Repair pin hole in hull of Stellar S18 sea kayak

The Captain Trolley’s that I posted isn’t epoxy and is less viscous than water. It’s just for sealing up “invisible” cracks. There are many JB Weld products, some putty-type and some less viscous like epoxy resin. I’d use something like epoxy resin, and it really doesn’t have to be JB Weld brand. But use slow cure epoxy. The 5 minute and one hour type generally aren’t as water proof or strong. Best would be a respected marine epoxy resin like West Systems.

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Thanks for the advice. The folks at Stellar and a knowledgeable Stellar dealer advocated JB Weld marine epoxy. I’ll check to see if that is slow cure. Again, thanks.

Duck tape!

If it’s the seat that is wearing through the hull, I’d bite the bullet and remove the seat to see exactly what the problem is. It may be wearing through in several spots. If this is the case you would probably want to repair the wear spots by adding some fabric and epoxy. The repair would be hidden under the seat, so no real fine finishing of the repair would be necessary.

You could use something like Capt. Tolley’s on the exterior just to insure that water is not getting into the fabric layer if you do not see any epoxy getting through to the outside of the hull when you repair the interior, but the interior repair alone would stop the leak into the boat.

I did a similar repair on my boat a couple of years ago when I discovered, much to my horror, that my heels had almost worn through the hull. in spite of it being Kevlar. Of course the boat is 24 years old.


Whodda thunk that this could happen in the cockpit. I’d never heard of this before. Based on advice from Stellar and knowledgeable outfitters, JB Weld marine will work fine in the interior and the epoxy that Stellar sells is good for the small pinhole on the hull. 24 years - I’m impressed.

If you have wear under the seat bad enough to have created a through-and-through leak on the hull bottom, you have very likely lost significant material from the hull structure itself and would achieve a more durable repair by bonding some fabric (fiberglass, Dynel, or aramid) to the interior of the hull bottom.

JB Weld would not be ideally suited for wetting out and bonding structural fabric.


Sounds like a worst-case, more expensive, scenario. Hopefully an easier, cheaper fix would do the trick. Ithink I’ll try that first. Especially since I’m pretty useless at fixing things.

Have you pushed on the area around the hole to see if it flexes more than other areas in the cockpit other than under the seat where the pin hole is? If it does you should remove the seat and address the issue there as it will continue to wear away the fabric there causing a worse situation. I would use the Captain Tolley’s on the outside.

Personally, I would want to see why it formed under the seat.

OP stands for the Original Post by you.

Good suggestions, and I plan to remove the seat no matter what. And it does sound like Captain Tolley’s on the outside is the simplest, at least as a first step.

I have repaired a lot of boats and one thing I have learned over and over is that a quick and dirty repair makes a proper repair done later much harder, should it prove necessary. My advice is to get the seat out and see what you are dealing with before deciding on what to do and what materials to use.

If you follow that advice, take good photos and post them here so that those of us who have hands-on experience with composite repairs can offer suggestions on how to proceed. And laminating fiberglass onto a composite hull using epoxy is really not at all difficult.

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Pull the seat lay some glass on the inside. Then if any epoxy comes through the pin hole just wipe it off or tape the pinhole do repair then pull the tape off. If you can basically lay down a doormat you can do the repair yourself. After the seat is out it would be a 20 minute repair for me.

Thanks for this excellent advice and encouragement. I’ll take out the seat and check things out and lay glass on the inside. If any epoxy comes through the pin hole, should I automatically do a repair? And with what - Tollers?

If epoxy comes through the pinhole, then the void is filled and no more work is required on the outside. Just smooth it out and let it cure. That’s assuming that in removing the seat you do not uncover extensive damage on the inside that may require more work. I would not expect this and hopefully a relatively minor interior repair should be all that is needed.

If no epoxy come out of the pinhole, then Capt. Tolley’s may fill any small void.

Since you are going to remove the seat…this comment is moot. However, I’ve gotten into the habit of sticking my phone camera down & under boat hatches and other hidden areas and shooting a picture.

My old neck couldn’t bend well enough to see, but the phone camera helps in such places. Hope you find it and fix it.

You can repair pinholes leaks with almost anything. In the field pine tree pitch, chewing gum,
In the shop, a little mixable tube of epoxy.

Thanks to all of you, and I’ll be sure to pack chewing gum. I actually discovered the problem after pulling the seat off: the two rear upholstery screws/tacks attaching the seating pad to the seat shell were touching and creating small holes in the cockpit. Somehow - I’m still not sure how - those holes became two pinholes - through which you can actually see light - in the hull of the kayak. The Stellar rep said she’d only seen this maybe 2x in the last 10 years, and that it probably resulted from the failure to include some sort of black strip that would have created a small gap between the tacks and the cockpit bottom. I’ve filed down the tacks and may glue some rubber spacers around them. And I’ll use JB Weld to plug up the holes in the cockpit and hole. The rep was great - asked me to send pics etc.


A couple more things:

I found that taking out the seat was a total pain. Luckily my son had the dexterity to manipulate the screw and nuts.

But more recently, I sprung a leak in the cockpit. Not from the earlier holes, which I fixed with the JB Weld, but from a crack that resulted - about 3-4 years ago - resulting from a dangling, unattached bow line that resulted in the boat slamming down on the rack. I got it ‘fixed’ without any problems until now. I filled the cockpit with water and found drops of water leaking out at the crack. I presume I can use the JB Weld again? This is a hairline crack. Or would Capt. Tolley be better. I’ve not found any crack on the inside, but it must be there. Thoughts?