Should I repair my Baidarka Explorer

I have had my Baidarka Explorer for a few years now. Is it worth repairing the cracks or should I move on? I’ve never repaired fibreglass before but I am willing to give it a go if its worth it.
This is inside the cockpit. There are more and worse cracks in the bow and stern and some have gone through to the outside.

Do it! Repairing composite back to function is not hard (“professional” smooth/sheen is a little more challenging). You can google and find plenty of reference videos. You can order materials from Amazon or Kayak building retailers on line. Or, you can go to in person to a West Marine store.

If you love this boat, your repair work will extend your relationship with the boat. If you don’t love the boat, the repair will allow someone else to get further usage and enjoyment from the boat.

(who has done functional DIY patches upon patches on my composite waveskis as well as paddles.)

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Gelcoat cracks like that are common and they’re not structural. Unless the area has been impacted and you suspect fiberglass damage underneath the gelcoat, there is no need to repair it. While you may have cracks on both the inside and outside, it’s unlikely that the cracks go through; otherwise, the hull would leak. I certainly wouldn’t scrap the boat or stop paddling it.

As for repairing it, the process is simple, but the issue will be matching the color. The gelcoat has certainly faded over the long life of the boat, so matching it will be very difficult. Frankly, the only color that’s easy to match is white; vivid colors are the most prone to fading.

I have some online tutorials on gelcoat repair and restoration at: Kayaking Tutorials |

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Repair it by all means.
Gel coat is not worth the trouble.
I just paint em.

You can still get graphics from P&H.
I plan on a complete restoration at some point.

First thing is to get a good flashlight, or a spotlight and check to see if there is any black spotting on the inside of the boat. If there are they might be signs of delamination from water intrusion.

It hasn’t been a big thing with quality boats built with epoxy, but boats held together with polyester resin can still delaminate. Sometimes it is the death of that boat.

If it is not a safety risk, then sand it, wipe it down with acetone , and paint it.

I am a really big fan of polyurethane paint for boats. Something like Brightsides is incredibly durable, it smooths out into a smooth finish, and it stinks really badly as it cures.

It will stink you out of your house, so do it outside somewhere.

It will dry to the touch in a day, but give it a week to cure through

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Picture of the gelcoat?

Still a great boat

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