Epoxy repairs in hard to reach areas

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Mr Ed
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Epoxy repairs in hard to reach areas

Post by Mr Ed » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:43 am

Has anyone any advice on how to get neat internal cloth and epoxy repairs at the very hard to reach ends fore and aft in a kayak?

I can barely get my head inside the hatch to see where the repair goes!

Wondering what solutions people use?

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Mr Ed

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Jim
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Re: Epoxy repairs in hard to reach areas

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:01 pm

Drill a small hole in the end, pass a piece of string through, tie the end to the pre-wetted cloth or tape and use the string to pull it roughly in place, and then use a brush taped to a stick to ty to smooth it out. Helps to orientate the boat so you aren't trying to fight gravity. Best wet the area with the brush on a stick first. Wear a hat, much easier than washing your hair with swarfega (which does work).

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Re: Epoxy repairs in hard to reach areas

Post by Aled » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:10 pm

Or, tape a 2" brush onto a stick. Wet the brush in epoxy. Wet out the cloth (pre-cut to size). Drape the wet cloth onto the bristles of the stick-brush. Feed the stick-brush to a position over the repair area, check visually for alignment. Flip the wet cloth onto the repair area, then adjust the cloth into position with the brush and smooth it down to get rid of air bubbles from underneath it. The trouble with this type of repair is that if the laminate has impact damage, the inner surface will be uneven and it will be difficult to get the repair patch to lay flat. Also, it would be ideal to wash and sand down the area flat to ensure a suitable bond surface - if it's dirty, uneven, salt ridden, etc, the bonding of the new patch may be compromised.

Alternatively, fix the repair from the outside - grind away all the gelcoat and damaged cloth untill almost through to the inside, leave the last layer (even if damaged) as a scafold onto which the new build will be supported on. Build up layers of cloth repair, let it harden, and sand into a fair shape approx 1mm below the original surface position. Do a glass or carbon repair, avoid using kevlar as it doesnt sand easily. Gelcoat this, remembering to tamp out the air bubbles with a ruler edge. Build up the gelcoat if necessary, let cure, sand back to the original hull/deck shape, wet'n'dry and polish. It sounds a more involved/imposing repair, but it's really the only true way if the area is beyond reach or difficult to access. Done well, especially on white, it should be near invisible and a very satisfying achievement!

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Re: Epoxy repairs in hard to reach areas

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:40 pm

If you really can't get your head in the hatch, working with a brush on a stick when you have to use a mirror to see the place you're brushing is certainly a challenge, but it is possible - practice with a dry brush until your brain gets used to moving the brush the brush the right way.

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