repair kit for fibreglass canoe?

-- Last Updated: Jun-09-13 1:50 PM EST --

Is it necessary to take a repair kit for fibreglass canoes on multi day trips? If there was any major damage from a rock in rapids, then I doubt a repair kit would do much.

On that note, I once saw Ray Mears make a kind of repair tar from trees to use but that was to repair a birch canoe.

Take a roll of packing tape
the type with the threads in it.

Duct tape will come off after several hours of being wet, but the packing tape makes a great temporary patch.

For what it is worth, there are several brands of epoxy that you can use under water, but there is a limit to the amount of stuff you want to bring

Jack L

You don’t want to be running rapids in
the wilderness unless those rapids are incredibly easy in light of your proven ability.

West Epoxy markets a field repair kit. Others may also. Most repairs can be done with tape. Our first canoe camping trip was 12 nights in Quetico, and we never more than scraped our huge FG boat. If you do buy a field repair kit, read through the instructions before hand, and at least rehearse mentally how you would go about it.

But seriously, if you don’t run a loaded canoe through class 2+/3 rapids, you probably won’t have a serious FG repair.

The handymans secret weapon
is duct tape. Never dinged a glass canoe badly enough to need it though…or a canvas canoe. Unless you really cross one up in some rocks, you should have nothing to worry about.

canoe repair

– Last Updated: Jul-05-13 3:35 PM EST –

Duct tape is the standard. I have repaired another person's fiberglass canoe that was badly damaged. We used rocks to pound out the dents and cracks and it worked. I punched two holes in a wooden drift boat on the Carson River and got home with duct tape.

Repairs are tough to make in the field with fiberglass and epoxy. You need grinders, scissors, cloth, mixing containers, etc. Better to repair at home. Maybe on a really long trip I would bring cloth and epoxy.

epoxy putty
I’ve taken along a tube of epoxy putty for years and have used it several times, sometimes for other camping gear and not the canoe. The old Spirit has several epoxy putty blobs on the keel line where the gelcoat and resin have been knocked off the Kevlar cloth crashing into rocks unseen by the bow paddler. Its a tube no larger than a toothpaste tube and you just break off what you need and knead it till the color is uniform thru the blob. It sticks very well and has fixed tool handles, filling in rodent bites.

We’ve patched holes in aluminum canoes with it and repaired wooden canoe paddles.


yep, the epoxy putty stick
"I’ve taken along a tube of epoxy putty for years"

same here

bonds well to royalex as well if you buy the variety designed for plastic - supposedly works enven under water/wet though I’d dry the hull first. Never have had to use it for a repair, but I do carry it, along with duct tape and some wire etc.

duct tape, or any tape, will stick better if you dry the hull and clean with an alchohol wipe from your first aid kit.

I’ve just been going thru my repair kit I take on wilderness trips - going to add a couple small tubes of aquaseal (for repair to floatation bags), and redoing the thermarest repair kit to add some extra self-stick patches (had to repair two pads recently, though not from canoe trips). some people carry a few extra bolts for seat hangers, but I just normally check them before a trip and don’t bother (partly what the wire is for)

ppine, you did not repair anyone’s
fiberglass canoe by pounding out the dents. Doing that would only split off the broken surfaces of the “dent”. Fiberglass canoes do not “dent”. They hole or they split.

I assume from your statement that you did not know what sort of canoe you were trying to repair. Royalex canoes may dent. Aluminum canoes dent. But fiberglass canoes hole or split.

I provide repair advice for “glass” boats, should you ever decide to get serious.

Fiberglass Re[pair

Try to show some respect. Maybe you have never repaired a badly damaged fiberglass boat in the field. I used to build fiberglass sailboats for a living and I can assure you that after the glass breaks, the surface can be very rough requiring pounding with a rock. I am quite serious, especially when we are 50 miles from home with no roads around. We got home by pounding out the dents so the fiberglass surfaces were more or less close to the original lines of the canoe. Then came the duct tape.

We talk canoes here, not sailboats.
Fiberglass canoes do not “dent” and pounding them with a rock has no utility whatsoever. If you do not want readers to think you have lost your mind, be specific about what sort of boat you were “fixing.”

fiberglass repair
You may provide repair advice, but you present it in a way most people would not want to hear.

fiberglass repair
Since you weren’t there, we can ignore your opinion.

I know whose opinion I respect
From my experience it can happen that fiberglass fibers break and if there are two breaks there can be a dent. Pounding with a rock is hilarious! That means you want to weaken the rest of the fibers that might be intact?

Its happened that I have folded a composite boat 70 miles from the end of the trip in NE Ontario. Duct Tape to the rescue. I am lucky there was no hole. Another time in Wabakimi a fast slam into a rock that cracked the foam core and bent the gunwales. Thankfully no hole.

In mild whitewater have put a crack in the glass and gel coat of one boat. No dent.

So who cares if its dent or crack? You are certainly angling for more extensive repairs if you use a rock to mash all the remaining fibers and resin. Better to duct tape and live with the misshape.

If you want people to understand you,

– Last Updated: Sep-11-13 1:30 PM EST –

you have to describe "you weren't there" in a way that accords with their past experience. None of us was there. Are any of our opinions to be ignored?

Based on your descriptions, I cannot imagine what sort of fiberglass damage confronted you. I've seen plenty of damaged FG, and I've fixed some of it, and it never looked like what you are describing. Not my heavy, thick FG boats, and not my very thin, flexible FG/Kevlar boats.

I've never seen a situation where pounding damaged fiberglass laminate with a rock would have been useful, or other-than-damaging. Kicking and stomping an aluminum canoe, certainly. Prying, kicking, and stomping a Royalex canoe, certainly. But not any of the wide range of canoe fiberglass I've dealt with.

fiberglass repair
We were trying to get home. The boat that was damaged was an old, not very good boat to begin with. The fiberglass was brittle. After the boat swamped in some big rapids it smacked some big rocks. The damage was extensive. The only way to get the contours of the boat lined up was to persuade them with a rock. Otherwise it would not have been impossible to use duct tape to fill an opening of around 8-10 inches.

My friend was surprised that we got the boat home at all. I am glad that you think it was so funny.

You guys don’t have as much experience as you think you do.

The boat was a total loss. Damaging the fibers was not relevant. Just because you haven’t seen it before is no reason to make fun of someone else’s experience.

Most experienced canoeists that I have met would react much differently- as in. I have never heard of that one before. Tell us more.

Well, now I sort of understand.
But do you see why your original account made no sense at all?

I guess you were slugging the boat to knock jagged, broken pieces back into position. Not a situation to be encountered very often.

As for repair expertise, mine is so orthodox that it is not likely to be totally wrong. The real issue in fixing composite boats is the ingenuity needed to succeed with a particular problem.

Do you see that it makes no sense to accuse someone of being out of their mind and not knowing the difference between a fiberglass boat and some other kind of boat?

take it to Band B
g2d has probably more experience than the rest of us re repair of all sorts of boats.

Of course you have not read any of his blogs over on Song of the Paddle I suspect.