Large tear in bottom of kayak - is it worth repairing?

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Large tear in bottom of kayak - is it worth repairing?

Post by tornkayak1010 »

Hi folks,

I'm very new to paddling with inflatables, and have been enjoying it a lot. Unfortunately, I made a dumb blunder a few days ago. I ended up drifting into some shallow, apparently sharp rocks in a riffle reach and made a huge tear in the bottom of my K1 Intex. I ended up getting a good deal of water in it too, which I've largely managed to pump out.

Here are two photos of the tear:

I'm just wondering, do you think it's worth trying to repair the kayak? One suggestion I've received is to use pvc sheeting and 2-part epoxy resin to patch up the tear. Do you think this would viable at all?

I understand that it's a cheap kayak, not meant to be particularly durable. But I don't like throwing things away on a whim, so it would be great if people could give me advice on what to do.

Thanks a lot.

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Re: Large tear in bottom of kayak - is it worth repairing?

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Your kayak is vinyl, not PVC. Epoxy resin is NOT an appropriate glue for either material. You need solvent type glue for vinyl, which you can get in a tube or brush can at any Joann fabrics, marine supply places or at most stores that sell outdoor sports products. If you can find it, H-66 glue is the best but can be hard to find in stores. A small can will be enough. The kits you can buy are marketed to patch things like air mattresses, fishing waders, etc. You can also get vinyl by the yard to cut a patch for it to use the glue, though you may have to get clear vinyl since often the solid color that they stock has fabric backing and you need solid vinyl.

Many outdoor stores sell vinyl patch kits for under $10 and some sell rolls of self stick vinyl patch tape. FlexSeal tape is also available at most building material and hardware stores. For any type of patch, place a patch both inside and on the outside of the torn hull. I would also run the tape the full length of the hull and overlay an extra strip on each side of the patch to strengthen it.

Most of us who have higher end folding boats put a layer of "sacrificial" rubber tape along the keel to protect it from damage in use. Those boats usually come with a patch kit with matching materials, glue and applicators.
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