Royalex Repair

I’ve a beat to hell Dagger Impulse that I’m willing to experiment on with repair techniques. She’s got a pretty good dent right under my right knee which I’ve had no luck in removing (strapping the canoe down in the upside down position and then pushing up from below). I’m thinking of drilling through the center of the depression so that maybe I can “pull” the dent out - something like a body shop might do on a car. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on performing such a repair? Especially the part about closing the hole that would be drilled. Your comments would be appreciated.

Gentle heat +epoxy
Paul Mason’s book Thrill of the Paddle shows a canoe that had a 12" section removed from the middle. It was basically spliced back together (two seperate halves) with glass and epoxy. Patching holes this way is easy.

As for dents and bumps, try a hair dryer, or a really careful application of heat from a heat gun. I have heard (but not tried) a heated bag of sand is good for pushing out dents from the inside.

Heat first
As described, try (gently) heating the area first and pushing out the dent. Get it good and warm over a large area, inside and out. I use a heat gun (and leather gloves).

I’ve also heard of people using hot water, or bags of hot water.

If you do drill it at any point, that’s no big deal, holes can be fixed.

If you’re interested in some good threads from people who really like to abuse, repair and/or modify their ww canoes, check and do some searches.


a match, a can of gas, and open space.

Don’t forget to do the rain dance!

Space heater
I take it Tommy doesn’t care for the Impulse. I’d agree that it doesn’t perform that well, but I was figuring that it was due to it’s condition which I’m trying to improve. Anyways, I’ll take into consideration all the above comments. But a couple more questions. Any reason why I couldn’t use a space heater to warm up the repair area? Also not having any idea of how to work with fiberglass, is it the best way to fill such a small hole (the drill hole that I’d make to pull out the dent)?

Sorry Warren
Any boat is better than none and an Impulse will get you through most rapids in good shape. It just won’t be near as much fun as a lot of other boats.

The problem with reapairing royalex is that most materials won’t flex as much nor match the expansion contraction from heating and cooling.

Epoxy and glass/kevlar/carbon will work for a while but will need repair/replacement more than the rest of the boat.

I know some folks who swear by plastic welding but I can’t say I’ve seen a long term repair from that either. Could be that by the time folks get to those solutions the boats are pretty well gone?

If the problem is a dent I’d live with it. I think you would cause more problems than you would fix trying to go the dent puller route.

I’d rather a dent than a hole of any size in my boat.