This instructible is to show you how to make small repairs to watercraft eg. cracks or chips on kayaks, surfskis, surfboards etc.
If you have ever paddled or lifted a kayak across rocks like these, you will probably need to do a repair.
This 'ible will work for:
- small wooden boats or kayaks
- fiberglass or carbon kayaks/skis/surfboards
- repairs where the hull is intact and not compromised
- scratches and small cracks
This ible will not work for:
- rotomolded or 'tupperware' kayaks - the epoxy will not bond to this material
- some kayaks which have single-part + hardener finish / old gelcoats
- boat repairs which are structural in nature. One piece of tape will not repair a hole in the hull :)
- high performance craft below-the-waterline hull repairs. This repair will create too much drag. Time for a new boat!
If in doubt, check with a marine engineer for a survey before commencing work. Another option is to try a small patch of the boat (eg. under the seat thwarts on a rowboat) to check the part bonds well.
If you are in luck, this low cost repair will save you the cost of a new boat and extend the lifetime of your vessel by many years to come.
Step 1: Safety First!
This instructible using the following things that are dangerous to humans with short and long exposure.
Epoxy Vapours: the epoxy resin gives of vapours which are toxic. Wear a respirator with a gas canister at all times you are working with epoxy.
Epoxy Sensitivity: epoxy resin can cause sensitisation in people with time. Avoid contact with skin and follow the manufacturer's safety instructions.
Epoxy splashes: avoid the wet epoxy touching your body - especially be careful around your eyes (considering this is a mask). Wear safety glasses and gloves. People may have an allergy to latex gloves too! In which case you can use the non-latex gloves or thin allergy free gloves.
Carbon Dust: when you grind away the finished carbon fiber shape there will be carbon dust. Wash it down and away, and wear a particulate or dust filtering respirator / cartridge when you are doing this step.
Carbon Slivers: Avoid getting small bits of carbon 'tow' or splinters caught in your fingers. Again gloves are good here.
Paint fumes: when spraying work in a well-ventilated area and wear glasses/gloves and old clothes, not your tuxedo.
Scared Away? I hope not!