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Recoating a kayak
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Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Recoating a kayak on 01/17/2010 02:40:37 MST Print View

Hi all,

I have never owned a kayak or water craft at all for that matter.

Have an offer from an old mate for a kayak that needs some TLC, no holes or dents however he tells me it could do with a resin recoat and perhaps a paint job.

Anyone have links to some good resources for this? I want to make sure its something i am going to be able to do without a huge cost and its within my ability.


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Recoating a kayak on 01/17/2010 09:27:18 MST Print View

Look here.

And read the entire site. Lots of info.

Bear in mind that once you apply a varnish, you start a shorter maintenance cycle than you have with a resin coat.

If it is just a cosmetic issue, I say "don't bother".

And you'll look like a hardcore boater.

Edited by greg23 on 01/17/2010 09:31:59 MST.

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Working with epoxy. on 01/18/2010 23:12:23 MST Print View

Epoxy resin is not too difficult to work with. I recommend measuring it out in small cups rather than using the pumps. Getting the ratio is more accurate this way. I also recommend adding another layer before the first layer is totally cured; otherwise, you will have to remove the blush before applying the next layer.

You will want to prep the hull by lightly sanding it before applying the resin. Do not sand into the cloth if it is kevlar or carbon fiber. Sanding causes the cloth to fizz making the hull look hairy. Fiberglass does not fizz. I suspect you just need to lightly roughen up the hull.

It is a timely process and will probably take you most of a day to apply several layers of epoxy. Use a epoxy roller to apply the resin. Tip off the bubbles and chase the runs with a foam brush. When tacky, apply the next layer of resin. Slowly build it up.

Runs found after the epoxy hardens can be scraped using a bent razor blade. Afterwards, sand the resin using wet sandpaper working your way to a very fine polishing grit. Afterwards, coat the hull with a good marine grade varnish or paint. The varnish will restore the gloss and the milky white fine scratches will vanish.

Here are a few sites to visit;

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Recoating a kayak on 01/19/2010 00:37:45 MST Print View

Hi Mark



Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Recoating a kayak on 01/19/2010 07:16:47 MST Print View

Thanks all, will see how I get on and keep you posted.

Cheers again,


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hull prep on 01/19/2010 08:41:33 MST Print View

You might want to use a chemical prep to get any old wax, oil or other contaminants off the hull. Gouges can be filled with a putty/paste made from microspheres mixed with epoxy. It is possible to get a very fair (smooth) surface.

Applying the epoxy isn't much different than painting really. Consider masking at the seam to keep the epoxy and paint from running on the deck side. Flip the boat and paint the topside, masking to protect your new work on the bottom.

If you have access to an airbrush artist, the possibilities are endless for a paint job. Add a couple big taxidermy eyes for the bow :)

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
What material? on 01/22/2010 12:11:52 MST Print View

You didn't say what material the kayak is made out of.

Kayaks can have many different types of finish.
Poly resin fiberglass and plastic rotomolded are the most common nowadays.

Other common types include epoxy resin, fiberglass, kevlar and/or carbon fiber mixtures, some with gelcoat some with other finishes.

Wood kayaks are usually a varnish coat over epoxy/fiberglass.

Skin kayaks can be nylon, polyester, cotton canvas, ... coated with hundreds of different types coatings.

What ever you use should match or at least use a coat that works with the original coating.
Epoxy can be used to repair poly resin kayaks fiberglass kayaks.

In general, you want to put gelcoat over any epoxy or poly resin as they are susceptible to UV damage.

And I'm keeping it simple:-)