wet hull repairs?

During a training this weekend we tried a number of different patching materials for on-water hull repair. I was under the impression that Gorilla Tape would stick to wet surfaces, so I was carrying that in my vest. No luck. My partner had “Hippo Patch”, and that was equally unsuccessful. Our instructor had some home-made concoction comprised of a fiberglass-reinforced plumbers repair tape, to which he added aluminum foil on one side, and wrapped around some cellophane. That worked far better than others,but was pretty messy, and was perhaps a little old, and therefore less tacky than originally.

Does anyone have other repair products or home-remedies that they’ve successfully tested on cold, wet hulls?


West Marine
makes an emergency epoxy stick that will adhere to plastic and can be used underwater. It hardens for a permanent bond and can even be sanded and painted. I have used this product twice to repair holes and cracks in two of my plastic boats.

denzo tape
british plumber repair tape. messy and so/so.

nope gorilla, duct, gutter won’t work. gots to be warm, dry.


The mother ship
McMaster-Carr has ‘underwater repair epoxy’ on page 3349, also ‘Loctite 82093’ on the same page. Both are able to be applied underwater, and the Loctite is listed as reaching full strength in one hour. I’ve never tried either, but the Loctite sounds good. It comes as a two-part in one putty activated by kneading.

Yep. That’s the stuff.
Denzo Tape. It held pretty well, but eventually peeled off. Available in the US?

epoxy putty
I’ve used a few kinds of epoxy putty, and they have absolutely zero adhesive properties. They are only held on by mechanical means. The cure rock hard even underwater, but they’ll only stay attached if they are mechanically wrapped around something or stuck through a hole and flattened on both sides for example.

I’m not sure how handy they would be for stopping a hole in the bottom of a kayak.

Plus, 1 hour cure time is a long time to wait for an at-sea repair.

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Sounds the same as plumbers putty - has to be held in place while curing. So if you had tape to hold it in place, might as well just use the tape itself for the field repair and fix the boat later.

Anyone tried . . .
3M 8979 Performance Plus Duct tape?

Pattex Power Tape? (appears to be a european brand of duct tape, but advertises that it can be applied to wet non-porous surfaces) I didn’t see any US sites for ordering this.

Eternabond Roofseal? (sold for roof repair, especially for RVs or mobile homes - manufacturer says it sometimes works well when applied wet, but they don’t guarantee it for that application.) I see this for sale on RV websites in 4" wide rolls.

I’ll be doing the Eternabond thing on my camper roof soon. Check back in a few years for results :wink:

I’ve seen photos of this stuff coming up when the installer didn’t properly prepare the surface. It also requires a good bit of pressure from a roller to activate.

Since you’ll have this stuff in hand, can you take a scrap of it, and stick it to something wet and shiney? Preferably something cold, wet and shiney.

I’d like to know if it will really stick, and if it does, then if it can be removed later.

Good point about "cold"
One thing I’ve found is that a lot of tapes and such that stick well when they’re warn don’t stick at all when they’re cold. In cold conditions, many epoxies won’t cure quickly enough to be useful. If you paddle in cold weather, you need to test this before relying on any repair product.

You either have a phenomenal
memory, or you’re channeling Billy Mays.

You may need help.

Excellent question; we should test
A gator punctured my outrigger, and I was never so scared while I stood in the middle of a shallow lake in Florida trying to apply duct tape.

It wouldn’t stick at all.

So I bought some epoxy putty but have never tested it. Didn’t think about the pressure-while-curing issue.

I think we should actually try a bunch of tapes and putties and get some actual reported data.

Has anyone heard of HippoPatch tape?
It was in a catalog that I received yesterday. They show it being used to repair a canoe. Oddly, it’s an aluminum boat.

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