Pelican kayak hull wear

From multiple beachings, I see hull wear on a couple of my kayaks. It looks like these kayaks have a 1mm white outer coating and (from the scrapes), underneath the white layer, there is pink plastic. (see pic)
I’ve read Pelican kayaks have a “UV-resistant outer layer allows it to tolerate outdoor storage”
I assume the kayaks are rotomolded pink and the white is the UV-resistant layer?
If so, hull wear that exposes the pink layer should not compromise the floatability of the boat? It’s just the UV-resistance layer that was scraped off?
Also, the front and rear spine of the kayak I assume is significantly thicker than the side walls - anybody know how think the plastic is at thee scrape points? Guessing 1cm?
Thanks in advance

While your kayak is fine right now, it is always recommended not to drag kayaks unless absolutely necessary. Find a way to move the kayak that doesn’t involve dragging it more than a very short distance (carts are the most common method if you can’t carry the boat yourself).

I’ve never seen any plastic kayak with a skin thickness even close to 1 cm. Most are much less than that, and I’ve seen many worn completely through at the stern from being dragged repeatedly.

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Thanks for info.
I never drag boats, all the damage from previous owners. I always float the boat, then get in.
I agree 1cm is not all over the boat, but I think at the front and back of the spine, it’s a possibility.
Good to hear the boat is fine (as I suspected).

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Indeed, plastic boats are tough but not indestructible.

I purchased a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 175 rotomolded in 2017.

Because it was plastic, I was quite cavalier about handling it and dragging it.

Unfortunately, the keel section near the rudder has worn off, and a hole/leak appeared last year.

I noticed it after a 3 hour paddle, finding significant water in the rear hatch.

Interesting to see that newer model WS Tsunami kayaks come with a keel skid, a block of sacrificial material mounted by two bolts near the stern/rudder, to address this very issue.

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Put some Gorilla duct tape at the heavy wear points on the hull. This will indicate how much damage wear you’re contributing. Replace the tape yearly.

Pelicans use multilayer uniform plastic sheets to form the deck and hull. Corners on the hull are the thinnest areas due to thermo forming process

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My first kayak was a well-used (abused) WS Pungo we bought from the local university’s Outdoor Adventure program when they sold them off after a few seasons. It had fiberglass patches on both ends, because, well, college students :roll_eyes:. It had probably been dragged more than it was floated. The patches were not bonded well and peeling, plus looked crappy. My husband got a plastic welding kit off Amazon and fixed it correctly. Looked and worked much better. Your boat isn’t nearly to that point, but just know it can be fixed if it ever comes to that.

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Pelican is a thermoformed kayak, similar to the Hurricane talked about in the post with the subject " Cracked Coaming Santee 116". This image from that post gives you a feel for how thick/thin the plastic is:

How they wear and are repaired is different than rotomolded plastic, which you should keep in mind. Rotomolded kayaks are more common and some of the responses you have already received on this thread are referring to them.


I would like to have y’all know, that is my boat y’all are talking about, ya’ll opening up old wounds.

newer model WS Tsunami kayaks come with a keel skid, a block of sacrificial material mounted by two bolts near the stern/rudder, to address this very issue.

never seen that before but great idea. That could extend the lifespan of a lot of boats.

Seaward kayaks do the same a piece of replaceable delrin

I’m curious, does anyone know if thermoformed hulls can be patched with a heat gun and polyethylene like rotomolded hulls can be? (I’m not recommending it for the OP’s Pelican, because its damage doesn’t look worrisome to me)

I bought a sit-on-top rotomolded fishing kayak really cheap because it leaked and it was getting worse. It had been seriously dragged, probably across concrete. I patched several drilled holes from old accessories and I found a hole at the tail end where the fixed skeg was just barely worn through. I filled the hole and built up the skeg’s surface with polyethylene from an old recycling bin.

I think you need to use the same type of plastic. Thermoformed boats are ABS. Rotomolded boats are polyethylene. So I don’t think it would work great to patch ABS with PE.

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Many thermoformed boats are comprised of sheets of ABS plastic. polyethylene, and polypropylene bonded together with heat and pressure. Rather than guess, I’d just call Pelican and ask them what they recommend. Plastic boats can be tricky to repair, although your damage seems relatively minor.


People that drag boats should be keelhauled to see what it feels like.


WHY are you beaching your bow? I soooo many times have seen this with novices, or a “helpful” person on shore. On a canoe you can put on a kevlar skid plate ( for rock bumps) but I have no experience doing so on a plastic kayak hull. You could look into it. Any kind of kayaking is a wet sport, especially wet feet, Get used to it, and wear closed toe shoes, not open sandles.

There are some Youtube videos on using kydex for keel guard. I have been using Gorilla tape. You can buy kydex on Amazon. have some large sheets kydex that was used for shipping protection that I will try when we get moved and I have my tools back.

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I’m curious, does anyone know if thermoformed hulls can be patched with a heat gun and polyethylene like rotomolded hulls can be?

No. A thermoformed ABS hull (Hurricane, Delta, and Eddyline) is a completely different material from polyethylene. Cracks in ABS hulls can be repaired by using semiflexible epoxy like G-flex and fiberglass tape, or a product like Gator Patch, which uses UV light to cure.

If poly boat cracks or gets a hole punched in it, you can still use G-flex to repair, as long as the surface has been prep’d (torched to polarize the material), though one has to have a very light touch with the heat, since it doesn’t take much for the boat material to start melting like an ice cube.


So I drag my boats a lot! If I didn’t do that I wouldn’t get to experience a lot of neat places. I’ve had boats wear out on the end from hitting too many rocks. I’ve had boats crack out around the seat bolts or cockpit rim because it is a stress point but all of this on really old boats (diesel, mirage) but mostly I just wear them out directly under the seat. I’ve never had a boat wear out at the “drag spot”. I mostly use poly ww boats. I don’t worry about oil canning either. I realize I boat differently than many, lots of shallow rivers with rocks. The truth is, I like just a bit of water to go with my rocks. When I owned kevlar and glass boats I didn’t drag them. Never had a thermoform or carbon fiber boat. I might treat them differently as well. I like boats that are “Tony proof”. I switched from pyranha because their soft black foam under the seat traps small rocks and I end up wearing out the boats from the inside out when I run over rocks. You can’t just hose out the rocks. How do I get rocks in my boats? From frequent portaging and dragging and sticking to the bottom of camping gear. I wish I was a better plastic welder but fortunately have a friend who is good at it. New River Dries pictured below at 4.3 feet on the usgs cottonhill gauge.

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In another forum we have been talking about kydex some on canoes. The material heat forms rather nice and looks like it is pretty tough. It is not that expensive.

The big question is what method and material to use to glue or stick it to the hull?

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I see people us double stick tape and seal edges with silicone.


I read that at the other site as well but no one could recommend a brand of tape. I have used 3M where the tape has a layer of “silicone” in the middle and it seems to hold on well and conform to both surfaces.

Any suggestion on tapes?