If you have a composite kayak sooner or later you will need to repair damaged gel coat. While beginners will say that this is the reason they buy plastic kayaks, experienced kayakers know that plastic wears faster and can't be repaired as easy or reliabily as composit kayaks. Repairing gel coat is easy.
While some people will want the repair to be invisible, we don't care about that. A kayak is a tool, not a piece of furniture. We use them hard and fix them to be sound, but not always beautiful. The difference between the sound repair and the beautiful repair is getting the proper color gel coat from the manufacturer and the amount of sanding you want to do.
The keys to good repairs are preparation and time. Get everything ready (tools, materials, helpers) before each step and take your time. Using more hardener or heat to accelerate the cure time only makes for a brittle repair.
In the next few pages we will lay out the steps needed to fix a small damaged area on a composite kayak.
Also see keel strip repair.
Click photos for larger views.
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Atlantic Kayak Tours, Expert Center
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