royalex canoe dents

OK so it took several years but I finally went swimming on accident. The wife and I hit the center rock at the top of a class 3 rapids, we never saw it. Any way after a bumpy swim down the rapids I noticed 2 dents in my boat one the size of my thumb, I think this one splashed us. The second the size of a softball. any ideas on how to get dents out of royalex or are they just character to the active live of my canoe.

Is only the outside of the hull dented,
or the inside also? It’s common for the outside of the hull to get dents from hard contacts with rocks, but rare for the dent to show up inside the hull as well. Usually it just means that the outer layer of ABS has gotten stretched inward, into the foam layer, and then the ABS kept its inwardly stretched shape.

Local heating might help the Royalex soften and return to its original shape, but obviously the heat has to be carefully controlled. Personally, I would get out my infrared heat lamp, mask off the hull outside the dented area, and then put the IR on the dent, starting with the lamp at least two feet away and checking for softening with a wood stick. If little heating seems to result, cautiously move the lamp forward. The dent should correct itself at least somewhat.


– Last Updated: Aug-04-07 2:57 PM EST –

I went to modify my response, because after looking at my canoes, I guess the gouges could be classified as dents in several spots. Then I thought my response was kind of dumb, especially in light of the good responses from Eric and g2d, so I deleted it, and wiped out most of the thread, Sorry.Now I find out my 2 OC-1's will be shattering tomorrow as they're about 15-20 years old, and my son and I will be paddling a new(for us) brook with unfamiliar rocks....OH CRAP.