Dragon Boat Paddle Repair

Had this incident while paddling where the plastic edge of a wooden Dragon Boat Paddle was damaged and a whole corner chipped and broke off.

After some thought, decided to try restoring it both functionally and aesthetically, with rather pleasing results!

visually and by feel, the paddle after repair was indistinguishable from the other undamaged ones. Also water tested it over 5 sessions and the repair showed no signs of degradation or any visible problems.

Step 1: Prepare the Damaged Area

Use a knife to scrape or smoothen out the remaining plastic any sharp corners or crack initation points. File down any sharp cornners where stress could concentrate.

Make a 45 degree taper downwards, so that our restoration filler material adheres to the original plastic better.

Step 2: Find Suitable Reinforcement Material

For this case, you could use an old piece of nylon netting, gauze, or even fibreglass or carbon fibre cloth if you can get your hands on some.

This will add reinforcement to our filler material and reduce likelihood of it cracking in the future.

In this case, I cut out the nylon netting from the side of a cheap zipper pouch. Can also use the carbon fibre cloth as in image 2, but i found it easier to work with the nylon net.

Step 3: Mix Some Epoxy Putty

This is easily available at various hardware stores in various grades. Mix in equal parts of the A and B putty well.

As the color may be different, mix in some pigment ink or paint to match the original colour of the remaining plastic. (black in this case). Knead and mix it in well till the colour matches.

Step 4: Patch the Paddle With Reinforcement Material Embedded

Use the putty to fully fill in the gaps and form thin layer on the damaged area of the paddle. Make sure it fills in any gaps in the previous broken shard of plastic as much as possible.

Lay over the reinforment material on top of this initial layer of putty.

Step 5: Patch Up the Rest of the Damage

Patch up the rest of the volue of the damaged area with the rest of the kneaded coloured epoxy putty.

Do not worry about exactly matching the original shape yet. Slightly more is desired so that it can be filed and sanded to shape later.

Step 6: Wait for 24hours or More to Cure.

Refer to the instructions on the back of your epoxy putty.

Step 7: File and Sand the Repaired Area to Shape to Match the Remaining Plastic

Use a fine file, or better a sanding block.

Gradually sand with 150 to 400 grit sandpaper to match the original profile and flush with the remaining original plastic.

Step 8: Optional: Laquer to Seal / Finish

SPray a few coats of laquer over the entire surface including the original plastic to give an even finish.

Paddle edge looks as good as new and the broken part is indistinguishable!

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