Strength of Fiberglass Kayak Repair

Should the day come when a fiberglass kayak sustains a crack(s), or gouge, and it is repaired (and lets assume that the repair is done properly), will the repaired area be as strong as the rest of the boat? Or should it be viewed from then on as a boat with a “pre-existing condition?”

Done properly, a repair can be stronger than the original.


I think my Current Designs considers me its pre-existing condition. :slight_smile:

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Repairs , no matter how well done, are visible from the inside. There is typically a layer of cloth used. Blending it in is the trick.

If it’s a ‘pre-existing condition’, it’s not clear whether or not it can be insured in the USA.

When I applied for a policy to cover my kayaks, nobody questioned whether they had been repaired at any point.

String’s comment was right on the money.Considering the materials used in some kayaks, I know that repairs I made with fiberglass cloth and epoxy are stronger than the original layup.

I’ve never worried about whether a repair blends in on the inside of a kayak, as long as it’s clean, smooth and strong, and it’s invisible on the outside.

If it’s just a cosmetic external gel coat repair, done properly and color matched, it will be invisible and just as strong.

If the damage extends through the hull, and again is done properly, it will often be stronger due to the extra fiber, epoxy, and gel coat added. It is almost always visible on the interior as no normal person attempts to refinish the interior of a kayak to make such a repair invisible.

It also adds weight to the boat. This plus the labor and cost required to undertake a major repair are generally the deciding factors in deciding that a boat is essentially totaled as opposed to repairable…

I race offshore race boats for years. I have seen 40’ + and bigger catamarans repaired when most of one side and part of deck heavily damaged and or mostly gone. They returned to run over 150 + mph again. You can’t imagine what I have seen. You could take your kayak and cut it in quarters longitudinally and in half and repair it. Little bit heavier not much it just takes money.

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You realize fiberglass boats are essentially a bunch of parts “glued” together.