How to Repair a Klepper Kayak

How to Repair a Klepper Kayak
Klepper Kayaks makes and produces folding kayaks designed to be stored in bags and assembled quickly upon arrival at your destination. Because Kleppers fold and store in bags they are a handy choice for fly-in kayak trips, making them a popular choice for remote trips requiring float planes or bush travel. There are several areas of the Klepper that wear out over time, necessitating the need for repairs and fixes, often done in the field.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fabric and sailing epoxy
  • Duct tape
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Rudder cables
  • Klepper patch kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Knife or multitool
Step 1
Inspect the rudder cables for rust, erosion and worn out threads. Pre-1986, Kleppers did not use stainless steel cables, and often wore out quickly. Unscrew the locking screws where the cable is attached to the rudder foot pegs, found inside the kayak and along the edge of the Klepper. Remove the cables.
Step 2
Thread the new cables starting at the back, where the cables meet the rudders, into the inside of the Klepper and along the side edge until it reaches the rudder foot pegs. make a slip knot on the cables end, and loop it onto the attachment screw. Turn the screw to the right until firm and tight and the cable is attached to the foot peg. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3
Inspect the fabric hull on the Klepper. Look for small holes, rips or tears. Measure a square section of repair cloth from the Klepper patch kit. Cut out the repair patch from the fabric.
Step 4
Wash off the hull fabric around the rip or tear. Let the area dry. Apply a generous layer of glue around the rip or tear and place the patch over the epoxy. Hold it in position for two to three minutes and then let it dry on its own for 24 hours if possible. If a quicker fix is needed, let the epoxy dry a minimum of one hour.
Step 5
Inspect the rudder for bends, abrasion or scrapes. If the rudder is bent more than 10 degrees in either direction, it needs to be replaced. If it is slightly bent and under a 10-degree bend on either side, use the multitool's pliers to grip the rudder. Use firm but steady pressure to bend the rudder back into position, taking time to go slowly. Bring the rudder back into the original position with the multitool.

Tips & Warnings

Do not try and bend the rudder more than 10 degrees on either side as this can compromise the integrity of the metal and cause metal fatigue or failure.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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