Repairing a sea kayak – part 1

Why don’t you come in and I’ll show you how to do a repair

The owner of the boat yard at in Port Bannatyne has done repair jobs on kayaks from me for many years and since I started Kayak Bute we have seen each other more frequently. Maybe that’s why the other day he said “why don’t you come in and I’ll show you how to do a repair.” It did not take long to come up with a kayak that needed some tlc. A badly cracked gel coat on the side  near the bow from  being dropped on a rock. Ouch!

The first stage of the repair was not too draining on the nerves, just a pencil outline over the area to the furthest extent of the cracks.
Then the nerve shredding moments – or rather gel coat grinding.
So many different shades of white. I used a tiny drop of ice blue added to the white base gelcoat to get a pretty good match
John showed me that it was important to build the gel coat up in layers. First layer just into where the gel had been ground right back to the cloth.
Top tip
The second layer started at the edges of the lightly ground outer area and over lapping onto the first coat and finally a layer over the whole lot and onto the unground but lightly sanded surrounding area. The brush strokes always end in a fine “feathered ” finish onto the adjacent coat. Top tip. Take the repair to the bottom edge of the hull, it’s easier to get an invisible finish there than finishing with a line just above and horizontal to the edge.
Then came a really scary moment. Spray the whole area with a light dusting of matt black acrylic paint. I’ll let you know in Part 2 why John had me indulge in this graffiti attack on my nice white Tiderace kayak hull.

About Roddy at Kayak Bute

Passionate about the seascape of Scotland and its islands and mountains. And the great people you meet on your journeys. Sea Kayak Guide and Coach.
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3 Responses to Repairing a sea kayak – part 1

  1. Willie McLeod says:

    Wating patiently for part two!

  2. Part 2 just published. By the by I have mislaid your phone number Willie and would like a chat. Could you e mail it over to

  3. Pingback: Kayak repairing | Icusurveys

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