Author Topic: Plastic boat repair, dents and cracks  (Read 9910 times)

Offline Peter O'Sullivan

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Plastic boat repair, dents and cracks
« on: April 08, 2018, 22:51:36 »
A few thoughts on repairs plastic boats:

Simple dents:
1. Start with boiling water to get dents out, move onto a heat gun only if you have to. 
2. If you get a dent 95% of the way out stop there, don't risk damaging the plastic trying to get a perfect repair.
3. hanging a boat from a tree is a handy way to hold it up while you get a kettle or two of water into it.


1. Start with boiling water. Cleans the surfaces to be joined, pops out some of the dents and gets some heat into the plastic.
2. For welding use heat guns or soldering irons. Never use propane torches ( bad for plastic, poor repair shape, harmful fumes and serious fire risk).
3. Stitching closed a gaping crack with metal wire may not be the best idea. As the wire heats up if melts through the plastic. The best method of closing gaping cracks still to be figured out.
4. Cutting strips of plastic ( 40cm long x 6mm wide )  from an old donor boat is really handy. Cut them from the top deck to get the cleanest scratch free plastic.
5. Get a welding buddy to help, especially if you have to take out outfitting.
6. Mark the start and finish of a crack with a permanent marker with a 10cm long line perpendicular to the crack ends. It will help you check if you have repaired the full extent.
7. After you have finished welding shine a torch from inside so see the quality of the work.
8. Use a dessert spoon to push the plastic in to place, ideally an aluminum one.
9. Some Jackson kayaks are cross link rather than linear plastic that can't be welded. Look into appropriate glues for these boats.

Lastly, plastic welding takes time and practice. Good luck.