring maintenance issue -once you've painted something, you are going to have to periodically repaint it as it flakes and scratches.

Why not instead just buy a yak in a color that will work for you? For instance, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 comes in all sorts of colors, including tan and camoflage. I've paddled it and a Malibu 2, and the Tarpon is longer (so faster) than the Malibu 2, and comparable, if not better tracking.

I will check out the Tarpon. Also got a current Ocean Kayak brochure today and it looks like they now have a camo option.

Thanks again.