The keel is the most likely area to damage on a sea kayak. This damage was caused by someone dropping the kayak onto concrete. The condition of the kayak will determine the type of repair to be done. If the keel is well worn, it might be time to add a Keel Strip. If the keel is still in good shape then all that is needed is to sand off the damaged gel coat and re-gel the area. Fixing the damaged area is much simpler then adding a keel strip. The first step in added a keel strip would be to fix the damaged area, but would not need to be sanded to a fine finish. Keel strips also add a few additional pounds to the kayaks. A keel strip does add strenght to the damaged area.
1) Put a 2" strip of masking tape about one inch away from the damaged area. We'll call this the Outer Mask. While the inner masking tape will be replaced a few times during the repair, the outer masking tape will stay until the repair is completed. The Outer Mask is just to keep the non-damaged area clean during the repair process. Most masking tape can't say on for more then a day or so. Even less time if it is in direct sunlight. Always use good quality masking tape. The price difference between good quality and cheap masking tape is small. We don't use the very expensive blue masking tape (Scotch-Blue™ Painter's Tape) unless we know that the repair will take a few days. The blue masking tape is designed to remove cleanly and to last up to 14 day, even in direct sunlight.
2) Put a 1" strip of masking tape evenly 1/4" from the damaged area. It will overlaps the two inch pieces of masking tape. This "Inner Tape" will be replaced a few times during the repair.
Make a rectangle with the masking tape. Don't follow the damage unless needed as you will end up using a lot more tape and it will be harder to sand. The inner tape needs to be smooth and flat. Clean the boat before putting the masking tape on in order to remove any oil or dirt. The outer piece of masking tape does not need to be as neat. If the damaged area is not as confined as in this repair, you might need to have a shape other then a rectangle. Another shape if fine, but will use more tape and be harder to remove and replace the tape during each step of the repair. Keep things as simple as the damaged area will allow.
Atlantic Kayak Tours, Expert Center
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