I am thinking about purchasing this kayak if the price is right. http://flic.kr/p/jdnfLk As you can see from the photo it has a little damage in the stern from where it looks like it was dropped and the rudder bracket busted out of the side. I have a little bit of fiberglass experience, but never with anything that would need to be able to withstand some force from the rudder bracket. How hard would it be to fix this damage? Approximately how much would a professional repair cost? I am not really that concerned about perfectly matching gelcoat, mainly just fixed right from a strength standpoint.
My first inclination would be take the rudder off and use epoxy and glasscloth to repair the damage from the outside; then I’d try paddling without it. If that went well, problem solved.
If the rudder has to stay, the biggest challenge will be getting at the inside of the stern to repair and reinforce the damaged areas, and then reinstall the rudder - that’s a long reach back there. Maybe tape up the outside, stand the kayak on end, do an end pour of epoxy, redrill the bolt holes from outside, then find a way to hold a nut and lock washer in place inside while you tighten the bolt…be a fun project! Think multiple socket extensions, and a friend with long, long arms…
Might need to see more pictures
showing details of damage to see if a repair could be done from outside.
I’ve done inside repair with pre-wet glass on a broomstick, but it isn’t a precise process.
An outside approach would mean repairing the damage and then building up a pedestal on the back edge of the hull to which the rudder could be mounted. I have the same foot control system, but not the rudder and bracket, so I don’t know how the bracket needs to sit.
I have the same boat
and had similar damage when it blew off the racks while I was loading it, and repaired it myself from the outside.
I used the epoxy stick that you squeeze to mix.
On mine the bottom bolt area was ok, and on the top I coated the bolt with vasoline and screwed it in while the the epoxy was still soft. Then when it was almost hardened I screwed it in and out a few times.
I held my breath when it was all done, but it held just fine for several years until I traded it in for another one.
If I were to do it again, I would use West System two part epoxy with a filler and make a putty consistency out of it.
If the boat is for less than grand, I would probably buy it.
That repair is impossible from the inside, unless you have a trained midget snake that you can send in there.
It looks cosmetic
Boating stores sell a product called "Marine Tex" which is a thickened epoxy and it's available in white or grey. For a non experienced person, I would use that. That damage looks cosmetic and probably not through the hull but only close inspection will tell. Even if it is a crack into the hull, you could pry open the crack, put it epoxy filler let that harden, then grind it flush and fill the outside. It's at an extremely strong point in the boat and really gets no stress like the sides next to the cockpit.
Forget professional repair - it will be a lot like $200+ It's the time not the actual work.
Thanks for the responses. I now feel more confident that it could be fixed fairly easily. I have a 700x and looked at it last night. It has a solid mass in the stern that looks like it strengthens the area where the bracket attaches. It is gives the bracket screws something to attach to beside the fiberglass.
The kayak is located a few hours away so I wanted to know if a repair was doable before making a commitment of even going to see it. I have done some kayak work with wrenches attached to broom sticks so I know how frustrating working in the stern and bow can be. The funny thing is is that the seller described the kayak as in mint condition with no damage at all. He pulled the listing after I asked about the hole. He stated that he hadn’t paddled it in over a year and didn’t know it was there. Paddling in anything but the most benign conditions would have lead to a surprising discovery fairly quickly.
If you find you have a need to do the repair partially from the interior it may be possible to do so. I have used an epoxy dispenser made from a furring strip with a dental syringe attached. Dental syringes have drawn-out tips and are readily available from places like Jamestown Distributors. The syringe can be attached to the furring stick with stout rubber bands.
The furring stick needs to be just long enough to reach the back stem of the boat but not so long that you can’t get your head inside the rear hatch opening to see. In order to depress the syringe plunger put 3 or 4 eye screws into the furring stick along the side the syringe is attached to, and run a length of dowel through the eye screws lined up with the syringe plunger. Fill the syringe with mixed epoxy, mount it on the furring stick and wiggle it in through the rear hatch opening.
It is extremely awkward and you will probably need some a head light or some other light source to see what you are doing. I have found it sometimes possible to epoxy in small pieces of fiberglass cloth by first applying a layer of epoxy and then positioning the cloth over it followed by more epoxy. Repairs done this way won’t be pretty, but no one will see it.
Good feedback, people. Maybe
it’s best not to do too good a repair. I’d rather have the assembly break off without damaging the hull enough to cause a leak. If it got torn off during a paddle, it could be recovered by the control cables and kept on the deck for later repair.
Did you buy it?
Is the rudder actually loose? It honestly looks like someone bumped the rudder into something and it flexed the fiberglass enough to pop a chunk of gelcoat off. It may look worse than it actually is.
Didn’t Buy the Boat
I wound up not buying the kayak. The seller stated that it was just the gel coat that cracked off, but I don’t know for sure. It was full carbon and he stated that the black carbon is what you saw in the photo. It looked a little bit deeper than that in the photo, but I never saw it in person.