Repair pin hole in hull of Stellar S18 sea kayak

The cockpit in my Stellar S18 V-Advantage, which I very much like, leaks a fair amount of water after an hour or so of paddling. I think I’ve found the leak - I sprayed water into the cockpit when the boat was on stands and looked underneath. I found a drop of water emerging from what must be a pinhole in the hull. The drop increased in frequency with the volume of water. But I can’t see the pinhole which seems to be placed under the seat. Removing the seat would be a major pain. By the way, the hatches have remained quite dry, so I think it’s the pinhole in the hull. Advice? Including places to get it fixed in/near Atllanta, GA?

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Find hole add food coloring to water.

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I failed last time I was supposed to get a boat to our repair guy for you but no chance this time. Good luck!
If it’s a pinhole, a bit of epoxy should do it. Maybe with a bit of fabric over it.

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Could fix with Marine Tex.

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Can you locate the exact position of the hole from the exterior?

Maybe shine or put a flashlight or other light source under the seat at night and look for the pinhole from the outside?

Also…clear Gorilla tape on the outside of the hull will stop a pinhole leak. It’s probably not the best permanent fix since it’s best to seal the hole with something like epoxy. But if you just want to stop the leak or verify that you’ve found the leak then tape might be helpful.

Celia often recommends Captain Trolley’s Creeping Crack Repair. It’s a thin liquid that claims to be drawn into cracks by capillary action. I used some on the outside of the stern keel area of a composite kayak where a bit of water would seep in but I couldn’t actually see any damage or crack. It did stop the water from getting in. I found the spot to apply it to be putting water inside the kayak and seeing where a drop formed on the outside. However, to be sure the composite was completely dry inside, I did the repair in the spring after the kayak had the entire off season to dry out. I don’t know if waiting that long was really necessary.


I removed the seat from my kayak while doing other work on the boat and discovered wear spots on the hull beneath the seat. Probable wear mechanism was sand beneath the seat and the seat must move a bit with each paddle stroke. I laid epoxy and glass on the wear spots. Subsequently, I noticed a few drops of epoxy on the outside of the hull, under the wear spots. Yes, the epoxy seeped through pin hole leaks. I believe I was headed for a serious leak. My wear spot was all the way through to the gel coat. It was just luck that I pulled the seat out and noticed the wear spots before suffering a significant rupture.

It sounds like a similar situation to what the OP reports. It will be good if OP can locate the leak and the leak is somewhere other than beneath the seat. But pulling out the seat will be preferable to a gushing leak while out paddling.


Thanks much for this helpful response. It does indeed sound like there’s wear under the seat. Wouldn’t it be easier to plus the pinhole from the hull rather than under the seat? Also, what is OP?

Thanks. I don’t think I can let the kayak ‘rest’ for the entire off season since in Atlanta, there’s no off season. I’ll check to see how long I need to wait. But it sounds like I found the spot of the leak in the same way you did - by putting water inside the cockpit and seeing where the drop formed. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Thanks much - And will epoxy work with a carbon-kevlar boat? Any kind of epoxy? How long will the Gorilla tape work?

OP = “original poster” (you, @rickd, in this case)

Might be easier to fix this one hole from outside, but this also has some potential downsides. Such as that the fix might be ugly, as it would be visible. And if the failure is wear due to seat sliding on inner hull, a fix from the outside that doesn’t address this wear would be a short term fix that will let go as the seat wears more into the hull.


Makes sense. I think I’ll call Stellar just to check.

How is your Chinese?

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Re gorilla tape, having sanded a hole in my 70’s kayak hull with my heel I tried a fiberglass repair and, my glassing skills being what they are (sucky) it leaked again on the second trip. So I stuck a big ugly piece of black gorilla tape on the outside. That was over three years ago; its still there, holding up just fine.

Dang! - as we say in the South.

I actually spoke with someone from Stellar kayaks. They suggested removing the seat and using JB Weld Epoxy under the seat pan. Also maybe some of the same on the pinhole in the outside (hull). Anyone have experience with JB Weld Epoxy?

JB Weld epoxy is rather viscous (low flow rate) and will tend sit on the surface rather than penetrate the hole or crack. For a pinhole or hairline crack, I’d try a low viscosity/high flow rate product first (like the one @Wolf posted) and hold the JB Weld for Plan B.

If you doubt what David (likely the voice - and owner - of Stellar) told you take it to Joey at Turning Point Boatworks near Richmond, VA. Make an appointment.

nothing will work–
I’ll go ahead and take the boat for you


Pnutters are really generous!