Boat repair

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Jordan_Roberts
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:05 pm

Boat repair

Post by Jordan_Roberts »

Hi all,

First time poster, long time lurker.

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum section.

I have a beat-up secondhand racing K1. The model is the Obsession made by Nick Pink.

I'm hoping someone may have had the same issues as me and can best advise on rectifying.

Essentially it seems like the lacquer or maybe a clear gel coat is peeling off. I can run my hand over the bottom of the boat and it just flakes off. The underlying fibreglass seems fine and structurally sound.

If it was just a cosmetic problem I'd leave it. But it does negatively affect performance considerably. The kayak has no glide. It almost feels like I'm paddling with a bungee ball.

I don't really have great knowledge of boat building or a large skill set. But I'd like to give it a go and repair it myself.

What would the easiest way be to achieve this?

Sanding it back, applying a primer and then painting with a marine paint from the local chandelier? If this will provide a watertight smooth finish I'd happily go with this. Anything has to be better than the current flakey situation.

I'm not sure I have the skill set to be using a gel coat and don't want to aid loads of weight.

Thank you in advance
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Chris Bolton
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Re: Boat repair

Post by Chris Bolton »

It looks as if the gel coat had gone off too far before the layup was done. Nick Pink was a pretty competent laminator so I'm surprised. I would encourage it all to flake off, using a very sharp wood chisel if necessary (if you don't have one, a sharp knife slid under the edges might work). I wouldn't use paint, even marine paint. Epoxy resin (such as West 105) is no more difficult to apply and will adhere better and preserve the appearance. I've never known a kevlar-carbon weave kayak to be built with anything other than epoxy so it should be compatible. The 1.2kg pack I've linked to should cover 11 sq metres which is more than enough, even if you do two coats. It's suggested that a roller is used to apply it.

Although it's important to get it clean, I would be cautious about sanding the hull before applying resin. The kevlar strands will go fluffy if sanded - but if there is still any resin on them it should be safe to sand gently. Try a test area first. If the first coat picks up fibres and isn't smooth enough, a second coat should fix that. Wait for the resin to cure, wash it with water to remove what is known as 'amine blush' and sand lightly, then apply the second coat.

There's a poster on the Forum called 'Jim' who is an experienced laminator; hopefully he'll see this and he may have further advice on preparing the surface.

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