Removing scratches from Rotomolded plast

I have a couple plastic rec kayaks which are beginning to show quite a bit of wear on the bottom. Most of the scratches are superficial and not too deep and while these don’t have much affect on performance on the water, I would like to try and buff them out. Again this is mostly for cosmetic reasons but does anyone have a recommendation on what to use to accomplish this? I greatly appreciate the wealth of good information posted here. Just want to restore some of the luster if that is possible. Thanks for your imput.

It’s a waste of time
This topic comes up here regularly and a quick search will turn up more info than you could possibly need.

The bottom line is that plastic boats scratch easily and whatever time you spend trying to make them look pretty again is a waste, as they will get scratched again in short order. If cosmetics is important to you, buy a thermomolded or composite boat.

Burnich the scratches with granite
The best granite to use for burnishing the scratches in in the bottom of rivers. Of course you mey encounter some sharper peices of granite which will give you new scratches so you’ll have to paddle even more!

You’ll want to hit the rockes with the smoothest surfaces. You have a lot of fun and each day your boat will become more beautiful in your own eyes.

War wounds
I wouldn’t pay much attention to cosmetic scratches. I imagine though if I were looking to sell a used boat I would try my best to clean it up. It amazes me how many people try to sell things without spending a few minutes to wash it first. Those are the people I like to buy from because they usually are too lazy to haggle on price and just want to unload it. I bought my daughter a 2 month old boat for less than half the price of a new one because a rudder cable had come undone. It cost me less than a dollar and ten minutes of my time to repair.

Sell old and scratched, buy new :wink:

Yep, same old same old
Forget about it. Unless you are leaking. Just don’t look at those nasty scratches. Like you said, they are not making a difference in the water. It’s over, just let it go. Breath deeply. Paddle more, worry less. This is the joy of plastic.

If it really bothers you. Go out and turn your boat upside down in the sun. Get a lawn chair and set it up within close view. Get a beer or some wine. Really look at those scratches. Get fully in touch with your feelings. If it frustrates you, just let it happen. Really feel it. If you must cry, then cry. Remember how you got them. Don’t hold back. Remember the day it was shiney and new. Touch them if you must. Let those scratches in and really feel the hurt. It’s OK, everybody cries. You must come to terms with this. Go ahead, blow your nose. Keep drinking. Let it all out. You cannot hold onto this forever. It will eat at you if you do not properly grieve. It may take several evenings. But eventually, the pain will become less and less. And when you look at your boat, even though it does not look new, you will smile and remember that day fondly. And accept your boat for what it is now, a work or beauty that can only come from joyful days of experience. Go ahead, have another beer. It will be OK.

1 Like

zenrider - laugh out loud funny.
Nice job.

Don’t bother
Scratches are the price you pay for having fun. If you are obsessing about them, you should be putting the hull in water so you can’t see them more often. All my boats have demolished bottoms, even though I care for them well. It happens. You will get scratches. It sucks to damage them, but they are just things. They wear out, you buy new ones, you are happy for the memories.

I’m just here to help…

220 grit sandpaper. Gouges: heated spoon

Scratchs are
a right of passage. Leave them be. Triple 0 steel wool does nice job of shining but why bother?

I now have a fresh outlook on scratches
It wasn’t a great day or drinking bear and getting in touch with my inner scratches, but I know I can do it. I know I can look upon my tons of scrathes and dings, and gouges as “accomplishments”.

Yes, I can identify the five foot wide cypress stump In Sparkleberry submerged without mercy just a couple of inches below the water that I got stuck on. I should have just meditated but no, I rock and wraggeled and hemmed and hawed (and scratched) off the stump. Or the sand that I got thrown into and slid across at Folly on my first surf landing (well landing is a stretch).

I feel so much better now.

Bill G.

Mt. Pleasant, SC

WS Tempest 170 (Special thanks to Steve Scherrer and Confluence Watersports).

Dagger Alchemy Sm. courtesy of Subaru of America (my new play in the surf boat)

Paddling Hat courtesy of ACA

Epic Paddle (Special thanks to Brian H. at Epic Kayaks and Michele P.)

Epic 16x (Special thanks to Brian H. at Epic Kayaks and Michele P.)

Suspenz Kayak-Canoe Storage Racks (Gentle, easy storage for the products above)