Repairing Dents in Royalex

by Richard Munn|Published 07-21-2006

The first thing that's probably worth pointing out is that that many dents and dings in Royalex boats are cosmetic and not worth repairing at all. Look at them as "battle scars" or "dings of honour" and display them proudly as momentos of the rocks you've met over the years.

 

If you have a crease on dent on the outside and there's no corresponding dent on the inside of the boat, then the damage hasn't gone all the way through and the foam core of the Royalex probably isn't damaged. If that's the case, you're dealing with a cosmetic issue rather than a structural one.

If you do see a corresponding crease or dent on the inside then the foam core of the Royalex material is damaged and is worth repairing.

Royalex consists of a foam core sandwiched between sheets of vinyl. The foamed material has a glowing agent that will re-activate when heated.

You can use a heat gun with 300 - 500 degree F range. Heat the hull material, keeping the heat gun moving at all times. There's a fine line between heating enough to remove the dent, and heating too much, which can damage the vinyl skin and/or foam core.

In general, you'll have to apply the heat for 1-3 minutes, until the hull feels pliable. The dent or crease may come out on its own, or you may have to gently push on the hull from the inside to return it to its original shape. Wear an oven mitt for this operation!

Dislaimer and Caution

These instructions are general recommendations. You should consult with your boat manufacturer to ensure they agree with this technique before starting.

Using a heat gun in this fashion requires a bit of judgment and experience. If you don't feel confident knowing how much heat to apply, then get someone that knows what they're doing to handle this operation for you.

 

If you hold the heat gun stationary for too long, or hold it too close to your hull, you will definitely cause some damage. You'll end up with a permanent deformation and weak spot. Exercise caution, and don't overheat your hull!