Refurbish Kayak Problem

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Meridian
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Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Meridian »

To my good fortune I have recently just came into possesion of a 14 years old fibreglass kayak. Generally it is in good solid water tight condition with the gel coat outside still being very shiny.
Inside the hatches and cockpit the floor is discolored in some areas. I have tried to scrub the discolouration out but it seems to be well ingrained. I'm not sure what would have caused this but probably leaving damp gear in the boat over time. Additionally there is some expected wear in the cockpit from where the feet have worn away the fibreglass. I believe i could probably fix this with a fibreglass repair kit althoigh access is difficult
With regard to the brown blemishes on the internal fibreglass would it be possible to remove and clean up these bits of fibreglass with any chemical or should i just live with it.
Thanks for reply

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JB-NL
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by JB-NL »

If the wear in the compartments is mould-like ( blackisch), hot water with soap and some bleach might help.
leave it for some timen and rinse with clear water.

The wear in the cockpit , could that be where the heals of your feet are located?
clear with sandpaper ( grain 400 e.g.) clean/ remove all grease and reinforce with some Fibreglass.
10 min job.
Check also below the seat....
JB
--==Never go faster than your Angel can fly==--

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Jim
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Jim »

It should always be safe to use isopropanol, and after 14 years of curing it should be safe to use acetone, or cellulose thinners, or even styrene although you are much less likely to have any of that kicking about. Wear gloves, and if you are thinking of trying to scrub into the grain, wear eye/face protection and ideally long sleeves too. Some stains only seem to shift with sanding, but unless you are planning to put some glass cloth or tissue over the areas you probably don't want to get into that.

For the heel areas, pretty much as JB-NL says, except I would say use 80 grit sandpaper to key the worn area, then vacuum, wipe with solvent (acetone or cellulose thinners) to degrease and allow to dry (seconds in this heat!). Easiest plan is probably to cut a rectangle of fibreglass woven roving cloth in 200-300 grams per square metre weight to cover the wear by at least 25mm all round, paint some resin on the hull, lay the cloth on it and then paint some more resin on top working it into the cloth with the tip of the brush bristles until it turns completely clear. To keep it neat, mask up the area about 25mm bigger than the patch, and peel the tape up as soon as you have finished working the resin in (i.e. whilst it is still wet). If you are having difficulty reaching, tape your brush to a stick.

I have been experimenting with a different material called innegra in the heel wear area and under my seat in my race boat, but after only 4 or 5 months I haven't got any conclusions on it yet, it also doesn't turn clear so is harder to determine when properly wetted through and avoid porosity, I think even if it works as expected it is probably too advanced for most home repairs.

Meridian
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Meridian »

Thanks for the advice guys.
I have now scrubbed a lot of the marks off using bleach but many still remain but its better. The only other issue I have noticed that in some parts of the boat the glass is a bit fuzzy in areas. I have tead that its possible to sand down these bits and paint on fresh epoxy resin either with a brush or maybe a roller. What is best and can you please advise a good resin to use
I have considered sanding it down to get tid of all the marks and try putting on tissue but maybe that will be difficult for a newbie. I have never done any glass work before so probably better just to use just resin for the less worn bits
If you know of a good method or tutorial i would be grateful

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Jim
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Jim »

Try a West 101 Minipack, it has most of the things you need apart from a brush and maybe some glass cloth, including instructions - West have a full manual on their website which you can download too. Cheap paint brush will be fine for applying resin - unless you have acetone or cellulose thinners you won't be able to clean it so buy a few brushes if you expect to do more than one batch.

Glassfibre cloth comes in lots of configurations, woven rovings are easy to handle (plain weave), or surface tissue. I would use 200gsm woven rovings for the heel area, for areas of fuzz surface tissue is probably better (lighter). It is sold off the roll 1m wide by however many metres long you want, some suppliers will sell 0.5 metre long or maybe less, 0.5 or 1m will be quite enough, probably the same for tissue. Applying it is simple, after sanding and degreasing paint resin on the area to patch up, then lay the piece of cloth on the resin (wearing gloves) and smooth it down with your fingers - straight away you will see resin soaking up from below and starting to turn clear. Then just paint some more resin on top concentrating on any areas that remain white until it is all clear. If you have trouble getting it to soak in, use a stabbing action with the brush to push resin into the cloth. You can even pour a little resin on the cloth and use a squeegee to push it through, but I find using a brush more controllable.

https://www.westsystem.com/instruction- ... uct-guide/

Meridian
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Meridian »

Jim
Many thanks for your advice on this subject. You seem to have a lot of experience.
With regard to the fibreglass tissue does it come in woving roving or just chopped strand. To be honest I am struggling to find anything but chopped strand in the tissue. Would i be correct in assuming its that thin it will still leave a relative smooth finish when applied.
Thank you.

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Jim
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Jim »

Hi,
Yes, surface tissue is like a very fine chopped strand mat that gives a relatively smooth finish compared to the thicker strands in structural chopped strand mats. The latter leave a quite spiky finish which people find irritating against the skin and is not ideal in a sea kayak where you might be stuffing dry bags, but the fibres in a tissue are fine enough not to be a problem.

https://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk/ ... ace-tissue (says it is about 30gsm)
https://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk/ ... ven-roving (lightest is 300gsm - would need a twill cloth to get down to 200gsm but that is not as easy to handle which is why I reccommended woven rovings for first forays into kayak repair)

I do have a fair bit of experience, I used to build racing dinghies, and have spent a lot of time repairing my own sea kayaks, racing kayaks and canoes and for the last few years club and friends slalom kayaks and wild water racing kayaks, oh and a WWR C2 that needed some quite advanced techniques... Most repairs are more simple than they first appear, you just need to have the confidence to cut away all the bad/broken/delaminated/saturated with water bits to get to good composite to build back up from, most people baulk at that stage. In your case there should be nothing to cut away, just need to key the areas with sandpaper for a good bond and apply extra glass over the top.

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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by broughsuperior »

Sorry to jump on this post, but I may have accidentally bought Al's Seaking (see the for sale board). I don't mind minimalism and air bags, but I would really like to add deck lines if possible, for a bit of peace of mind. Can anyone advise on whether it's possible to retrofit deck lines to an old fibreglass hull. Will it involve drilling, sobbing and machine screws?

Thanks, Sarah.

charleston14
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by charleston14 »

The easiest way is probably some bolt on deck fittings, with a small rubber washer under it to make a seal, stainless steel bolt through the hull, on the underside a penny washer and nyloc nut.

One concern for retrofit static lines is that they can pull out of the plastic fitting under force eg if you’re hanging on during a swim in breaking waves, or being towed, the plastic can flex under load upwards and release the line, the trick is to not just thread the deck line through the fitting in a straight line, thread it right around the bolt before it exits the fitting on the opposite hole to which it entered, that way the force of a pull on the line is transferred to the bolt itself.

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Jim
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Jim »

Exactly what Charleston14 says - I used the same fittings on my old sea king in addition to the few built in fittings. They used to be called 'topcleats', but I haven't actually seen them for sale in kayak shops for a while, they may have another name in sailing circles?

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Ceegee
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Ceegee »

Congrats on the Seaking. I was very tempted myself, but yet ANOTHER kayak (to add to the current 6) NO!

I actually worked on the original plug for this boat, built by Geoff Bent in Norfolk in the 70's.

Kajaksport do a great range of fittings, hatches etc. Can only recommend them. Post here if you need any advice.

https://kajaksport.fi/products/deckfittings/

UK stockists listed on the website under dealers. KARITEK for one.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by broughsuperior »

Thanks all for the advice - that's a great tip about threading the line around the bolt. More questions to follow, no doubt.

Sarah.

charleston14
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by charleston14 »

Jim wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:39 pm
., but I haven't actually seen them for sale in kayak shops for a while, they may have another name in sailing circles?
https://h2okayaks.com/products/round-de ... ing-pack-2

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Ceegee
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Re: Refurbish Kayak Problem

Post by Ceegee »

Because deck line fittings are usually strengthened with a patch of extra glass mat when built in from the start, a good tip when retro fitting is to back them with a larger (1-1/4") STAINLESS STEEL washer. If you smear the contact side with a generous dab of Sikaflex, this will help spread the load even more, and seal the hole and thread against water ingress. Unlock washers are a good idea.

Finally, try and use marine grade 316 stainless, not the common 304, which eventually rusts and streaks. You will get it at most yacht chandler's or online. The bolts (if) supplied with the fittings, are usually 316.

All a bit pricier, but better than having a bolt tear through the deck, or need replacing once in place.

Also, if inserting hatches, it is better to glue them than bolt th4m which induces point loads and leads to cracks. Any marine grade methacrylate glue such as Devweld should do. Again pricey, but a tube goes a long way. You may need to buy an applicator gun.

IMO most boats tend to overdo it on the number of fittings. You can get away with as few as 7 each fore and aft. The bow/stern ones don't have to be at the very tip either. A metre back is fine IMO if there is an end toggle too.

Fitting the nut is hard in stem and stern. Easier to do if you have hatches. I did it by putting a RING spanner on a long pole, supergluing the nut to the washer (keep threads clean), then securing it in the ring spanner with a bit of blutak, and using extra long bolts, with the tips champfered with a Dremel to get them started. That way you have plenty sticking through, and a gap to thread the deck line before you tighten down. You will need a helper to either hold the extended spanner or tighten the bolt.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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