Scratch treatment?

Couldn’t think of a better word than treatment,I don’t mean repair.I have several,much scratched composite canoes that I would like to make more efficeint going through the water. I don’t care about looks,just a relitively easy,cheap way to fill the scrstches and reduce drag.Ideas?


Sand them out with wet dry paper. Start at, maybe 320, go to 600, then 1000.

As per comments in the composite plastic thread, anythinh below three mils of roughness causes drag, but it’s more important to get the high spots down than to fill gouges.

I have rolled West epoxy on two decked
whitewater boats, both to fill scratches and to subdue fuzzies. (These boats did not have glass as an outer layer, hence the fuzzing.)

If I were dealing only with roughness and scratches, I would sand as much as I dared to level high spots, avoiding excessive gelcoat loss if present, and also avoiding cutting into functional glass or other cloth. Then, if fuzzies are not present, I might consider cleaning the hull and scratches as thoroughly as possible, and then mixing epoxy with graphite or colloidal silica, and using a squeegee method to force the epoxy into the scratches and gouges. I would roll or paint additional epoxy onto the surface ONLY if I felt I needed it to achieve a smooth result.

Check out the West website for information on rolling on epoxy, and on how to avoid problems with amine blush causing decreased adhesion of subsequent coats.

Epoxy does not “level” like varnish. You have to expect some sanding afterward. I don’t know that I would sand below 400 grit, as my boats felt plenty “fast” with that degree of smoothing.

Leave them alone

Unless you are racing or VERY sensative like Charlie you aren’t likely to notice the difference between a scratched up boat and a brand new one.

Charlie cracked me up at AFS. He thought my Osprey was badly scratched. Hope he never sees my whitewater boats!