Restore and refinishing OT Loon 160T

I recently picked up Old Town Loon 160 Tandem in fair condition. I am excited to introduce my kids to kayaking as I think they will love it.

I was wondering if anyone know what the material its made of. Is it polyethylene or some other plastic and foam combination material?

I’m asking because I want to fix some deep cuts and smooth out a number of rough patches on the hull.

For the cuts I plan on welding it and/or adding some plastic to it.

For the rough parts I’m not so sure. Should I just sand it down with fine SP and then heat it or add something else to restore the shine back?

Any advice here will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

I’m adding a pic of one of many rough spots.

It is made of a single layer of polyethylene. It was made using a rotational mold, often called rotomold. Here is a plant tour video for Old Town:

Polyethylene is super durable. Unless the scratches are nearly through the whole palstic thickness, they are just cosmetic. You can just paddle the boat as is and it will be fine. Leave the scratches and you won’t feel as bad when the kids run it into more rocks and add more.

Hard to tell in the picture, but that “rough spot” looks fine to me. Not sure if you can do anything that would improve it.

You could use a plastic welding kit to fill in gaps. You could shave some plastic off the inside lip of the combing or of a hatch to use so you get color match, or use color sticks (that likely won’t match color-wise). Or Neptune’s Rangers, a group known for scratching plastic kayaks (watch their other videos), did a video on using tarp material to fill gaps (full disclosure, the kayak being worked on in the video was my kayak).

Fuzzes of strips of plastic hanging off could just be trimmed off, or could be melted back into the gaps they crated.

Thank you Peter all the info.

I did happen do some further research. It was made in 2001 so she’s gonna be 20 next year.

None of the scratches breeched the hull I’m happy to say. I’m comfortable about filling in the deep scratches and I actually did see that video where you guys melted a tarp. I will be using this method for wherever I can.

However I really want to restore the shine back on top of the kayak to give back some of its glory. Most parts of the shell is smooth and what appears to be a low gloss to it.

The rough patches I reference is rough and to me appears to have lost that gloss and over time got more rough. If you run your hand against it it feels like like sand paper.

Someone suggested using a blow torch or a heat gun to melt the surface and smooth it out that way. I would need to practice for that.

Attach is a pic.

The 160T is great for kids, I had one. We used it with two adults and one kid or one adult and one kid. And it’s ok to paddle solo. I can hold lots of stuff, toss a cooler in the middle and off you go. It’s stable, Both my son and I leaned over the side to look in the water and there was no fear of turning over. It’s great if the kids want to go swimming, the can climb in without fear of turning over. It’s stable, I had my daughter and her friend standing on the decks jumping in the water. The big downside is that it’s heavy and flexy, expect movement in the bottom.
It 's made with Old Towns three layer system, foam sandwiched between solid layers. So it will float like a log if it does swamp. I’d be careful if you plan to do any sanding on it, you don’t want to sand through to the foam. If any foam is exposed, I’d give it a coat of G/Flex epoxy to seal it.
Good Luck.

Thank you Leob1 for that information. As for luck I’m crossing my fingers and will be starting soon.

QUOTE Peter-CA: “It is made of a single layer of polyethylene.”

In fact it’s made of Old Town’s proprietary 3-layer PolyLink 3 with a foam core, as Leob1 says. You know this from the photo—the interior is beige because it’s a separate layer from the red exterior layer. PolyLink3 is considerably stiffer than regular rotomolded plastic, especially the thin see-through plastic that Old Town uses today. Hence the 2001 kayaks were a better product. One important caution: do not puncture or crack your kayak! If you do, the foam will absorb water and you will never get it out. This happened to me and the kayak gained several lbs. (The damage was done by an auto mechanic who cinched down the stern strap so hard that he cracked the stern. Unclear why he was messing with the straps while repairing the starter?? The crack was repaired but the water was in there permanently.)

To restore the shine you can use 303 Protectant. It works miracles—but also makes the kayak slippery to handle for a while, so be careful not to drop it when loading it on your vehicle. If you need a large quantity of polish, Novus is cheaper.

Some people like to sand out scratches on the bottom because they slow you down a bit, but that could be imperceptible on a kayak of this weight. It’s not a speed demon. I buff out light scratches with 220 sandpaper and rubbing compound.

One reason people buy rotomolded plastic is that it can take some abuse without cracking, but it is a softer plastic that scratches easily. This is expected and over time you will stop worrying about it. But polishing the deck is worth the effort cosmetically.

To me, it looks good as is.