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PostPosted: May 4th, 2021, 1:05 pm 

Joined: May 3rd, 2021, 3:38 pm
Posts: 1
Good afternoon!

I recently was able to get my hands on a used Kevlar canoe, and am looking for some tips on how to best handle my repairs. I have done a fair amount of research (including on these forums) and I find it difficult to navigate the opinions from the facts sometimes. So here it goes:

I have 16.5 ft Kevlar canoe, that has a thin gel coat/skin on the outside, in a dark red colour. I discovered it is a prospector from the "Holy Cow Canoe Company" based out of Guelph, ON. This gel coat appears to be on its last legs, lots of small cracks with a few spots where it looks to be right down to the fabric. My primary concern is getting this fixed and a fresh coat of something applied so ensure that no further damage occurs. My thought process is as follows:

- Sand the gel coat down a bit using 320 on an orbital to reveal any big problem areas
- Fill any small spots in using epoxy. G Flex? WS 105? Any cheaper alternatives?
- Sand the filler down to be flush
- Repaint the canoe, using Interlux Brightside (hoping to go yellow!)

I am looking for advice on whether this will work well, or if you have any other suggestions when it comes to paint. I was looking at using Epifanes 2 part poly but the price tag is way too steep for my liking. I can get the Interlux and some mineral spirits as thinner for about 60% of what it would cost me for the Epifanes 2 part poly + thinner.

Lastly, there are a few small "soft" spots on the inside of the canoe. Everything is watertight currently, but there's a few spots no bigger than an inch where it looks weakened. I was thinking of reinforcing with small fiberglass patches from the inside for added strength?

Any other advice is greatly appreciated. I'm really just looking for an efficient way to get this boat back to its former glory. I don't mind putting $200 into this boat, as I never plan on reselling it. I will either use it until it breaks or donate it to my parents cottage.

Pictures can be found here:





PostPosted: May 4th, 2021, 5:14 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3706
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
For the small cracks:

Clean out any loose material, dirt etc.
Fill with G/flex 650 )(Thickened version)
Cover with small patches of s-glass (regular fibreglass a 2nd choice)

As far as the Gel-Coat, no experience with that stuff but it's for looks and UV protection, does nothing for structural integrity so maybe just apply a bit of G/flex to the larger cracks, sand down and paint over since you plan to paint anyway.

"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915

PostPosted: May 5th, 2021, 9:44 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6314
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Sounds good, my $0.02 worth FWIW...

- if there are small soft spots, check to see if they aren't actually larger by flipping the hull and pressing down firmly everywhere with the heel of your hand... large soft spots will have to be reinforced with fiberglass, the small inch-sized ones probably not.

- check to see if the gelcoat next to the cracks still adheres to the hull by prying up with the point of a knife... remove all loose gelcoat.

- before sanding, wash and scrub well with hot water and detergent to remove any oil from motorboats which could prevent paint from bonding... rinse well, dry well.

- since the hull has no leaks, it might not be necessary to patch with cloth, still, use your own judgment, small soft spots shouldn't affect hull integrity much.

- fill scratches and holes with epoxy and some kind of thickener... I use fine sawdust and there are products sold if you need to do a lot of filling, it's also possible to let epoxy thicken on it's own and apply before it cures.

- sand new epoxy removing all gloss before painting.

- I went with cheaper floor and porch paint tinted at Rona to an off-white or light yellow, gloss finish applied with a roller... more pleased with it than Interlux Brightside which tended to run and drip very easily, and the surface seems harder. Thinning might be necessary.



PostPosted: May 5th, 2021, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
Posts: 1657
Location: Back to Winnipeg
Sounds like you're on the right track and have received good advice above. You're more likely to do more than necessary than too little.

I've just prepped a boat for painting, sanding down the scratches & scrapes (and some sags etc. in the previous paint job). FYI, I filled (fairing?) the worst of the bumps & scrapes in the gel coat with JB Weld marine epoxy, just because that's what I was using for other things. For filling/fairing minor scratches, I've used a variety of epoxies without any problems, including on more flexible and more-abused Royalex whitewater boats, so I'd say you could fill those scratches with whatever.

On my boat, I started filling just because I had some leftover epoxy, but then it's a slippery slope as to which scrapes catch your eye and get filled. I'd never get them all, nor do I care to, so it was a bit a futile & random "improvement". At the moment, some places on the boat look a zebra.


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