Royalex outer layer (vinyl) repair

I just bought a used (1998 model) OT Penobscot 16 in Royalex. This is my first Royalex canoe, prior boats were a Grumman and an OT Disco 169.

There is some typical rock rash on the bottom of the hull. It’s mostly dents, scrapes and gouges, some of them look fairly deep from the outside but nothing so deep that its visible from the inside. There is one area that concerns me a little where a small round piece (slightly smaller than a dime) of the outer layer is missing entirely and the next layer of the layup is showing.

I’ve been reading up on Royalex repair and I’m pretty certain that the damage is just cosmetic, but it’s right on the keel line and I’d like to seal it up to keep it from getting any worse.

The edges of the outer layer are frayed and sticking up a little around the tear so if I understand what I’ve read in the archive threads, I think I’m going to trim back the frayed edges and swipe it with a layer of JB weld two part marine epoxy, and then hit it with some spraypaint.

Does that sound like the right method for this type of damage or have I mixed up the various Royalex repair threads and gone off track?

that’s fine
The outer colored layer of Royalex is vinyl which really doesn’t provide any structural strength, but looks good and protects the underlying ABS from UV light degradation. The ABS may be green, off-white, or possibly some other color.

As long as the foam core of the Royalex is not exposed, sealing the edges of the vinyl back down with some type of epoxy, and painting it will be fine.

That’s fine for now. I often just spray
paint keel wear where the ABS is showing. It’s to keep UV off the ABS. The vinyl skin is there specifically to intercept UV. Vinyl resists UV well. Vinyl also makes a slippery ablation layer. It has no significant structural value.

If a larger area of vinyl wears off, there are various things you can do. Unfortunately we do not have a way to paint on new vinyl. Daggermat would tell you how to dissolve ABS pipe or Lego blocks in acetone, and then paint thin layers over the area, letting each dry and harden before the next. I favor removing an area of vinyl with a low angle chisel, and then putting on a couple of layers of S glass with epoxy. (But that adds a little more weight.) Some apply Kevlar felt skid plate material, but it isn’t as good as S-glass. Lots of options. Maybe some big, wacky stickers.

here ya’ go
by the time you’re done reading, the links within the links yadayada, you’ll forget what the problem was anyways and just go paddlin.’:wink:

For repairs…
like what you’re describing, I’ve been having very good luck with a quick spray painting of the exposed ABS to protect from UV, then using the two part Loctite epoxy made for plastic that you can get at places like Wal-mart. I’ve found there are two kinds of it. One kind sets in 20 minutes and is somewhat opaque, the other sets in 7 minutes and is more clear. I like the 7 minute kind because it is a little more liquid when mixed. You just mix and pour a little puddle of it atop the spot you’re repairing, and the puddle will flatten and get very smooth, requiring no further finishing. The 20 minute kind is thicker and does not go on smooth.

I like it because, unlike JB Weld, which I’ve used a lot in the past, it is flexible and won’t crack. And it seems to stick to the vinyl and ABS very well. I had a place on my Royalex Vagabond where the vinyl was becoming delaminated from the ABS substrate, and when peeling off the somewhat loose vinyl, I ended up with an exposed area of ABS about 5 or 6 inches in diameter. I mixed up a whole container of the plastic epoxy and puddled it onto the exposed area, letting it run about an inch or so outside the area all around. It dried so smooth it was shiny, and it has held up for a year of pretty hard use now.

Let us know later if Loctite "epoxy"
resists UV better than, say, West 105/205.

Thanks for all the help!
I’m much more comfortable messing with this after your responses.

Here’s a shot of the tear:

I didn’t have anything handy to show scale, but it’s smaller than a dime.

similar problem
I had a similar problem. I trimmed the edges of the vinyl and filled it in with Marine Goop. It’s held for one full season so far.

The white that is showing is the solid stratum of the ABS plastic substrate. Beneath that layer is a foam core, also of ABS, then another solid ABS stratum, then the inside vinyl layer, probably colored tan, beige or gray.

Sticking down the edges of the outer vinyl layer with some type of epoxy or adhesive will help prevent more vinyl from scraping off. Krylon Fusion spray paint seems to stick to plastic better than many other brands of paint and they have a Hunter Green or Forest Green shade.

If you are worried about the color match, you might be able to get closer with automotive paint.

not concerned about that…
since I first spray painted the ABS for UV protection. Not saying it’s a professional job, but the stuff is readily available, cheap, and so far has done the job better than any other readily available cheap fix I’ve used, certainly at this point I’m happier with it than using JB Weld. I float a lot of very bony creeks and my canoe bottoms get a lot of hard use. So I need the readily available and cheap.