I just picked up a used Wilderness Ripper kayak. It’s in great shape, but has a couple gouges on the bottom. Any ideas about best way to repair and re-smooth? Thanks.
Poly boat, ignore them, don’t hurt a thing and not much sticks to poly so it’s almost impossible to repair.
On my recently purchased “demo” poly kayak the botom was so scratched and fuzzy that I thought it can’t be good for it in terms of slowing it down.
I used a heat gun and a smooth scraper. The hot air melts small fuzz and the scraper (also heated by the hot air) spreads it down into minor scratches and leaves a smooth surface behind.
Large gouges still remain but they no longer have the sharp edges. Small scratches either disappear or become much smaller.
It was kind of “feel it” kind of thing so there is no guarantee tha you won’t cause some damage. But, if you move and dont stay in one spot for too long I think the chances of damaging the hull are small. If you start seeing the scraper sinking deep into the plastic - you’ve melted too much. If it does nothing - you need more heat. Kind of stay b/w these two extremes and you get a nice smooth surface.
I would imagine a “hot knife” appliance would work similarly. I don’t know if the kayak now is any faster, but it is not fuzzy any more and the bottom b/w scrapes looks smooth and shiny like new again.
If the gauges are indeed deep as mentioned, a welding may be necessary.
good old disposable razors work great for this - give your boat a shave!
So I’ve heard, and…
I also tried my carbide bladed paint scraper-work well for removing the fuzz and flattening the lifted edges of some deeper gouges.
But I liked the heatgun + flat metal blade combo better. Shavings are not lost this way but melted down into where they came from filling-up some areas. Plus the heat smooths the surface b/w scratches where it might just be rough from sand or other mild abrasion. Razors can’t do that but work much faster on the fuzz…