removing scratches from Rotomold

Glad to say my kayak has been getting a good amount of use. I’d like to keep her clean and tidy. But I have developed quite a few scratches and scrapes (Well I AM learning!)She is an Old Town Castine rotomold plastic.

My husband, he’s the one that suggested I post this question, calls the battle scars and says there is nothing to be done for them.

I’m thinking there has to be a way to remove at least SOME of them. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any advise,


Don’t worry about them
If there is a large amount of plastic sticking out you can carryfully trim it smooth with a razor blade. Your husband is right leave it be.


– Last Updated: Aug-20-05 6:15 PM EST –

while some may be smoothed out a bit, they will keep appearing. You should see the bottom of my boat. Shallow rivers, logs and ect. have turned the green plastic almost white.

Run the yak up on a shell strewn…
rocky beach, and get a a whole bunch more to blend in with the ones you have.

Then watch all the newbies come walking over to you looking for advice since you are now an “old pro” with a lot of miles on your boat.



They’re "Beauty Marks!"
You can fix them (mostly), but why? They’re the “beauty marks” of an “experienced” boat! :slight_smile: You can CAREFULLY take a heat gun, the kind used for removing paint, and CAREFULLY run it along scratches CAREFULLY to CAREFULLY smooth them over CAREFULLY. Did I say that you have to do this CAREFULLY so as not to blister the plastic which is a very, very bad thing to do. So long as you use the heat gun CAREFULLY, you can do it, but again - why? The boat is well used and well loved, so leave the beauty marks alone!

Just Leave Them
Battle scars show that you use your boat. My canoe has seen a few thousand miles over the last few years and I can proudly say to others, “See that dent, that’s from the Bonaventure, see that nasty jagged scratch, that’s from the Sebeois River, that one there is from the St. Francis, that’s from running Grindstone or the Soucook, or the Blackwater!” It adds character to your boat!

Nothing to fret over unless it’s a hole but heck that’s what duct tape is for! :wink:


cleaning up rotomolded boats
Here’s the easy way to do this: Get a single-edged razor blade (the kind they sell in hardware stores for scraping paint). Holding it vertically on the surface of the boat pull it toward you (just like a cabinet scraper). It’s a safe, quick way to clean up all those nasty shreds of plastic that are slowing you boat down.

Unless you are Greg Barton,
scratches aren’t going to slow you down. Form, fitness, hull design, paddle, wind, current- to name a few, will determine your speed.

Hubbys right
5 seasons with a perception america taught me that.

303 will freshen up the appearence but little can be done with scratches.

River sanding…
Couple of weeks ago we took our Pungoes on a trip down 18 miles of the Battenkill from VT to NY. I realize these are not the ideal boats for that, but even worse was the fact that the water was quite low. We had to hop out frequently to drag the boats over shallow spots.

The pleasant surprise was that our kayaks came out SMOOTHER than befoe the trip!! The river rocks are mostly pretty smooth and round, and they burnished out a lot of the gouges in our hulls.

thanks for all the great advice!
I appreciate all the encouragement to ignore the scratches and scrapes and keep paddling. Only one is bad enough for the razor blade thing, but I’ll try it. The heat gun sounds good, but I don’t know if I could be that careful.

Guess if it gets really beat up, I could always get a new kayak and start again.

Thanks All!!!


Additional scratches…
…cover up the earlier ones prety well.

when the boat is wet
not a scratch shows…so get it in the water and forget about it.


what about…
that fiberglass stuff they use to fix cars?

i grew up with my father slopping that stuff all over hundreds of customer cars, and it seems to me that it is somehow similar…albeit fiberglass and not plastic.

i’m fine with leaving the scratches and gouges (the most recent from an oyster bed in shallow water); but i do wonder about just how deep they can be–or cumulatively get–before the integrity of the boat is affected.