Poly Kayaks

I spend a lot of time in barnacle laden waters and due to steep shorelines, I am seldom able to exit in the water without grounding first. I’m sure you all know what happens eventually, the bottom of my boat feels like a shark’s back.

I’ve found that by setting an old steamless iron to high, and running it over the plastic quickly, it melts those little curls back into the boat’s hull without really even heating up the inside of the hull. To fill in the small gouges, I take a block of wax, push it against the iron over the bottom of my boat and let it drip down. I then run the iron over the dripped wax which distibutes it into any little crevice and provides a very smooth finish. I probably do this 3 times a year or so. I really notice a difference some of which is probably psychological. :slight_smile:

I like the feel of a shark’s back !



2 tid bits
what you are doing is mainly cosmetic. It might help you go faster, it might fill in the gouges, but you aren’t really doing anything structurally.

Also, shark skin is ‘very fast’. Its texture is used in racing hulls because it is believed to be more efficient than smooth hulls. So potentially a shark skin texture could make your kayak more efficient.

But I am being literal.

Had never heard of that before
would that be real shark skin? Regardless, I’m sure it’s omni-directional. Is the theory behind it something along the lines of dimples on golf balls?

not the real sharkskin, just the pattern

– Last Updated: Dec-02-07 9:21 AM EST –

I believe patterning it after Mako skin (or some other fast species) was the most successful. Probably the same concept as golf balls. It has been a while since I read the article. From memory the concept was that slick hulls don't 'release' water as well as the 'shark skin' hulls.

I will try to find the article.


I didn't find the article I first read. After a quick search it looks like the skin does provide some efficiency increase. BUT, the real benefit is its prevention of barnacle and algal growth on hulls. http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001429.html

So it probably won't do much good unless you leave your kayak in the water all the time.

scarred bottom on poly yak
Anyone esle have other methods, other than the hot iron to smoothe out the bottom of a yak?

I fish in salt water marshes with lots of oyster shells. I glide onto them sometimes with out realizing it before I can stop. Then, sometimes the tide and wind will make me move futher on them.

Most just ignore the scrapes.