Repairing Dents (Royalex)

This past weekend I was on a overnight float and during the trip I planted the bow into a rock, which left a dent about the size of a quarter or a little larger in it. The canoe is a Mad River Explorer 15 with a Royalex hull. There are no leaks or cracks, but I wasn’t sure if I should do nothing or pop the dent out from the inside. My only worry about popping the dent out was that I could cause more damage or create a leak by doing this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Try heating
Try heating it evenly with a blow dryer or heat gun, not to hot or you will start to melt the royalex. Once its good and hot work it with a hard round object on the inside of the boat. Sometimes royalex has a " memory " and it will go back to its original shape. Good luck

agree , use the heat …
… as said , don’t get it so hot that it looks like it’s starting to melt .

It is plastic , it was heat formed , and now it has been stretched (the dent) . Soften the dent well enough that it becomes pliable (not sticky) , press a flat wood piece inside and outside over the dent (clamp lightly if possible or hold tight with hands)… it should become flat again between wood pieces … when it cools down it should stay flat .


– Last Updated: Jun-30-09 10:00 AM EST –

You can try the heat trick. but the difference between enough heat to work the dent out and to make the hull as limp as a wet noodle isn't very much. Hair dryers and heat guns are not precise instruments and it's all too easy to heat too large of an area and wind up with a bigger problem than you started with.

It's much safer to roughen the area with sandpaper and fill with epoxy. If the dent isn't in a spot likely to experience much flexing (like the bow), plain old JB Weld will work fine. Work it in, sand flat before completely hardened and spray with (semi)matching vinyl paint.

Or, if the dent didn't penetrate the skin, ignore it; it's a battle scar that adds character to the boat. You're sure to add many more over the years. Time spent baking in the sun on top of your car will likely reduce it a bit anyway.


Heat but…
I have taken out dents and wrinkles of a wrap canoe and heat works but one must be VERY careful with the heat. If you overheat, the outer vinyl layer it will melt and expose the Rx you will do more damage that you had in the first place. Unless the dents are really significant, I would not monkey around with them. Nice looking canoes are canoes that don’t get used much. One last thing, hair dryer does not produce enough head, a heat gun works much better but you must be careful.

Thanks for the advice guys. I think I’m going to go with the heat method, but carefully. I’ve done a little extra reading on the topic as well. Thanks again.