How to Repair Plastic Kayaks

How to Repair Plastic Kayaks
If you own a kayak and paddle the creeks or whitewater, eventually you'll have a break in the plastic. Repairing it yourself is cheap and easy, and you'll save the environment and your money by not buying a new one. Though there are many methods in repairing a break in the plastic, below is a fast, easy and cheap method to accomplishing the repair. A patch applied using this method will more than likely outlast the life of the kayak itself.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Drill Small drill bit Duct tape Spool Sandpaper Hair dryer Alcohol Damp cloth
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit
  • Duct tape
  • Spool
  • Sandpaper
  • Hair dryer
  • Alcohol
  • Damp cloth
Step 1
Stop the crack from getting any bigger as soon as possible. Continued use of a cracked kayak will lead to a larger crack, and your boat can become unusable and ruined. Preventative maintenance can go a long way.
Step 2
Drill a small hole at the end of each side of the crack. It's imperative the drill hole is placed in the center of each crack. Otherwise, you'll end up with a larger crack. The crack will stop if the drill holes are correctly centered.
Step 3
Sand the area around the crack with sandpaper until it's roughed up. Pour some alcohol on a cloth and wipe the area clean, being sure to remove any debris. This is necessary to allow the patch to better adhere to the plastic surface of the kayak.
Step 4
Heat the surrounding area with a hair dryer. Once you've reached the correct temperature, you should be able to hold your hand to the area for only a few seconds. Heating the area is very important, but you don't want to melt the boat.
Step 5
Place a piece of duct tape over the crack. Make sure the tape extends a couple of inches on all sides surrounding the crack. Once the tape is in place, firmly press down on it, securing it on the plastic.
Step 6
Heat the duct tape patch with the hair dryer until you begin to see small wrinkles appearing on the top of the tape. At this point,the glue from the tape is starting to melt into the areas that were sanded. This is a good thing.
Step 7
Placing your thumb inside of the spoon, begin pressing and rolling the spoon onto the duct tape. It's best to start at the center of the area and use as much pressure as you can while pressing the spoon onto the tape. Whatever you do, don't drag the spoon across the taped surface. If this is done, the tape will tear. Work one area and pick up the spoon, and move to the area next to it. Work the spoon across the whole area of tape, reheating the tape as needed. It's necessary for the tape to remain hot while pressing it down with the spoon.
Step 8
Repeat the process of applying the duct tape and heating it four more times. This will ensure that you've created a sturdy patch. A patch placed on a plastic kayak in this fashion will be able to take what creeks and whitewater has to offer, and will be water-tight, flexible and quite durable. If repaired correctly, this type of patch should last for years, even with a heavy user.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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