Picture of Boat Repair with Carbon Fiber
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.

Pewit358 months ago

You can also use "Peel Ply" to squeeze out the excess resin and also remove air bubbles. Peel Ply cloth can be purchased from carbon suppliers but you can also use ripstop nylon (as used for sailboat spinnakers).
Cut a piece of your peel ply material larger than the repair area. Make your carbon repair then lay the peel ply material over the top and either wrap it around tightly or for flat surfaces, use tape to pull it taught over the repair so that the excess resin is squeezed out through the material. When cured, you can remove the Peel Ply and it will leave a near-smooth surface for rubbing down.

Cambronze3 years ago
I also rub petroleum jelly (vaseline) into my hands and forearms. This seems to help with the fibre irritation.
Before or after the work? It's not easy to get rid of dense vaseline from skin so tell us.
Before, But I do a lot of fibreglassing and I find the best thing you can do is cover any exposed skin with babypowder before you start, it helps to stop the glass working into your skin, and a lot easier cleanup than vaseline
schkip1973 (author) 3 years ago
thanks for the info!

I like the idea about the 'mantra' .. makes it like an instinct rather than something that is forgotten.
Thanks for emphasising the safety angle. All commercial products are safe if used correctly.

You get good at safety by treating the steps like a mantra.... don't be impatient - recite to yourself the safety steps for example:

To change a drill bit.

- wait for the drill to stop spinning
- disconnect the power
- deploy the chuck
-put the old drill bit it it's proper place
- attach the new drill bit
-return the chuck to its proper place
- reconnect the power
- test the drill with a quick squeeze

This is the approach that medical staff use in responding to a cardiac arrest - like robots reciting their mantra of their role on the cardiac cart...

Probably I would have added never work alone... have someone nearby - even if only through the kitchen window - watching your back....