How to Repair a Polyethylene Kayak

How to Repair a Polyethylene Kayak
Kayaks made of polyethylene are relatively hassle-free. As long as the kayaker remembers to rinse the kayak with fresh water after kayaking in salt water (then dry), and especially to store the kayak out of the sun, the polyethylene kayak should remain in good shape for many years. If, for some reason, a hole develops in the plastic, the kayaker should be prepared to perform the needed repairs.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Polyethylene plastic
  • Sandpaper
  • Propane torch
Step 1
Obtain appropriate polyethylene plastic for repairs. This will be available at most kayaking or boating shops, and at some hardware stores. Depending on the size of the hole or crack, select either polyethylene plastic strips or larger pieces (if you are dealing with a small crack and the plastic material doesn't come in strips, you may need to cut it into strips yourself). You may also want to note the plastic's color to make sure it will best match your kayak.
Step 2
Set up your kayak and repair materials in a shady spot. Since you will be using a propane torch, the shade will allow you to better see what you are doing, as opposed to the sun, which will make it more difficult to see the propane torch's flame.
Step 3
Sand the damaged area with sandpaper. Several inches on all sides of the hole or crack should be sanded down, ridding the area of any protruding plastic.
Step 4
Heat the repair polyethylene plastic with the propane torch. Try to heat the repair plastic more than the original kayak plastic, of course. The repair plastic should melt and fuse with the original kayak plastic quite rapidly.
Step 5
Allow the repair plastic you've just melted and welded onto the kayak to cool.
Step 6
Sand the repaired area with sandpaper to smooth down the surface.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

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