Plastic Hull Repair

So I got a deep scratch and did the torch and metal paint scraper repair thing. So I am looking down the hull and wondering if I just warped the hull somehow. Anyway to tell besides going out and seeing if it tracks in circles?

And for future referance, what do you all do in this case? Heat gun? Let it set out in the sun? Kick it hard?

Thanks for the help

You’re obsessing over nothing
Repair scratched in plastic boats is a waste of time, since the soft material is just going to get scratched again when you paddle it. It serves no useful purpose unless the damage is so deep that it threatens the structural integrity of the boat. No plastic boat is going to be perfectly straight or even. My advice is to spend more time paddling and less time worrying about what your boat looks like.

…I did not ask how to repair scratches. I see in archives that has been beaten to death. My question was how to true a warped/overheated hull.

I do not care what my hull looks like. I do care about learning how to shape the hull back inot place if ever it were to occur.

Anyone here have any meaningful response?

gee limeyak…
…you kinda sound like you’re gonna kick some butt if we don’t answer your question correctly.

I’m thinking taking a torch to a plastic boat may not have been a very good idea, & if you did disfigure it (as opposed to this happening "down the road) I would say getting the torch back out would have a better than 50% chance of making it worse. You could try an industrial heat gun & use some wood formed to the correct shape applied to the inside (maybe braced in place).

Please post a picture, so our experts,
and others, can realistically assess the situation.

heat and plastic
as someone who has modified and repaired a few whitewater boats this is my experience:

You can repair a cracked/broken boat by shaving plastic off the cockpit combing or cut some out of an old broken “parts” boat, and patch the crack by heating it with a torch and melting it together and pushing it in with a knife. just be careful not to overheat the boat and make the hole bigger.

To change the shape of a boat, you can carefully “wave” the boat over a fire until it is slightly tacky, then apply force with a board to change the shape in a desired “crushed” form. cool with water.

Now as to your question, to get a boat back to its original shape, you use the boat’s “memory” by gently heating it. You can do this with a heat gun (careful), set it in the sun (preferred) or if that doesn’t work pour boiling water into the boat. I’ve popped out crushed bows after very powerful pitons that crushed the bow in 6-8 inches with this method and it looks just like it used to with just slight deformation.

That said, if the deformation on your boat is slight, ignore it and just paddle.

all the boats I’ve repaired or modified, I used an old time soldering iron and either pieces of the boat (I once cut 2 1/2 feet out of the center of a 3 meter downriver plastic klepper, cut the cockpit out, then cut 2 1/2 feet out of the center, then welded the two ends together …cut out a hole for the cockpit and then re welded the cockpit rim etc back in) all with a old time soldering iron. It works much better than a torch for me / alot more surgicle. just weld …the other thing that works is the repair sticks tha Prijon sells and if none of that is availiable, I use roll up slickum sleds. cut into small strips and used like you would use filler rod when torch welding. Put several old timey down river plastic boats together(AQ Noah , Prions , kleppers , white brothers etc) using this technique…back in the day we used to bust them up quite a bit…patch them and keep paddling them…I still have the boat I made by cutting it in half and taking 2 1/2 feet out…it’s alot like a polo boat…I put others back together after breaking them into 3 pieces on the river…takes lots of effort to bring out all the pieces…I don’t creek anymore…younger mans sport

I know that you didn’t want to know how to repair boats, but I thought that someone else on the forum might, please have some patience with me for their sake

Best Wishes


Laying out in the sun, that’s a good idea and something that can be done in the field.

Like I said before, I don’t know if the hull is deformed, just wanted some tips from the regulars here so I know what to do when I am out and about (and away from the computer)

I tried searching and came up with just scratch repairs…

Thanks again

Q: Did you look to see if it was warped

– Last Updated: Jan-24-06 2:50 AM EST –

before you made the repair ? Assuming the place you are talking about is in the area you worked on here.

Q: based on :

"So I am looking down the hull and wondering if I just warped the hull somehow. "

Cool I would like to watch you do that

just like watching anybody weld. use the soldering iron tip to melt in the crack so that the base material is melted, then use a thin strip of plastic as a filler…(don’t use icecream pale lids etc, they don’t hold up) , just like you would use a rod when torch welding. use the tip of the soldering iron, can use a soldering gun too , but your finger gets tired holding the trigger down (need the double stage gun for enough heat)the soldering iron doesn’t affect huge areas as a torch does. no warpage. it’s kinda in the realm of TIG welding in that way…

best wishes


you can use this method on any weldable plastic by the way…I’ve used it to repair lots of other stuff

make sure to clean all the solder from the tip first

Plastic welding

– Last Updated: Jan-25-06 12:18 PM EST –

Chattanooga Tennessee

here is

– Last Updated: Jan-25-06 2:08 PM EST –

a couple of pictures of the boat I shortened almost 20 years ago...payed $10.00 for the boat from a rental fleet , it used to be a 3 meter boat, made by Klepper