Scratch/Paint repair on a FG Kayak

I’m looking at buying a Standard FG layup on an NDK Kayak. The color combo I prefer the most includes a black hull.
When there are some minor cosmetic scratches, how easy is that to repair each winter to bring it back to black?

Up until now, i’ve only ever been a poly guy… and i’ll learn along the way on how to do proper repairs to a FG kayak etc. But for purely cosmetic scratches, is there an easy way to do it, or is it difficult as there is a “gelcoat” etc?

It’s not difficult to repair them, gelcoat is relatively easy to work with but takes some practice to make an invisible repair. Smaller scuffs will often buff out with a good buffing compound.

Honestly though I think most people with dark hulls just accept the scratches as part of using the kayak as it was intended. I have a dark blue hull on my Tiderace and while I do buff and wax once or twice I year I don’t intend to do any repairs unless a scratch goes down to the laminate.

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I have never liked working with gelcoat.
My motto for a lot of things is “just paint it.”

No easy way
try buffing but black is not very forgiving.

Magic marker.

Depends on how good you want it to look.

Wouldn’t have to be perfect, and I don’t mind a few “scars” on it… but just to keep up it up a little.

I know in the car world, there are “filler buffers” like Poor Boys Black Hole, which does a half decent job, didn’t know if something like that existed in the kayaking/canoeing world.

Not that I am aware of., although some (but definitely not all, looking at you, Bondo) automotive products are suitable for use on boats.

It is definitely a consideration when choosing colors, especially for the hull. While I love the look of my Tiderace, the scratches are much more visible than they would be on a white hull. Fortunately you can’t see hull scratches when you’re paddling, and the deck generally doesn’t get as scratched up. There are also clear films that you can apply to the deck to prevent scratches from spare paddles, etc.

You can fill the scratches with black gel and wet sand them. You’ll still see the lines slightly depending on the match quality. Just don’t put a ton on. Easier to do it twice if need be. Feather it on with a plastic Bondo spreader. Use a piece of minicell for a block 320-400 grit to start. The go finer to say 1000 grit.


Those scratches look very minor to me. They will literally buff right out. Degree of difficulty depends on whether you do it by hand or have a buffer. I’d start with 3M 09009 (which has a mild rubbing compound) and if you need something more aggressive just stick with 3M marine products. There are some canoe folks that buff out their scratches every year. If you want pefection you may have to hit any deeper scratches with sandpaper first.

One easy thing you can try if you like is to use black kiwi show polish on the boat since the black will hide the white scratches.

I would not add gelcoat or paint to such minor scratches. Paint adds significant weight and you just don’t need gelcoat repairs unless you find scratches deep enough to expose fabric.